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Maria Bryan, DDS Root Canal Therapy Endodontics Kingsport TN and Greeneville Tennessee
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What you should know following treatment

Following Root Canal Therapy or Root Canal Retreatment:

Your root canal treatment is now complete. The next step is to return to your general dentist for replacement of the temporary filling with a permanent restoration. The permanent restoration may consist of a filling, a post and core buildup, or a full coverage restoration such as a crown. This is essential to protect the root canal system from recontamination.

  • Caution with numbness - eating or drinking before the anesthesia wears off could result in cheek biting, tongue biting, or burns.

  • Pain - Discomfort following treatment is usually minor and limited to the gum tissues. Warm salt water rinses and ibuprofen or acetaminophen will provide relief. This usually resolves within 24-48 hours. Prescription pain medication may be alternated with ibuprofen or acetaminophen every 3 hours for greater relief.

  • Eating - Avoid hard food such as pretzels, peanuts, hard rolls or hard candy until your permanent restoration is in place. Many teeth undergoing root canal treatment are already weakened from cracks, decay or extensive fillings and they may break very easily and very inconveniently.

  • Brushing - Continue normal brushing 3-4 times daily. Use gentle strokes around the affected tooth if the gum tissue is tender.

  • Antibiotics - Antibiotics are not indicated for all root canal cases. However, it is important to completely finish any antibiotic prescription given in order to avoid developing resistance and to prevent the recurrence of the infection. Discontinue antibiotics only if complications occur.

  • Questions - Swelling, fever or pain not relieved by ibuprofen should be reported to Dr. Bryan immediately. Please feel free to call our office should you have any questions or concerns regarding your root canal therapy.

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Following Surgical Endodontics (Apicoectomy):

  1. Do not lift or pull on lips. This may cause tearing out of the sutures.
  2. Some swelling and discoloration is normal and will gradually disappear.
  3. To minimize swelling, use ice pack application on the face, over the operated area. The pack should be used - on for 20 minutes, off for 10 minutes - and should be continued during the first day only.
  4. Starting tomorrow, rinse with warm salt water (one teaspoon to 8 oz. of warm water), as often as possible. Continue this rinsing for one week.
  5. Eat foods that will be nourishing but will not require vigorous chewing the first few days, i.e., eggs, soups, milk shakes, etc.
  6. Slight bleeding, pain or swelling, during the first couple of days, is normal.
  7. Brush your teeth, being extremely careful in the operated area. Diluted mouthwash may be used the third day after surgery.
  8. For pain - ibuprofen is recommended. Follow the instruction of your doctor concerning your medication(s).
  9. If there is an elevated temperature, excessive bleeding, swelling or uncontrolled discomfort, please call the office.
  10. There will be at least two follow-up appointments. The first follow-up will be in a few days to have your sutures removed. The second appointment will be after a few weeks, so that we may evaluate the soft tissue (gum) healing. Additional follow-up appointments may be necessary.
  11. We routinely like to perform a follow-up exam at least six months after the treatment. We want to evaluate the treatment outcome, be sure that you have regained normal function with the tooth, and determine the presence of bone healing.

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©Copyright 2003 - Dental WebSmith, Inc. and Maria Wyche Bryan, DDS. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: The information provided within is intended to help you better understand dental conditions and procedures. It is not meant to serve as delivery of medical or dental care. If you have specific questions or concerns, contact your health care provider.

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