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Patient Information

Treatment & Care Instructions

Before Your Treatment

In an endodontic treatment procedure with local anesthesia, there are usually no restrictions after the procedure concerning driving or returning to work.

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Continue all medications for blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems and any other conditions as recommended by your physician. If there is a question, please call our office prior to your appointment.

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Please eat a full breakfast or lunch as applicable.

If you have been advised by your physician or dentist to use antibiotic premedication because of mitral valve prolapse (MVP), heart murmur, hip, knee, cardiac or other prosthesis, or if you have rheumatic heart disease, please make sure you are on the appropriate antibiotic the day of your appointment. If there is a question, please call our office prior to your appointment.

If you can take ibuprofen (Advil), it does help reduce inflammation when taken pre-operatively. We recommend3 tablets 2-4 hours before endodontic therapy. This should only be done if you are not currently taking other anti-inflammatory medications.

Home Care Instructions

Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be slightly tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment and the previous condition of your tooth. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm. 

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Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any prescribed medications. Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled by Ibuprofen (Advil) or should swelling develop, please contact this office immediately.

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If you have seen Dr. Slaton or Dr. K previously and have an emergency after hours please use the phone number you were given at the time of your treatment. If you need to call after hours, please have your pharmacy number available.

After Completion of Endodontic Treatment

Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A follow-up restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please telephone your restorative dentist for an appointment. A complete report of treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. Included in your treatment is a follow-up examination to evaluate the progress of healing. This appointment will require only a few minutes and no additional fee will be charged for the first check-up visit. Please call for an appointment during the following month.

Your tooth is more prone to fracture immediately after endodontic treatment. You should chew on the other side until your restorative dentist has placed a core build-up and a protective restoration, usually a crown. If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, your restorative dentist may place a post and core build-up inside the tooth. Your restorative dentist will determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth.

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 on the lower posterior teeth (back teeth). Your endodontist 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. Your endodontist 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. Should this happen Dr. Slaton will need to see you in the office for an examination and to prescribe the appropriate therapy. Many times placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection. Occasionally, other follow-up procedures will be needed.