Post-Operative Instructions After Your Root Canal Therapy is Complete


Thank you for visiting us today. We hope your experience was pleasant and exceeded all expectations!

The temporary filling we placed (per your general dentist’s instructions) will not permanently protect your tooth from reinfection or fracture. It is very important to call your general dentist office soon for an appointment to have your tooth definitively restored after root canal therapy. Please avoid eating anything chewy, sticky, hard or crunchy on this side of your mouth. Your temporary restoration may be rougher than your tooth previously and may have a slight indentation. If you look at the tooth and the filling is missing, it is NOT an emergency; simply contact your general dentist and the issue may be addressed. It is important that the tooth remains sealed. 

Guidelines for Post-Treatment Care

  • Avoid biting your cheek or tongue if you choose to eat prior to the numbness wearing off

  • Reduce chewing or biting on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist

  • Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as normal unless instructed by the dentist otherwise

It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area for a few days after your root canal therapy as your body undergoes the natural healing process. As a general rule, if you had discomfort prior to treatment then you should expect some discomfort after treatment. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms will decrease over time; it may take as much as a week or more. They usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

Contact our office if you develop:

  • Visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth

  • Allergic reaction to medication, including rash or hives

  • Severe pain lasting more than three days

  • Contact the clinic if you need to reschedule/cancel your next appointment

Taking Care of Your Tooth

Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. Chewing on the treated side of your mouth with only a temporary filling may result in tooth fracture. A proper restoration, often a crown, over the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success. This restoration should be completed as soon as possible following completion of your root canal to help prevent fracture, leakage and reinfection of the tooth. Contact your dentist as soon as possible to arrange your next appointment.

What the Future Holds

The tooth that has had appropriate endodontic treatment followed by a proper restoration can last as long as your other natural teeth. Before and after the tooth has been restored, it is important to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, regular checkups and cleanings.

Please call our office in one year for an x-ray of the tooth to ensure that healing has occurred. There is no fee for this service. Occasionally, a tooth that has undergone endodontic treatment does not heal or pain continues. At times, the tooth may become painful or diseased months or even years after successful treatment. Often when this occurs, performing another endodontic procedure may save the tooth.

Frederick office: (301) 663-0052                         

Hagerstown office: (301) 733-6077