The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned. The canal or canals have been sealed and nature must now have time to repair the damage the original irritant produced.
The goal of root canal treatment is to eliminate pain and/or infection. After treatment, there is sometimes inflammation of the tissues surrounding the tooth. It is normal to feel some tenderness in the area over the next few days as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping open for an extended period of time
These symptoms, if present, typically are very mild and are temporary. They usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medication. Taking an anti-inflammatory/pain reliever such as Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) usually controls discomfort. Tylenol, works well for patients that cannot take anti-inflammatory pain medications. Antibiotics are not usually prescribed after endodontic therapy unless you have signs of a systemic infection. Guidelines for post treatment care
Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting you cheek or tongue.
Avoid chewing on the treated tooth until it is permanently restored.
If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off or feel dipped in between appointments. However if you think the entire filling has come out please contact us.
Contact us if you develop any of the following:
A visible swelling inside or outside your mouth.
You are experiencing INCREASING discomfort after 72 hours
Your bite feels uneven
The above diagram illustrates this simple procedure. An incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone and surrounding inflamed tissue. The damaged tissue is removed along with the end of the root tip. A root-end filling is placed to prevent re-infection of the root and the gum is sutured. The bone naturally heals around the root over a period of months restoring full function.
Following the procedure, there may be some slight discomfort or tenderness while the incision heals. This is normal for any surgical procedure. To alleviate any discomfort, an appropriate pain medication will be recommended if needed.
With the appropriate care, teeth that have had endodontic treatment will last as long as other natural teeth. Yet, as occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure a tooth may not heal as expected. Sometimes, the pain may occur months or years after treatment. If so, Endodontic Retreatment may be needed. Whenever possible, it is best to save your natural tooth. Retreated teeth can function well for years, even for a lifetime
Improper healing or a failing root canal may be caused by:
- Curved or narrow canals were not treated during the initial treatment.
- Complicated canals went undetected during the initial treatment.
- Broken or separated instruments.
- Perforations through the root into surrounding tissues and bone.
- The crown or restoration was not placed within the appropriate amount of time following the procedure.
- The crown or restoration did not prevent saliva from contaminating the inside of the tooth.
In some cases, new problems can influence a tooth that was successfully treated:
- New decay can expose a root canal filling material, causing infection.
- A cracked or loose filling or crown can expose the tooth to new infection.
- A tooth sustains a fracture.
Retreatment usually involves reopening your tooth to gain access to the prior root canal filling material. This restorative material will be removed to enable access to the root canal. The canals will be cleaned and carefully examined. Once cleaned, the doctor will fill and seal the canals and place a temporary filling in the access opening. At this point, you will need to return to your dentist as soon as possible to have a new crown or restoration placed on the tooth to restore full functionality.
A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 15 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need of dental implants or bridges. By choosing endodontic treatment, you are choosing to keep your natural teeth as a healthy foundation for chewing and biting for years to come.
Root canal treatment is generally necessary when the pulp has been irreversibly damaged by bacteria associated with decay, very deep fillings, cracks, or trauma. In order to preserve a tooth in which this has occurred, it is necessary to remove the inflamed or infected pulp tissue. This procedure is known as ‘a root canal’ or ‘endodontic therapy.
At the center of your tooth is pulp. Pulp is a collection of blood vessels that helps to construct the surrounding tooth. Infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks and chips, or repeated dental procedures. Symptoms of the infection can be identified as visible injury or swelling of the tooth, sensitivity to temperature or pain in the tooth and gums.
If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend non-surgical root canal treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp. This injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one to two visits depending on the treatment required. Success for this type of treatment occurs in about over 94% of cases. If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.
When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. If a final restoration is required you should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office. Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth. It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery. If a problem does occur, however, please don’t hesitate to call us (714-799-2888).