After receiving a root canal, it is not unusual for the tooth to feel uncomfortable or exhibit a dull ache. This should go away within a few days. If you feel discomfort in an area unrelated to the treated area, this may be due to inflammation or an increase in blood volume that naturally occurs during the healing process. Warm salt-water rinses for the next two days will help with any discomfort, and you should avoid chewing on the side of the treatment until the tenderness is gone.
You may want to put an ice pack over the treatment area when you first get home. If you wish to do so, apply the ice pack every hour for 10 to 15 minutes during the first 4-6 hours. It is also recommended that you eat a soft diet for at least two days and remember not to chew food on the treated side.
We recommend you take something for pain relief within one hour of leaving our office, to get the medication into your blood system before the anesthesia we administered begins to subside. Generally, only one dose is needed. We recommend ibuprofen (Nuprin, Advil, or Motrin) at 800 mg (four tablets). Two to four tablets may be taken four times a day for the next 3-4 days to help control the sensitivity in this area.
Occasionally, a small bubble will appear on the gum tissue within a few days. This represents the release of pressure and bacteria, which can no longer be sustained around the tooth. This should disappear within a few days.
Once you have received your treatment, you will need a crown to protect the tooth. A delay in obtaining the crown may result in a fracture or possible loss of the tooth.
If your root canal does not heal after treatment, you will experience either a mild to severe pain or notice bone dissolving around the root tips. If the non-healing is due to infection, antibiotics will usually resolve this. If they do not help you will need to retreat the root canal. To make sure everything is running smoothly, we will contact you in six months for a re-examination.