After Completion of Endodontic Treatment

Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system has been sealed. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A permanent restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay within six weeks. Please telephone your restorative dentist for an appointment. A complete report of treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. On occasion, a follow-up examination to evaluate the progress of healing will be requested. This appointment will require only a few minutes and no additional fee will be charged for the follow-up visit. A reminder will be sent to contact our office for the follow-up visit. Please call for an appointment.

Your tooth is more prone to fracture immediately after endodontic treatment. You should chew on the other side until your restorative dentist has placed a permanent restoration, usually a crown. If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, your restorative dentist may place a post and core build-up inside the tooth. Your restorative dentist and endodontist will determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth.

What to expect

Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be slightly tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment and previous condition of your tooth. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm. Do not chew food on the affected side until your endodontic therapy is completed and your tooth is covered with a permanent restoration provided by your restorative dentist. You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen. Discomfort may be alleviated by taking ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed.

NOTE: Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications. Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above listed medications, or should swelling develop, please contact this office immediately.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need to call after hours, an EMERGENCY number is listed on our office phone. Please have your pharmacy telephone number available.

If you have any questions, please call our Arlington office at (360) 651-9394 or our Lynnwood office at (425) 743-3054

Click here for a copy of Root Canal Aftercare Instructions.

Click here for Surgical Aftercare Instructions (Apicoectomy).

Are There Any Potential Problems After Treatment?

  • Lower teeth and nerve injury. There is a slight possibility that nerve injury can occur during root canal surgery to the lower posterior teeth. Your endodontist is trained to assess this possibility prior to treatment and will advise you accordingly. For lower posterior teeth, the root tips may be near a nerve that supplies feeling to the lip, chin and gums. Your endodontist is trained to design your surgery to minimize the chances of damaging this nerve. Rarely, this nerve can become irritated during the process of surgery. In these cases, when the local anesthesia wears off, you may experience tingling, altered sensation or, in rare cases a complete lack of feeling in the affected tissues. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve over a period of days, weeks or months. In rare cases, these changes can be permanent and/or painful.
  • Upper teeth and sinus communication. The upper teeth are situated near your sinuses, and root canal surgery can result in a communication between your mouth and the adjacent sinus. Should this complication occur, it will usually heal spontaneously. We will give you special instructions if this is apparent at the time of surgery. We prefer that you don’t blow your nose for two to three days after surgery. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. You should not create any pressure in the sinus area. If you sense a complication after surgery, please contact us.
  • Post-operative infections. Post-operative infections occasionally occur. This usually requires just an office visit and examination. Many times placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection Occasionally, other follow-up procedures will be needed.