Post Operative Instructions


Thank you for selecting us to perform your root canal therapy.  Please follow the guidelines below and contact us with any questions.

  1. For the next 30 minutes, do not eat or drink anything.  We have placed a temporary filling that takes about ½ hour to harden.  Please do not feel around your tooth with your tongue.
  2. If any prescriptions were given, please have them filled promptly.  If no prescriptions were provided, you may use any ibuprofen type of medication, such as Motrin or Advil (600-800mg), every 6-8 hours as needed for discomfort, so long as you are not allergic.  Alternatively, you may use Tylenol, 1000mg, every 6-8 hours as needed.  Do not exceed the guidelines printed on the label for any medication.  If you are unable to achieve adequate pain control, please call our office.
  3. You may find using an ice pack to the affected area helpful.   Please do not apply ice directly to the skin; place a cloth between the ice and skin at all times.  You may apply the ice for up to 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off, for the next 6-8 hours as needed.
  4. Once you begin to eat and drink, avoid chewing on the treated tooth until the permanent restoration has been placed by your general dentist.  You will need to return to your dentist within 2-4 weeks to have the work completed.  Please contact your dentist to make an appointment at your earliest convenience.  Waiting longer than a month increases the chances that the temporary will either fracture, or develop decay.  Should this occur, you will be responsible for all costs to have this work redone.
  5. Please keep the area worked on clean by gently brushing the area and flossing regularly.
  6. It is rare for the temporary to fall out, although it may divot while in use.  If the temporary falls out, please contact your general dentist as soon as possible.  If this should occur after office hours, you may purchase some temporary filling material from most pharmacies and follow the included instructions.
  7. Some discomfort following the root canal is normal for 2 to 4 days after the treatment.  In some cases, there may be some soreness of the tooth and surrounding tissues for a few weeks after treatment.
  8. Normal brushing and flossing are okay, unless otherwise specified by your doctor.


While flare-ups are rare, they may occur in about 5% of the cases and cause significant pain.  They mostly occur with teeth that are extremely irritated and/ or infected, or with teeth that have a history of prior treatment. These issues may occur randomly, even on patients who have had root canals done in the past without problems.   If you have a flare-up, you may experience moderate to severe pain, swelling, throbbing or general discomfort.  In this event, please contact our office.  You may be prescribed additional medication, such as antibiotics, and/or you may be asked to come to the office for further treatment.


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