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Root Canal Treatment

root canalYou just had a Root Canal Treatment to remove decay that has or will kill your tooth/teeth. Please observe the following cautions and general guidelines.

  • Anesthetic Effects: Your anesthetic may last several hours. Please be careful not to bite your lips, cheeks or tongue while they are numb.
  • Soreness & Sensitivity: Soreness is to be expected – both with your gums and with the tooth itself. Don’t worry about mild sensitivity to hot or cold foods or to pressure as this sensitivity will disappear gradually over a few weeks. Please notify us if you have long term sensitivity or sensitivity that lingers for some time after you swallow. Sometimes sensitivity may go away after the crown is placed.
  • Swelling: You may experience swelling. If you experience swelling, call our office as an antibiotic or steroid may be necessary. In complicated cases, pain medication may be necessary.
  • Diet: Eat a softer diet or chew on the opposite side until the definitive filling or the crown is placed- this should be completed as soon as possible. If your tooth breaks, it may have to be crowned right away or may need to be taken out if it is non- restorable.
  • Chewing: Do not chew hard foods on the restorations as they may fracture. Also, if you discover you are clenching or grinding your teeth, please inform us as we will arrange for a custom occlusal guard (i.e., Nightguard) to be fabricated. If you feel your bite does not adjust on its own in the next week, please call for an adjustment appointment.
  • Brushing and Flossing: Brush and floss after eating and before bedtime. Brush with an ultra-soft toothbrush at least two times a day. Floss at least once a day, preferably before bedtime. Use an electric toothbrush (such as SoniCare or Oral B).
  • Rinsing: Use a fluoride rinse or non-alcoholic mouthwash. Swish vigorously for at least 30 seconds daily. Sodium fluoride is the only home fluoride that should be used. Certain mouthwash from brands such as Crest Pro-Health or Biotene do not contain alcohol. Alcohol softens bonding and weakens the bond of porcelain.
  • Habits: Try your best to stop the habit of using your teeth to open, nail biting, chewing hard and cold ice, biting thread, or even pipe smoking. Definitely avoid directly biting into hard food like ribs, candy, nuts, or hard bread and rolls since this puts stress on your treated teeth can result in a fracture. Be aware that certain foods like spare ribs, corn on the cob, apples and carrots can also put added stress on bonded teeth and possibly increase the need for repairs. However, most kinds of sandwiches are not a problem.



Please contact our Saratoga dental office if you are concerned about any symptoms, have increasing pain or experience any swelling.

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