Home Care Instructions

Following Endodontic Treatment or Retreatment (Root Canal Therapy)

  • You may experience some tenderness for several days. Avoid chewing on the tooth until the tenderness has resolved and the tooth is covered with a protective restoration provided by your restorative dentist.
  • You may continue your regular dental hygiene program.
  • Warm saltwater rinses may speed healing and help resolve any discomfort, but do not put heat or warm compresses on the outside of your face.
  • Discomfort may be alleviated by taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed, provided you have no allergies to these medications.
  • NOTE: Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications.
  • Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above medications, or should swelling develop, please contact this office immediately.
  • The office telephone is answered from 7:45am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Our answering service is availabe to contact your doctor for you after hours and on the weekends. If you need to call after hours, please have your pharmacy phone number available.
  • If you experience swelling or a fever that was not present at the time of your treatment, or if you had swelling at the time of your treatment and it has increased, please call our office.
  • The opening in your tooth has a temporary filling – we advise that you see your dentist as soon as possible for a permanent restoration such as a crown, onlay, filling, etc.
  • Not having the tooth permanently restored may result in the loss of your tooth.
  • We will forward your radiographs (x-rays) and a treatment report to your dentist in the next few days.
  • You should have your tooth re-evaluated and an x-ray taken in six months, either by contacting us for an appointment, or by asking your general dentist to take a radiograph and evaluate the tooth’s healing. If any questions regarding healing remain, please have your general dentist forward the x-ray to our office for review.
  • If, at any time, you have questions regarding your treatment, please call our office.

Following Endodontic Surgery (Apicoectomy)

  • To help control swelling, apply an ice pack to the face in the area of the surgery for the next 2-3 hours. At 15 minute intervals, remove the ice pack for 5 minutes.
  • Do not stretch your lip or cheek to see the incision. This stretching may accidentally tear the sutures, thus opening the incision.
  • Starting the day after surgery, rinse your mouth with warm salt water (one-half teaspoon salt in a glass of hot water) as often as practical, but certainly after each meal. Keep your mouth as clean as possible by light tooth brushing and salt water rinsing.
  • Diet should consist of very highly nutritious foods, avoiding any hot foods (e.g. soup) the first day. Also avoid sticky, doughy substances which may become trapped in the sutures and make cleaning the area more difficult.
  • Remember, the following may occur and should cause NO concern:
  • Slight oozing of blood for 36-48 hours
  • Swelling and discoloration
  • Moderate discomfort
  • Discomfort may be controlled with medication that you would normally take for a headache, if there are no medical or allergic reactions to these.
  • A one-week post-operative appointment will be scheduled in our office so that we can check the healing process and remove any sutures if necessary.
  • Please contact our office at any time if any doubt arises as to your progress or if any unusual symptoms or circumstances occur.