After Completion of Root Canal Treatment

Your root canal treatment is now complete.  It will take time to repair the irritated and inflamed tissues that support your tooth in the jawbone.  Your tooth will be tender to biting for the first few weeks, and you may notice a difference in biting for even a few months. 

You may eat and drink as soon as the numbness wears off.  There are no dietary restrictions.  However, do not bite or chew on your treated tooth until a permanent restoration (crown or filling) has been placed on your tooth.   Avoid chewing hard foods such as: ice, hard candy, or nuts, etc.  Continue brushing and cleaning your teeth as usual.

If your tooth currently has a temporary restoration, please return to your dentist to have the permanent restoration placed.  Full coverage crown is typically recommended on all Root Canal treated molar/back teeth, and in some circumstances the front teeth.

When should this be done?  IMMEDIATELY (no later than 2 weeks)

Restoring the tooth permanently will reduce the risk of tooth fractures and/or re-infections.  Delaying the placement of a permanent restoration can result in need for Root Canal Retreatment, Surgery or Extraction of the treated tooth.

In order to reduce the inflammatory response and speed up the healing process, I recommend alternating between over-the-counter Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol).

  • Take Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) – 3 tablets of 200mg (Total 600mg) every 6 hours.
  • Wait 3 hours.
  • Take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) – 2 tablets of 325mg (Total 650mg) every 6 hours. Severe liver damage may occur if you take more than 4000mg of Acetaminophen in 24 hours.
  • Wait 3 hours and start the Ibuprofen/Acetaminophen cycle again.

Continue the alternating regimen for 2-3 days, then discontinue the Acetaminophen and continue to take the Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), 3 tablets of 200mg (Total 600mg) every 6 hours, as needed for discomfort.

In the event that you are prohibited from taking Ibuprofen, please take only Acetaminophen (Tylenol).  The following regimen is recommended.

  • 2 tablets of 325mg (Total 650mg) every 6 hours. Severe liver damage may occur if you take more than 4000mg of Acetaminophen in 24 hours.

Please begin taking the medication as soon as the treatment is completed.  The best way to prevent symptoms is to take the medication BEFORE discomfort begins.   Continue the regimen for a minimum of 2-3 days.

The jaw muscles will be sore from having your mouth open for an extended time, and the anesthetic injection site may also be sore.   The clamp used around your tooth to secure the rubber dam may also cause irritation to the gum tissue for a few days.

If you should experience swelling, fever, persistent severe discomfort, or if you experience itching or hives after taking the medication, discontinue the use, and call or text Dr. Shakiba at (310)980-2925