Select a procedure below to view post-operative instructions. If you need post-op instructions for a procedure not listed, or if you have other questions not answered on our FAQ page, please contact the office using the number or e-mail address listed below.
Some post-op pain or sensitivity should be expected after a root canal. However, it varies with different patients. The ligament surrounding the tooth was most likely irritated and is now inflamed. This is the cause of the pain and it should decrease in intensity over time. It can take a couple of weeks to feel normal again so don’t be surprised.
Dr. Fellows will suggest some pain medication, most likely something over the counter, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol®. Follow his instructions closely. In some cases antibiotics will also be prescribed. Follow the instructions on the bottle closely and take them until they are gone even if the tooth stops hurting!
Unfortunately the rest is a waiting game. We have to wait until the body heals itself.
If the pain is getting worse or is unbearable, PLEASE CALL! We do not want you to be miserable, and will do whatever we can do to help.
If a final restoration was not placed be sure it is quickly done. The root canal will eventually re-infect and have to be redone. The can be time consuming and very expensive so don’t wait!
Don’t hesitate to call if you have any problems!
The gums surrounding the teeth in the area root planed will most likely be sensitive and sore. This should only last 1-2 days. If it persists longer, please call the office.
You can eat as soon as you leave the office as long as you feel comfortable. However, if something you eat hurts or becomes bothersome, don’t eat it! Wait until you are feeling back to normal.
If you are a smoker, we ask you not to smoke for 48 hours. If you choose to smoke within those 48 hours, be aware that the nicotine will slow the healing process considerably. You will also be much more susceptible to infections, dry sockets and many other complications—it might be a great time to quit!
If you would like, you may take Ibuprofen (i.e. Advil or Motrin) or Tylenol before the numbing wears off to dull the pain. If the pain becomes severe, please call the office.
Rinsing as often as possible with warm salt water, Listerine or Chlorahexadine will help.
We will need to see you in four weeks to evaluate the healing process. Regular cleaning visits at the recommended frequency will prevent the necessity to repeat these procedures.
Follow any other instructions from Dr. Fellows or your hygienist.
Dry sockets usually occur 4 days following an extraction. If you get one you will know it, the pain can be serious. The first sign is a sudden turn for the worse. Please call if this happens. Dry sockets can usually be remedied easily. Dry sockets usually can be avoided if the instructions below are followed.
- Do not rinse or swish for 24 hours. You need to let the clot form and strengthen inside the socket. You don’t want to wash it away by rinsing or spitting. After 24 hours you can rinse as many times as you would like with warm salt water or a mild mouth rinse. This will also help in the healing process.
- Do not suck on straws, cigarettes or anything else. This will drastically increase your chances of getting dry sockets. Milk shakes are great if eaten with a spoon.
- Smoking needs to be avoided as long as possible, but at least for 24 hours. It is very important not to smoke; first because you are sucking on something, secondly the nicotine slows down the healing process considerably. The longer it takes to heal the more pain you will be in. Dry sockets are much more likely if you smoke.
Hopefully the bleeding will have stopped by the time you leave the office. If it hasn't, don’t be alarmed; just keep pressure on the gauze that the assistant has given you it should stop. If it doesn't, biting on a black tea bag (covering the extraction site) will usually stop it.
For the next day or so try not to elevate your blood pressure by exercising or vigorous activity. Just like the weak area of a hose will burst if the water pressure is to high, so will the weak, healing vessels at the surgical sight if your blood pressure gets too high. If the bleeding persists, don’t hesitate to call the office.
You may eat whatever you are comfortable eating. Try to stay away from things like tortilla chips that can be shoved into the socket. Use your common sense and you will be fine.
If Dr. Fellows needed to suture the extraction site, the stitches should fall out in 7-10 days. Before then the loose ends will bug you a little. Try to leave them alone with your tongue.
If you have any questions of concerns, PLEASE call. We will do whatever we can to help the situation.
It is normal to have minor sensitivity; taking over-the-counter pain medication should help relieve this.
If the pain persists for longer than 24 hours give the office a call.
Your teeth are more susceptible to staining within the first 24 hours after whitening. Avoid eating or drinking things that stain. (Anything that will stain a white shirt will most likely stain your teeth i.e.; coffee, spaghetti sauce, grape juice etc.).