Call us!  503-861-2602

Post Root Canal Therapy Instructions

   1 Do not eat or drink anything for half an hour after your treatment. Do not try to feel around your tooth with your tongue. You have a temporary filling in the tooth and it takes about half an hour to harden.

    2.  Take an analgesic medication for pain relief within one hour of leaving our office to allow the medication to be effective before the anesthesia administered begins to subside. Generally only a single dose is required; however, some people may require pain relieving medication over the next several days.

             ◦    Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) 400-800mg every 6 hours (not to exceed 3200mg/day) is recommend for patients able to take non-steroidal  

                   anti-inflammatory medication, or aspirin.
             ◦    For those unable to take ibuprofen, non-steroidal medications, or aspirin, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) 1000mg every 8 hours (not to  

                   exceed 3000mg/day).
             ◦    The doctor may prescribe a prescription pain reliever and/or antibiotic for your use and will advise you on the appropriate use of these


    3.  You need to have a permanent filling or a crown placed on your tooth within one month of the root canal. It is essential for you to follow up with your general dentist to complete this. If this is not done, the tooth is very likely to fracture or to develop new decay underneath the temporary filling which may cause your root canal to fail.

    4.  Try to avoid using the affected tooth for chewing until your permanent filing is placed. This is especially important with hard foods such as nuts, pretzels, or ice.

    5.  Some minor discomfort in the area is normal following the root canal. The discomfort may last just 2-3 days, but the tooth and surrounding tissue may remain sore for a couple of weeks.

    6.  You may floss and brush your tooth as normal, unless instructed otherwise by the doctor.

Post-Operative Surgical Instructions

1.  Initially, place an ice pack over the surgical site for nearly 30 minutes. In order to minimize swelling, continue to apply ice packs every half hour for 15 minutes at a time during the first 6 hours after surgery (15 minutes on then 15 minutes off). A package of frozen vegetables can also serve as an ice pack as it will mold to the shape of your face. Be sure to cover the ice packs with paper or cloth.

    2.  Swelling may occur after surgery and is completely normal. It may begin 24 hours after surgery then increase for 48 hours, then gradually subside. Sleep with your head in an elevated position for the first couple nights after surgery.

    3.  For minor discomfort, ideally use Ibuprofen 600-800 mg, if not allergic to it, every 4-6 hours. For discomfort of a more intense nature, use the prescription provided for you. Antibiotics and any other medications prescribed must be taken as directed.

    4.  During the first 24 hours after surgery rinse only very gently, when you brush your other teeth. 24 hours after surgery you may rinse after each meal or snack and before retiring at night. Use one half ounce, approximately one teaspoon. Continue this for approximately 10 days. 

    5.  Keep food away from the surgical site. It is important to maintaining proper nourishment. Stick to a soft food diet for the day of and day after surgery.

    6.  Avoid hot fluids while “numb” as this may burn your mouth. Warm foods may be taken once the anesthetic has worn off.

    7.  Refrain from smoking during the first 48 hours as well as minimizing its frequency during the healing phase. No strenuous exercise for 48 hours after surgery. Please do not drink alcoholic beverages while taking prescribed medications.

    8.  Keep talking and facial movements to a minimum during the first day and refrain from lifting your lip in order to look at the surgical site until the sutures are removed.

    9.  Maintain your normal oral hygiene program of brushing and flossing, except in the surgical site until your post surgical visit. Please use the Chlorhexidine rinse prescribed 2-4 times per day.

  10.  Please contact our office if you have a concern at (503)861-2602, or the doctor at (503)708-9991. It would be very unlikely not to be able to reach the doctor, but if you cannot, please contact a physician or the emergency room. Again, very unlikely.

Note: If your sinus was involved during surgery (the doctor and staff will inform you) please refrain from blowing your nose. Please use a nasal decongestant spray to prevent congestion. It is not unusual in these cases to see some bleeding through the nose. It will subside within 48 hours. If excessive bleeding is seen, please inform the office.