Heather R. Sulte, DDS, MS, PC


Post Root Canal Treatment

Your Root Canal Treatment is NOT Complete:
• The treatment on your tooth is not complete. It is essential that you return to your general dentist for completion of
treatment to seal the root canal and the tooth.
• Avoid eating for the first hour following the procedure, and then eat soft foods for the rest of the day. It is advisable to chew on the opposite side until treatment is complete. The tooth will likely be tender to chew on for a few days, and this may last up to a month.
• The outer surface is filled with a temporary cement. This is not intended to be a permanent restoration for your tooth, and should be replaced with a permanent filling after your root canal is completed. All teeth behind the canines or ”eye teeth” will require a crown to protect the tooth. It is important that this process be completed in a timely manner to avoid losing the tooth.

• Even if you were not experiencing any discomfort prior to treatment, it is normal for you to experience some degree of discomfort for a few days to a couple weeks. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm.
• Discomfort may be alleviated by taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Alleve), or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed by the doctor. Warm salt water rinses (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water) may also help.
• We advise taking 600-800 mg of ibuprofen (3-4 tablets of Advil) every six hours for 2-3 days following treatment. Ibuprofen (Advil) is an anti-inflammatory that will help reduce inflammation around the ligament of the tooth and allow the tooth to heal more quickly. If you are unable to take ibuprofen (Advil), you may substitute Tylenol or Alleve, etc. (please take as directed).
• Should you experience severe discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above medications, or should facial swelling develop, please contact our office.

Swelling Infection:
• Although it is impossible to predict with certainty, post treatment swelling/infection is not expected to occur after endodontic treatment. Thus, routine antibiotic treatment is not warranted.
• However, research has shown that approximately 2-6% of root canal treated teeth will experience severe symptoms of pain and/or swelling. These symptoms generally arise within 2-4 days after endodontic treatment (termed a “flare-up"), and should this occur, please contact our office for further management of these symptoms.

Post Endodontic Surgery

What to do:

  • To minimize swelling and discoloration, apply an ice pack with light pressure over the side of your face alternating every twenty minutes with finger pressure. Continue the applications for 4-6 hours on the day of surgery only. Do not use ice after the first day.
  • To keep the sutures in place, avoid pulling or raising your lip over the surgical site.
  • During the first day eat foods that will not require vigorous chewing. Maintain a soft diet supplemented with vitamin C for 2-3 days following surgery.
  • Please do not smoke, drink through a straw, or spit for a few days after surgery.
  • To facilitate faster healing, use the Peridex mouth rinse as prescribed each morning and night. Swish with ½ oz. for 3-4 minutes (when done do not rinse with water for 30 minutes). The day following surgery you can periodically rinse with warm salt water using ½ teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water.
  • Begin brushing the surgical area the day following surgery. Place the bristles of the brush at the gum line and gently sweep them toward the top of the teeth.
  • There should not be much bleeding from the surgical site; however, some oozing is normal. Should significant bleeding occur, place a moistened Lipton tea bag between the incision and your cheek. Rest with your head elevated for 20 minutes while applying slight to moderate pressure over the area. Remove the tea bag to confirm that the bleeding has stopped. If it has not, repeat this process with a new tea bag. If the bleeding persists, call the office or the doctor’s emergency contact number.
  • Take your prescriptions as directed. To reduce stomach upset, take the medications with a carbonated beverage. If itching or a rash develops, discontinue the medications immediately.

What to expect:

Although severe pain seldom occurs, some discomfort will usually be present. Use the anti-inflammatory medication as directed. Please inform us if you are experiencing significant discomfort or have an elevated temperature.

There will likely be some oozing from the surgical site, especially at night. It is recommended that you sleep on an
extra pillow keeping your head elevated, and place an old cloth over your pillow.

Some swelling or discoloration may be present for approximately a few days to a week following surgery. This is a normal part of the healing process. If you experience increased swelling or find your temperature is elevated, please call our office or the doctor’s emergency contact number.

There is often temporary loss of feeling at the surgical site. Do not be alarmed, as this can last for several days up to approximately a month. If the loss of sensation continues longer than a month, please let out office know and we will schedule a follow up examination.

The treated tooth may feel loose for a brief period of time, but generally this will resolve as the healing progresses.

The sutures placed are dissolvable, but we would like to check on your healing progress in one week. Your one week suture check will take approximately 5-10 minutes.