Post treatment discomfort
If your tooth was ‘alive’ or ‘vital’ at treatment time, then you will probably have no more than mild discomfort and may need little more than an ibuprofen post treatment.  If your tooth was ‘infected’ or ‘abscessed’ you may require more extensive care and should attend to the doctor’s instructions carefully for post treatment care.  Please do not chew food on the affected side until your endodontic therapy is completed and your tooth is then covered with a protective restoration provided by your restorative dentist. When you leave our office, the tooth usually has a soft temporary restoration that may come out if you chew on it, but is placed there so your general dentist can easily access and place a permanent restoration.  You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen.

NOTE:  Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications. Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the instructions given at the office, or should swelling develop, please contact this office immediately. The office telephone is answered day and night. If you need to call after hours, please have your pharmacy number available.

Will the treatment be painful?
Generally, the area surrounding the root canal site will remain numb for 4 to 10 hours. Most discomfort following any procedure goes away after 24 hours. Standard precautions should be taken for the quickest recovery. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is available with advance request.  Please discontinue any pain medication including NSAIDS and narcotics for at lease 6 hours prior to treatment but Continue all other medications for blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems and any other conditions as recommended by your physician. NSAIDS (Advil, tylenol, etc.) and narcotics will severely interfere with our ability to diagnose many conditions.  If there is a question, please call our office prior to your appointment.  If you have been advised by your physician or dentist to use antibiotic pre-medication because of mitral valve prolapse (MVP), heart murmur, hip, knee, cardiac or other prosthesis, or if you have rheumatic heart disease, please make sure you are on the appropriate antibiotic on the day of your appointment. Please inform our staff of any existing medical conditions prior to the beginning of any procedure. If you have any questions, please call our office prior to your appointment.  This procedure will be performed using local anesthesia, much like having a cavity removed and a filling placed, and make the procedures essentially painless and very comfortable.

Will I need to return to your office for follow-ups after the procedure is finished?
If your treatment was unusual or abscessed we may recommend a short or long term follow up.  Damage to bone from an abscess may heal quickly but take up to 2 years for the body to repair damage to the bone.  Our office will send a reminder notice to you when you are due for a recall appointment.

Will I be able to drive after my appointment
YES, unless you have taken or requested medication that will interfere with your ability to drive.  Most patients return to work or other routine activities following treatment in our office.  You may wish to have an escort accompany you to your appointment though an escort is not routinely required.  Our staff will be happy to discuss your expected recovery time with you before and after the procedure.  Sorry, but if you were unable to drive before treatment, having a root canal will not license or give you the ability to drive.  Yes, that was a little humor.

What should I expect after an endodontic therapy
Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be slightly tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment and previous condition of your tooth. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm. Do not chew food on the affected side until your endodontic therapy is completed and your tooth is covered with a protective restoration provided by your restorative dentist. You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen. Discomfort may be alleviated by taking ibuprofen (Advil), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed.

NOTE:  Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications. Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above listed medications, or should swelling develop, please contact this office immediately. The office telephone is answered day and night. If you need to call after hours, please have your pharmacy number available.