Root Canal Treatment

Anesthetic

  • If an anesthetic was administered for your treatment, your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment.  Avoid any chewing and hot foods or liquids until the numbness has completely worn off.  It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb.
  • It is recommended that you take some Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) before the anesthetic completely wears off.  This will help with any swelling or pain at the injection sites where your anesthetic was administered. 

 
Pain & Discomfort
  •  Your tooth may be uncomfortable or you may feel a dull ache after a root canal. The tooth will be sensitive to biting pressure and may even feel loose because of sensitivity in the nerve ending.  This is common after a root canal and may last from a few days to a couple of weeks.
  • After the procedure you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. To reduce swelling, apply an ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas to the area for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for 4 hours.
  • Take pain medications as prescribed. Do not take medications that you are allergic to.  If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone.
  • If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, please call our office immediately. 
 
Diet
  • Your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment because of the anesthetic.  Avoid chewing and hot foods or liquids until the numbness has completely worn off.  It is easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while numb.
  • Drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious soft food following the root canal and avoid very hot or cold foods during the healing process. Avoid all crunchy, tough or hard foods, such as: ice, popcorn, chewing gum, hard candy, mints, lozenges, nuts, peanut brittle, hard edges of pizza, tortilla chips, etc., which could fracture your weakened tooth. 
  • Whenever possible, try to chew on the opposite side from the tooth we have just treated until you have a crown in place. Avoid putting strain of any kind on the treated tooth.
 
Oral Hygiene
  • Following treatment, you can rinse with warm salt water (1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of warm water) 2-3 times a day to get relief from any soreness and to help keep the treated area clean and free of any debris.
  • Consistent and thorough daily oral hygiene is essential.  Daily brushing, flossing and rinsing with recommended products should be continued as directed by your Dentist.
 
Activities
  • Sleep with your head in an elevated position for the first few nights if you do not have any physical limitations.
  • Smoking delays the healing process - do not smoke during the first 24 hours and minimize the number of times you smoke for the remainder of the healing process.
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours.
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours.
 
Follow Up Treatment
  • If your tooth has not been prepared for a crown during this visit, a temporary filling has been placed until the tooth is prepared for a crown. If the temporary filling becomes dislodged or compromised in any way, or if it feels higher than your other teeth, please call our office.
  • Your root canal is not complete until you have a permanent restoration (a filling or a crown) to protect the tooth.  It is very important that you return for your scheduled appointment to complete treatment and have the permanent restoration placed.
  • The success of your treatment depends on keeping all of your scheduled appointments and maintaining your home care as explained by your Dentist. 

 
Following most dental procedures there may or may not be pain, depending on the patient’s threshold of pain.  You will be provided with a prescription for appropriate medication for discomfort.  In most cases, a non-narcotic pain regimen will be given consisting of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin).  If a narcotic has been prescribed, follow the directions carefully.  If you have any questions about these medications interacting with other medications you are presently taking, please call our office, your physician and/or your pharmacist
 
IF FOR ANY REASON YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR CONDITION, NOTIFY DR MORRIS OR A MEMBER OF OUR OFFICE STAFF BY CALLING OUR OFFICE AT (780) 790-0088.  For emergencies after hours, please call Northern Lights Regional Health Centre at  (780) 791-6161