Care Instructions

Root Canal

After the first treatment:  Since your tooth (teeth) are not dead, it is not uncommon to experience some discomfort after the first treatment.  The tooth and its surrounding tissues may have been irritated by the infection that was present in the pulp.  The manipulation of the tooth and its supporting tissues during treatment may also produce minor irritation.

The tooth will feel much better in a day or two if you follow these suggestions:

  1. Rinsing the mouth with hot salt water solutions will help speed the healing process by stimulating circulation.  Use 1/2 teaspoon of ordinary table salt to one glass of hot water-as hot as you can comfortably hold in your mouth.  Repeat the rinsing every 3-4 hours until the tooth is comfortable.
  2. Try not to use the tooth in chewing.  Give nature time to help the healing.  AVOID sticky foods, gum, caramel etc.
  3. If slight swelling develops use the rises as above; also add cold packs to the outer surface of the face in the area treated.  This swelling, in general, is due to tissue sensitivity-not necessarily due to infection.
  4. If pain and swelling persist or become progressively worse- the temporary filling should be removed to allow for drainage.  This in no way affects the eventual healing of the tooth and its supporting tissues.

SUCCESS of treatment depends largely on keeping scheduled appointments!

If there are any other problems, please do not hesitate to call this office for advice or special care.


After completion of the root canal filling, the infection that was present in your tooth has been eliminated.  The canal or canals have been sealed to prevent reinfection.  Nature must now have time to repair the damage that the original infection produced.

The tooth may be slightly tender for several days.  To help reduce the tenderness, rinse your mouth with warm salt water: the warmer the better, until all tenderness is gone.


Although the root or roots are permanently sealed the outer surface is sealed with a “temporary” cement.  It is hard and may last for many weeks or months.  It is advisable to see your regular dentist as soon as you can to restore the tooth.  It is not wise to “wait a while and see”.  Healing will almost always take place.  A permanent restoration (filling, inlay or crown) will give the tooth more protection.  Most teeth which have been treated with root canal therapy require this additional protection since they have been “patched” many times before or may have been weakened by decay.



Prior to surgery

  • Do not take aspirin 7 days prior to appointment date.
  • It is ok to eat before your appointment.

What to do following surgery:

  1. After leaving this office, rest and avoid strenuous activities for the remainder of the day.
  2. If necessary take 1 or 2 aspirin, Advil, Tylenol, etc for the relief of discomfort.
  3. Apply an ice bag or cold compress to the outside of your face over the operated area.  Apply for 10 minutes, then remove for 5 minutes.  If time permits continue using cold applications several times during the day.  This will help keep swelling and discoloration to a minimum.
  4. Eat soft foods only for the first 24 hours.
  5. Avoid chewing in the operated area until the sutures dissolve or are removed.
  6. Brush gently in the operated area until the sutures are removed.
  7. Starting with the 2nd day: rinse mouth with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon to glass of warm water) after each meal and before bed.  Continue this rinsing until healing is complete.
  8. Avoid lifting or unnecessarily exercising your lip as it is possible to tear the sutures accidentally.  This will cause a delay in healing.

What to expect following surgery:

  1. Some discomfort will usually be present.  Severe pain seldom occurs.
  2. There will be some swelling and discoloration present for 3-5 days following surgery.  This is a normal part of the healing process.
  3. There is often a temporary loss of feeling in the operated area.
  4. The operated tooth may feel loose for a time.
  5. Sutures should dissolve within 3-5 days.

    Should any condition arise which causes you concern, please contact us or call our office at 206-575-1122.