Important Information Following Endodontic (Root Canal) Treatment
A root canal treatment, also called endodontic therapy, is performed to remove infected tissue from within a tooth and to preserve as much of a patient’s natural dentition as is possible. Proper aftercare following endodontic treatment helps to ensure success of the therapy, and it can help to eliminate the pain so many often associate with this procedure.
What to Expect After Root Canal Therapy
The duration of your root canal therapy highly depends on the status of your oral health and the severity of the damage caused by the infection. Endodontic treatment may require between one and three appointments to completely remove infected tissue from all canals affected. It is possible to experience any of the following symptoms after any one of these appointments:
- Sensitivity to hot and/or cold
- Sensitivity to pressure
- Possible swelling
It is difficult to predict which symptoms, if any, you may experience and to what extent. In complicated cases, prescription pain medicine may be necessary. Other remedies for pain include the use of a cold compress on the outside of the cheek near the area and over-the-counter pain remedies like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Always consult Dr. Huang before taking any medication directly before or after your endodontic procedure.
If you experience painful swelling following endodontic treatment, please call our office as soon as possible. Excessive inflammation may be an indicator of infection, and it may be necessary to prescribe an antibiotic for you.
Caring for Your Tooth between Visits
A temporary filling may be used to seal the tooth between visits. This type of filling is used to seal the root canal area until the final restoration - usually a crown - can be placed. The temporary filling is soft and may become easily chipped. If you believe the filling has been severely broken or lost, call our office. Be extremely gentle on the tooth while eating until the final restoration is placed.
During endodontic treatment the nerve, blood, and nutrient supply is removed. This will cause the tooth to become very brittle and prone to fracturing which can result in the need to extract the tooth. In many cases, a full coverage crown restoration (cap) may be needed to prevent this from happening.
If Dr. Huang has recommended that a crown be placed on a tooth that you have had endodontically treated, it is necessary to have this procedure performed very soon after your root canal therapy has been completed. In the meantime, it is strongly recommended that you adhere to the customized aftercare instructions provided at the end of your appointment. This will aid in promoting successful treatment and a more comfortable recovery period.
As always, we are here to answer your questions and address your concerns regarding any of our restorative, cosmetic, or general dentistry services. Our state-of-the-art dental practice in Cupertino, CA warmly welcomes patients from throughout the surrounding areas, including Saratoga, Sunnyvale, Campbell, Santa Clara, and more.