Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, most of the time the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A permanent restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please call your general dentist for an appointment. A complete report of your endodontic treatment will be sent to your dentist. Included in your treatment is a follow-up examination, in approximately 6-12 months time, to evaluate the progress of healing. This appointment will require only a few minutes and no additional fee will be charged for the visit. We will send you an e-mail for this follow up appointment but if there is pain or if you have questions please call for an appointment anytime.
Your tooth is more prone to fracture immediately after endodontic treatment. You should chew on the other side until your dentist has placed a permanent restoration (usually a build-up and a crown). Your dentist and Dr. Bauman will determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth.
What Should I Do About Pain After Treatment?
It is not uncommon to have some discomfort following root canal therapy. Not all teeth are created equal and some conditions are more prone to pain following treatment than others. Studies have shown that the biggest predictor of pain following root canal therapy is pain before treatment. Often there is damage in the bone around the tooth and this takes time to heal. Most patients respond well to a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil). We would recommend starting with 600mg (that would be 3 over the counter pills which are usually 200mg each) of Advil after the procedure and then two extra-strength Tylenol (500 mg each) about three hours later. You can continue to alternate these two medications every 3 hours for the first day. If this does not seem to help, please call Dr. Bauman at 801-590-8687.
Are There Any Potential Problems After Treatment?
Lower teeth and nerve injury. There is a slight possibility that nerve injury can occur during root canal surgery to the lower posterior teeth. Dr. Bauman is trained to assess this possibility prior to treatment and will advise you accordingly. For lower posterior teeth, the root tips may be near a nerve that supplies feeling to the lip, chin and gums. Dr. Bauman is trained to design your surgery to minimize the chances of damaging this nerve. Rarely, this nerve can become irritated during the process of surgery. In these cases, when the local anesthesia wears off, you may experience tingling, altered sensation or, in rare cases a complete lack of feeling in the affected tissues. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve over a period of days, weeks or months. In rare cases, these changes can be permanent and/or painful.
Upper teeth and sinus communication. The upper teeth are situated near your sinuses, and root canal surgery can result in a communication between your mouth and the adjacent sinus. Should this complication occur, it will usually heal spontaneously. We will give you special instructions if this is apparent at the time of surgery. We prefer that you don’t blow your nose for two to three days after surgery. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. You should not create any pressure in the sinus area. If you sense a complication after surgery, please contact us.
Post-operative infections. Post-operative infections occasionally occur. This usually requires just an office visit and examination. Many times placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection. Occasionally, other follow-up procedures will be needed.