Root Canal Post-op
Root canals, or an endodontic procedure is usually performed when the root system of the tooth has become infected. I use special instruments to clean out and remove the infection. Once this is complete, I seal off all of the canals with a material called Gutta Percha. It is an antimicrobial material designed to inhibit bacterial growth and allow the bone and surrounding tissue to heal up around the roots of the tooth. The chamber of the tooth, or crown portion, is filled with cotton and a temporary material called cavit. Depending upon how much tooth structure was damaged from decay or trauma, a core and crown are usually recommended about 2 weeks afterwards once we know the procedure was a success.
Root canal therapy is a surgical procedure and some discomfort and swelling may occur for a few days afterwards. This is normal. The swelling is usually internal and not immediately visible to the naked eye. Soreness of the area is a sign there is some swelling and care should be taken not to irritate the area any more than necessary. I usually prescribe medication for discomfort and antibiotics for infection if necessary.
A tooth that has had a root canal will become brittle over time and may fracture. A crown is the optimal procedure to protect it. It is advisable to get the crown done soon, usually with in the first two to four weeks afterwards.
Immediately after treatment, take all medication AS PRESCRIBED, especially the antibiotic. The soreness should go away within a few days. If the tooth fractures before your next appointment, please call and get in as soon as possible. If your temporary filling falls out you can purchase temporary filling at any drug store and place it in the area if you like. If not, we can take care of it at your next appointment. Usually, a temporary filling falling out is not an emergency.
Hot, cold and sweet should no longer bother the tooth but again some soreness of the area is normal.