Root canal therapy often takes one or more appointments to complete, depending on the severity of infection. At the start of treatment, your dentist may isolate the tooth with a rubber dam to prevent salivary contamination of the canal system and to protect you from the irrigants used during the procedure. A temporary filling or crown is placed to protect the tooth between appointments.
After each appointment when anesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off.
If the tooth was asymptomatic to start with, there are usually no flare-ups between appointments. But if you came in with a severe toothache or swelling, it will take time to heal and flare-ups will be expected.
Between appointments, it is common for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off. You may have a bad taste in your mouth. If the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, call us so that it can be replaced.
It is normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment, especially when chewing. To control discomfort, take pain medication as recommended. To further reduce pain and swelling, rinse three times a day with warm salt water.
If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them as prescribed, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone. Since the tooth is very fragile following treatment, avoid eating sticky and hard foods. Avoid chewing on the treated side until a permanent crown is placed. The permanent crown will protect the tooth from breaking in the future.