Endodontic Associates, P.A.

Post-Op Instructions

Post-Op Instructions
  • It is important to realize that your tooth is not “dead” following root canal therapy. Our treatment takes place inside the tooth. The outer portions of the tooth, including the ligament that holds the tooth into its socket and the surrounding bone, remain alive. Not only were these tissues inflamed and possibly infected prior to treatment, but they became more inflamed as a result of your treatment. Inflammation is the body’s mechanism responsible for causing pain. If you allow inflammation to go unchecked, you are more likely to experience pain following treatment. Ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin, etc.) is a very good anti-inflammatory agent; aspirin is less effective, and Tylenol is the least effective. Assuming there are no allergies, we recommend that patients take 400mg-600mg of Ibuprofen as soon as possible after your appointment. An additional 400mg-600mg can be taken every 6 hours until your tooth is comfortable. Do not exceed 3200mg in a 24hr period.
  • The most common complaint following root canal therapy is “my tooth hurts when I chew on it”. For the reasons noted above, you should expect your tooth to be sore if you try to use it for several days following RCT. Furthermore, you most likely have a temporary filling in your tooth. This filling is not meant to withstand chewing forces and will wear under use. If your root canal was not done through an existing crown, your tooth may be weakened and more prone to fracture until it is permanently restored. It is in your best interest not to chew on or play with your root canal treated tooth. Finally, your tooth may feel like it is hitting before your other teeth. If this seems to be the problem, please call our office. A quick bite adjustment can provide almost instant relief.
  • When you leave our office you will most likely still be numb. It is important that you be careful when eating or drinking as you could bite your lip, scald your mouth, or crack your tooth with excessive chewing force. Furthermore, the filling in your tooth (temporary or permanent) may not be entirely hard by the time you exit. Thus we recommend that you avoid chewing with your tooth while you are numb.
  • As you have seen elsewhere in our literature, root canal therapy should not generate an intolerable amount of pain. Over the counter medications (Ibuprofen, etc) are usually more than adequate to manage post-operative discomfort. However, infection is always a risk. If you feel that you are experiencing an inordinate amount of pain or swelling following treatment, please contact our office so that we can take appropriate measures. If a prescription medication has been recommended (antibiotic, etc.) it is important that you take this medication as directed.
  • Take medication for pain as needed, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) 400-800mg every 6 hours is recommended for patients able to tolerate non-steriodal anti-inflammatories. Any pain medications prescribed should be taken in addition to ibuprofen.
  • If an antibiotic such as penicillin is prescribed, it is to be taken until it is gone.
  • Do not brush the day of the procedure. Use any prescribed mouth rinses as directed. Starting the day after surgery, brush as normal EXCEPT for the surgical area. Brushing of this area should be very gentle for three days following the procedure.
  • Eat and drink as normal.
  • Do not attempt to inspect the surgical site; doing so may cause the sutures to come out prematurely.
  • Expect some swelling and possibly facial discoloration in the days following the procedure.
  • If you have any problems or questions, please do not hesitate to call our office.

Portland Office


Biddeford Office


Auburn Office


Brunswick Office