Post-Op Instructions



General Guidelines for all procedures:

Specific guidelines may vary by doctor and the particular treatment they provide. Please be sure to follow their instructions for your after treatment care. Following your root canal, you will need to visit your dentist for a crown.

Do not chew on hard, sticky or chewy foods for a least 24 hours. Never chew on ice. Avoid aggressive chewing and sticky foods such as “hard tack” candies that can loosen or damage a restoration. Carefully follow all guidelines provided by the doctor and their staff and most importantly practice good oral hygiene. Additional instructions following various types of treatment are listed below. Please click on the below topics for detailed instructions. In the event of an emergency, please call our office. If you are experiencing a serious or life threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.


Thank you for selecting us for your root canal therapy.  Please follow the guidelines below and contact us with any questions.

  1. For the next 30 minutes, do not eat or drink anything.  You have a temporary filling that takes about 1/2 hour to harden.  Please do not feel around your tooth with your tongue.
  2. If any prescriptions were given, please have them filled promptly.  If no prescriptions were given and you are not allergic, you may use any ibuprofen type of medication such as Motrin or Advil, 3 tablets (600mg) every 6-8 hours as needed for discomfort and alleviation of swelling.  Alternatively, you may use Tylenol, 1000mg every 6-8 hours as needed.  Do not exceed the guidelines printed on the label for any medication.  If you are unable to achieve adequate pain control, please call our office.
  3. You may find using an ice pack on the affected area helpful.  Please do not apply ice directly to the skin, have a cloth between the ice and skin at all times.  You may apply the ice for up to 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for the next 6-8 hours as needed.
  4. Once you begin to eat and drink, avoid chewing or biting on the area worked on until your permanent restoration is in place.  The area may be more sensitive due to swelling. The temporary in place is a soft composite that is vulnerable to fracturing (cracking) with hard substances such as peanuts, pretzels, hard candy, ice cubes, etc.  You will need to see a restorative dentist within a month to have a permanent crown placed.  Please contact your restorative dentist to make an appointment at your earliest convenience.  Waiting longer than a month increases the chances that the temporary will fracture and/or decay will develop, in which case, you are at fault and will be responsible for all costs to have it redone.
  5. Please keep the area worked on clean by gently brushing the area and flossing regularly.
  6. It is rare for a temporary filling to fall out although it may divot while in use.  If the temporary falls out please contact your general dentist as soon as possible.  If your temporary falls out after office hours you may purchase some temporary filling material from a pharmacy and follow the included instructions.
  7. Some discomfort is normal for 2 to 4 days following the treatment.  In some cases the tooth and surrounding tissue may be sore for a few weeks following the treatment.
  8. Normal brushing and flossing are okay, unless otherwise specified by your doctor. Follow any other instructions provided by the office on your visit. Please take all medications as prescribed.

THIS SECTION IS VERY IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

While flare-ups are rare, they occur in about 5% of cases and cause significant pain.  They occur with teeth that are extremely irritated and/or infected or with teeth that have a history of prior treatment.  These sometimes occur randomly, even on patients that have had root canals done in the past without problems.  If you have a flare-up you may experience moderate to severe pain, swelling, throbbing or general discomfort; please contact our office.  You may be prescribed additional medication such as antibiotics and/or you may be asked to come to the office for further treatment.  Should you experience any of these symptoms, please contact the office, even after hours.

Crowns may take one to three visits to complete. The dentist will inform you of your treatment options and the time needed to complete the procedure. You may have some sensitivity following treatment with tenderness around the gum and tooth for a day or two. If the tenderness or sensitivity lasts longer than this please contact our office. If anesthesia is used, avoid chewing, biting, and eating until the numbness has worn off. If you have a temporary placed eat softer foods and avoid foods that are particularly crunchy, chewy or hard. If the temporary restorations become loose or break, please call us immediately. Carefully clean around the restoration, brushing and flossing daily. When flossing, take extra care not to loosen the temporary restoration by removing the floss too roughly. You can slowly thread the floss out by one end if necessary to avoid too much pressure on the temporary. Once your final restoration has been placed avoid chewing on hard, crunchy or sticky foods for 24 hours in order to give time for the cement to fully bond. Mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods is not unusual and should dissipate after a few weeks. If sensitivity lasts more than six weeks please let the office know, although this happens infrequently. Ongoing care for your restoration includes brushing your teeth after every meal and snack, and flossing at least once a day before bedtime. Rinsing your mouth with water or mouthwash with also help to remove any additional particles that may have been missed during brushing and flossing. Please call our office if you are in pain or have any questions regarding your treatment.