I Just Had A Root Canal... What do I do now?
How Long Will I Be Numb? Your lips, teeth, cheek and/or tongue may be numb for several hours after the procedure. To avoid injury, you should avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue, cheek or lip while you are numb.
Will I have any pain? The majority of patients feel better after having a Root Canal because of the relief it gives to the tooth. But as with any dental procedure some people do have increased pain, usually about 1 out of 10 people. Pain can start immediately after the procedure and the intensity of the discomfort may gradually increase and peak on the 4th day and slowly taper off. Although each individual may react differently, it is not abnormal to have sensitivity to touch and bite for 7-10 days.
You should contact us if: persistent swelling is not tapering off after 4 days.
What do I take for pain? If you were given prescription medications please take them as prescribed or explained to you during your procedure. 600 mg Advil (Ibuprofen) three times per day can be taken instead if you need to drive and cannot take narcotics. Please take any Antibiotics you where given until all pills are finished (do not stop early, unless you are experiencing an allergic reaction such as rash, itchiness, vomiting, hives, and diarrhea) Women taking birth control medications should be aware that antibiotics can cause the birth control medications to be ineffective possibly resulting in pregnancy. Alternate methods should be used while on the antibiotics.
Is It Normal For My Gums Or Jaw To Be Sore? Irritation to the gum tissue can occur from dental work. Rinsing your mouth 2-3 times per day with 1/2 tsp of warm saltwater can help to alleviate discomfort. Injection sites can be sore for several days after your appointment. Over-the-counter pain medications work well to alleviate the tenderness.
Is It Normal For My Tooth To Ache? It is not uncommon for a tooth to feel tender or even exhibit a dull ache all over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. These symptoms are temporary (usually last less than one week) and usually respond well to over-the-counter pain medications such as Advil (Ibuprofen.)
Why Does My Tooth Feel Different? You may feel a slight indention or rough area on the back of a "front tooth" or the top of a "back tooth". This is where a temporary material was placed through the access that was made on the tooth. It is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, please contact our office.
Is it Normal for My Tooth to Be Sensitive? Your tooth may be sensitive to biting pressure and may appear to feel loose. This is a normal response and is no cause for alarm.
My Bite Feels Off, Is This Normal? If your bite feels uneven and is causing soreness, please call our office. A short office visit to adjust the problem area usually leads to a quick and dramatic improvement.
Is It Okay To Eat On The Tooth With a Root Canal? Please avoid chewing on the tooth that has had the root canal. Whenever possible, try to chew on the opposite side of the treated tooth (as it is brittle) until the final restoration has been placed. The temporary filling will not permanently protect your tooth from infection or fracture.
Do I need Any Other Treatment after a Root Canal? A permanent restoration is required after a root canal is performed on a tooth. Depending on the location of the tooth will determine what restoration will be recommended. Most teeth will require some type of crown, although there are exceptions where a filling may be placed. This permanent restoration is used to avoid future tooth fractures as the tooth is "hollowed out" from the root canal procedure.