After Your Endodontic Therapy
Your endodontic, or root canal therapy will usually maintain your tooth and relieve the pain you may have been experiencing. Please avoid biting on the tooth for 30 minutes after your appointment so your filling may harden. Also, avoid biting your lip, cheek, and tongue while anesthetized (numb) since this may cause damage to them. If your child had a procedure, watch them carefully.
Will I Need Pain Medication?
Over the counter analgesics such as Aspirin, Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Advil, Nupren, Motrin IB), Ketoprofen (Orudus KT), Naproxen sodium (Aleve) products usually alleviate the discomfort. Some evidence suggests that taking one of the above pain relievers before the anesthetic wears off and continuing for 1 or 2 days as directed on the medication label may substantially decrease your after treatment discomfort.
You will be given a prescription for a stronger medication if we feel it will be necessary. Narcotic medications should never be taken in combination with alcohol, histamine blockers (antihistamines), tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, or any other agent that depresses the central nervous system. Narcotics increase the effects of these medications on the brain, and overdose can result from their combined use. Remember that you must NOT drive a car or engage in any type of activity requiring mental alertness while taking narcotic or sedative type medications.
Do I Need Antibiotics?
In most cases, antibiotics are not required after endodontic therapy. You will be given a prescription for antibiotics if we feel it will be necessary. Some medical conditions require a special antibiotic prophylaxis regimen to help prevent damage to certain structures. Most of these conditions only require a single dose of antibiotics prior to treatment.
Occasionally we will recommend that you continue to take antibiotics after endodontic therapy so follow the instructions for after treatment coverage. Although rare, antibiotics can cause severe and persistent diarrhea. Contact this office immediately or seek medical attention if severe diarrhea occurs. Women Only: Antibiotics may interfere with oral birth control medications resulting in pregnancy. We suggest alternative birth control methods should be used during this cycle. If you are unsure, please contact your physician.
What Are Some Possible Medication Side Effects?
It is difficult to discuss all possible side effects but if any of the following develop, stop taking the medication and call promptly: skin rash, hives, itching, difficult breathing, bloody or cloudy urine, bloody stools, severe diarrhea (more than 5 movements in 24 hour period), sore throat, high fever, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe vomiting, and visual disturbances. Less serious side effects include nausea, stomach pain, heartburn, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and nervousness.
When do I Return to my Family Dentist? – Options Below
- Incomplete Endodontic Therapy: Your treatment needs to be completed within our office prior to returning to your family dentist for continued treatment of the tooth. Failure to have your endodontic therapy completed within 2 months, may result in your present oral condition worsening with time, and the risks to your health may include, but are not limited to: pain, swelling, infection, cyst formation, loss of supporting bone around your teeth, and premature loss of tooth/teeth. Prolonged time to completion may cause treatment complications with additional treatment required for maintaining your tooth. We want to avoid all of these so please make it to your next appointment! If your temporary becomes loose or falls out, call our office.
- Endodontic Therapy Completed, Timely Visit To Your Family Dentist Required: At completion of your endodontic therapy, we placed a temporary or buildup in your tooth. Failure to visit your restorative dentist within 1 month for restoration may result in retreatment of your tooth at an additional expense, severe pain or infection, cracking/breaking of your tooth and/or loss of your tooth. If we did not make the appointment for you, call your dentist and make an appointment for restoration.
- Temporary Placed In Your Tooth: Avoid hard and/or sticky foods like caramel, jelly beans, or gum since they may loosen or remove the temporary filling. The type of permanent restoration will depend on the location and condition of the tooth. It is important that you see your family dentist promptly because a temporary filling will eventually become loose and leak. If it becomes loose or falls out, call our office.
- Build-up Completed In Preparation For Final Restoration: A build up replacing missing tooth structure was placed and your tooth is ready for final restoration such as a crown or a bridge.
- Endodontic Therapy Completed with Access Restored. The access created for endodontic therapy has been restored. Visit your dentist for continued care as needed such as cleanings or other treatment.
How Should I take Care of my Tooth?
Try to avoid biting or chewing on the tooth during the first few days if it is sore. If a temporary or buildup was placed, your tooth is in a weakened condition, so do not bite hard or chewy foods until it is restored with a proper restoration otherwise it may break.
How long will my Tooth Last?
With proper care, your restored tooth can last a lifetime if healing is adequate. Teeth treated with endodontic therapy can still decay. As with other teeth, proper dental care requires regular brushing and flossing, a nutritious diet and regular visits to your family dentist.
Will I need to Return for additional Treatments?
Once endodontic therapy is completed your tooth should be examined periodically, usually every 6 – 12 months. This allows us to make sure the tooth has healed or is healing properly. You will be scheduled at the time of completion for re-evaluation. Our office will reevaluate the tooth for at least 2 years. Please call our office if your tooth feels unusual or discomfort persists after completion.
Questions? Please do not hesitate to contact the office at 602-242-4745 should you have any questions or concerns. If you call after business hours, please leave your name, telephone number where the doctor may contact you and follow the directions to indicate your call is urgent if needed. The doctor is usually able to return your call within 1 hour. If the doctor does not return within 1 hour, try calling the office again.