Treatment Instructions

General Instructions:

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 protective 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. The office telephone is answered day and night. If you need to call after hours, please have your pharmacy number available.

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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. We may need to have a follow-up examination to evaluate the progress of healing. This appointment will require only a few minutes and no additional fee will be charged for the first check-up visit. Please call for an appointment once you receive your post card in the mail.

Experiencing soreness for a day or two after treatment is considered normal.

Two to four Ibuprofen, one to two Aleve, two Tylenol or two Aspirin every 3-4 hours will usually relieve this situation. Soaking the area with 1/4 teaspoon of table salt in 8 oz. of comfortably hot water will usually be helpful.

The tooth opening through which root canal treatment was done has been sealed with a temporary filling. Arrange to see your family dentist within the next few weeks to have the tooth permanently restored.

Usually, previous decay and or fillings have weakened the endodontically treated tooth. It is often necessary for this tooth to receive additional protection in the form of a full coverage restoration (onlay or crown). Your family dentist is best qualified to determine how to restore your tooth. A letter and a radiograph are being sent to your dentist, informing him that treatment has been completed.

If any questions or difficulties arise concerning your treatment, please do not hesitate to call.

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Before Surgery

  • Take your prescribed medications if necessary.
  • Take Vitamin C 1000mg. 3 times a day starting two days prior to your appointment. Continue for one week. This helps reduce the bruising and aids in the healing of the surgical area
  • Refrain from taking aspirin starting 10 days prior your appointment. Aspirin will induce bleeding.
  • Eat normally prior to your appointment since this procedure is done with local anesthesia. You will probably not feel like eating after the procedure.
  • We will not use general anesthesia therefore you may or may not want to be accompanied by another adult. Use your own judgment.
  • The average surgical procedure may take anywhere from one half an hour to two hours depending on what procedure is being done. Every case is different. We will do our best to inform you as to the length of your procedure.
  • If you have any questions that arise that we have not answered, do not hesitate to call our office any time to clarify any questions.
  • We will do our best to make this a pleasant and painless experience for you.

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What to expect after surgery

Some degree of pain and swelling are considered normal. Skin discoloration may also be experienced. Maximum swelling will occur between 2-3 days after the procedure.

It is important that these instructions are followed to allow uncomplicated and rapid healing.

Day 1

  • Apply an ice pack to the face over the operated area 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off until bedtime in order to keep swelling to a minimum. A bag of frozen peas placed in ziplock bags works well.
  • Do not retract your lip with your fingers to inspect the treated area. The operated area should be treated with special care.
  • Rest for the entire day. Do not exercise for one to two days.
  • Stay on a soft diet and avoid hot liquids for the first 48 hours. Use your own judgment after this period, but avoid hard chewy foods until your next visit.
  • Refrain from brushing your teeth.
  • Refrain from rinsing your mouth even after meals.
  • Refrain from smoking if possible. Smoking delays the healing process.
  • Elevate your head on a few pillows while sleeping. This will help keep the swelling to a minimum.
  • Take medications as prescribed.

Day 2-7

  • Discontinue the applications of ice to you face.
  • Begin to rinse the treated area with warm salt water 5-8 times daily. Use about1/8 teaspoon of salt to 8oz.of warm water. Make sure you soak the area each time for about 5 minutes.
  • Brushing your teeth is allowed except for the area that was treated surgically. You may also rinse your mouth after brushing and after meals to keep the surgical area clean.
  • Get plenty rest and insure normal intake of food, especially liquids such as fruit juices, soups and milk.
  • If a periodontal pack was placed over the surgical area-Do not disturb it. However, if it becomes loose and uncomfortable call the office at once.
  • Take medications as prescribed.

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