Root Canals

Care Instructions following a Root Canal

  • While your mouth is numb, be very careful with your lips and tongue. Avoid eating very hard foods until you can feel your entire mouth. Soft foods, smoothies and milkshakes are good choices to eat until the anesthetic wears off; just make sure you brush your teeth afterwards!
  • Your gums and cheeks and possibly your jaw may be sore from having dental work completed in your mouth. If your gums are tender, warm salt water rinses will help. Fill an eight ounce glass with warm water and mix in 1 tsp of salt. Swish small amounts until the glass is empty; use this rinse a few times a day for the first couple of days after your procedure is completed. If you feel better, discontinue use.
  • You may want to take some over-the-counter medications to control any discomfort from your dental procedure. Please take whatever you would take for a headache, always following the instructions on the bottle. If possible, take Ibuprofen (generic for Advil or Motrin), as this medication tends to relieve dental discomfort more effectively than Tylenol (acetaminophen) alone.  Take 600 mg (3 tablets) WITH FOOD every 6 hours the day of treatment.  Take 400-600 mg every 6 hours after the first day, and always with food to avoid an upset stomach.
  • You may have some sensitivity above the tooth being treated; this is normal for this procedure. If you experience any pulsing, aching, throbbing pain, however, this is not normal. Please take some pain medications and give us a call. If you have pain such that you are unable to sleep comfortably, again, please give us a call.
  • If you end treatment with only the temporary filling in the root, you will have pain in the future because the root can become re-infected. Once the root canal has been started, it is crucial that you return to complete the procedure for your own comfort. As explained previously, the tooth receiving the root canal will need a crown after the root canal and build-up have been completed.
  • If you have any other questions or concerns, please call us at 919-286-4481.