After Completion of Endodontic Treatment

Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A follow-up restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please telephone your restorative dentist for an appointment. A complete report of treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist.  

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 core build-up and a protective restoration, usually a crown. If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, your endodontist or 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.

It is normal to experience some discomfort, tenderness, or different “new-to-you” sensations for several days to several weeks as a result of manipulation during treatment. Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until tenderness is gone. Even if you have had prior root canal treatment on the same tooth or a different tooth, please remember that each tooth is different and many factors play into each healing process.

If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and/or signs of infection are gone. Since medications are electronically prescribed, please allow at least 2 hours before arriving to your pharmacy.

We recommend taking Ibuprofen for any discomfort (if medically allowed), as well as using warm salt water rinses 2-3 times a day (one teaspoon per glass), and applying ice packs to the area for 10 minutes at a time with 20 minute breaks in between. 

In the unlikely event that pain or swelling should become severe, please call our office promptly.

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. Many times placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection.  Occasionally, other follow-up procedures will be needed.
An illustration showing an opening to the sinus
Opening to Sinus
An illustration showing air communication from the sinus
Air Communication From Sinus
An illustration showing a corrected sinus communication
Sinus Communication Corrected

If you have any questions, please call our office at Northlake Endodontics and Microsurgery Phone Number 504-832-2433