You should feel much better if you recently had root canal therapy. A root canal is not the source of pain, contrary to popular belief, but rather the process of cleaning out an infection in a tooth’s hollow roots. In the case of a cracked tooth, dental decay that remains untreated, or the presence of periodontal bacteria in the roots after a dental procedure, this procedure becomes necessary.
In the event that a root canal is required, it is helpful to know in advance what steps you need to take following the procedure. In dentistry, this procedure is one of the most successful, with a 95% positive outcome, especially when performed by an endodontist who has the necessary training, experience, and specialized equipment and tools. Usually, the only pain remaining after surgery will be when the anesthetic wears off, which can usually be managed with ibuprofen or naproxen (cold packs can reduce swelling during the first day). You should avoid eating for several hours after treatment and chewing on or biting on the treated tooth for two days following treatment.
It is a major challenge even for endodontists to detect every part of the canals that might harbor infection using a microscope, and, on occasion, something may remain. It is possible for cracks to be so small that they do not appear on an X-ray. In rare cases, the seal over the cleaned-out root may break or the crown placed on top may chip. The following symptoms may indicate that healing has been disrupted: pain lasting more than three days, increased sensitivity to touch, darkening at the gum line and below, swelling of the gums around the affected tooth, or discharge from the gums around the tooth. Contact us immediately if any of these things occur.
In case a crown or filling was not placed over the tooth during the root canal procedure, be sure to have it done as soon as possible. Your endodontist filled the roots with a neutral material, so they are not at high risk of reinfection, but it is better to provide that extra layer of protection now rather than later.
It is important to prevent further infections for all your teeth, so brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes (stroking with soft bristles from the bottom to the top on both sides) and floss twice a day. Please contact our endodontic office if you would like more information or to schedule an appointment.