FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Toothache pain is the main reason that people seek endodontic therapy. Fortunately, modern anesthetics can make the procedure pain free in most cases. Seeking treatment early makes the procedure more comfortable, so don't wait. When caught early, treatment should feel no different than having a regular filling.
You can expect the area to be sore and tender, especially to biting pressure, for a few days following treatment. Most often an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), taken with acetaminophen (Tylenol) consistently for three to four days is enough to control the discomfort. Up to 600 milligrams of ibuprofen and 325 milligrams of acetaminophen can be taken together every eight hours. If ibuprofen cannot be taken, please take acetaminophen only. If a severe infection was present at the time of treatment, symptoms may take longer to subside. An antibiotic and stronger pain medication may be prescribed for you under such circumstances.
In the unlikely event that your pain becomes worse, or if you experience rapidly progressive swelling and lethargy, please contact the office immediately.
Avoid chewing on the tooth for the first few days after your appointment because this will cause discomfort. Once the area feels better, avoid chewing hard foods on the tooth until your dentist has placed the permanent restoration. Until the permanent restoration is placed, the tooth is at risk to fracture or decay, and may subsequently require extraction. You should have the permanent restoration placed within two to four weeks following completion of endodontic therapy to avoid these risks.
You can proceed with your normal routine immediately following treatment. Maintaining a regimen of anti-inflammatory medication after your treatment will help with any discomfort. If your pain and infection were severe, you may be prescribed a stronger pain medication. Do not drive or operate machinery while taking such medications.
Brush and floss your teeth like you normally would, even though the area will be tender for a few days.
We would like to assess the healing of your tooth six to twelve months after the procedure was finished. Our office will send a reminder notice to you when you are due for a recall appointment.
Please visit the website of the American Association of Endodontists at www.aae.org to learn more about the importance of saving teeth and endodontic therapy.