Root Canal Aftercare


The degree of comfort after root canal therapy often depends upon patient follow-through after the procedure has been completed. It is essential that you understand what normal post-treatment symptoms are and how they should be handled.


  • Take Medication as Prescribed

Although it is possible to experience no pain after root canal therapy, some discomfort is considered normal.  Just as in insect bites, burns, and scrapes, inflammation results when pulp tissue is removed from the root canals.  It is not unusual for inflammation to begin immediately after the procedure, characterized by soreness and/or puffiness.  Typically, inflammation increases over the first 24-48 hours and then subsides slowly over the next two or three days.




If you experience sensitivity following any appointment we recommend that you take an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen (e.g. Advil, Nuprin) to reduce inflammation, which will, in turn, reduce pain.  You may also want to apply ice on and off to the outside of your face next to the tooth and keep your head elevated.

Important note:  Under no circumstances should you apply heat to the outside of your face.

Consistent medication is the key to comfort.  It is essential to follow your doctor’s orders, and take the prescribed medications to alleviate pain and help fight infection if present.

If discomfort lasts more than a few days, or if you have severe pain or swelling, call the Mainstream Dental office.  Dr. Jeff Fortna will suggest medication, or other steps, to make you more comfortable.

Mainstream Dental is on call in case of an emergency!


  • Do not Chew on the Tooth at All!

On the day of the treatment, it is important that you limit your diet to soups and other foods that require no chewing.  The treated tooth should experience no strain whatsoever.  When eating, be very careful to chew on the other side of your mouth.


  • Use Good Judgement

Slowly over time, you may introduce soft foods to the treated tooth.  Remember, your tooth has been traumatized and needs to heal completely before you can expect full function.


  • If the Tooth Feels High

If your treated tooth feels higher than the surrounding teeth, call our office and we will schedule you to come in for an adjustment.  We can reduce the surface area so that it fits comfortably with the rest of your bite

Please note:  the process of inflammation can actually elevate a tooth, thus creating this problem.  This is another reason for taking anti-inflammatory drugs regularly.


  • Temporary Fillings

If your tooth has been filled with a temporary filling and your temporary filling become dislodged or compromised in any way, simply call Mainstream Dental during business hours so we may schedule a time to refill the tooth.

A permanent restoration may be placed right away to protect your tooth or to serve as a buildup for a crown.  Often a crown needs to be placed on a root canal tooth to protect it from fracture.  This will be scheduled once the tooth has completely healed.


The content above is applicable for many of our Mainstream Dental patients  Your individual circumstances may alter the suggestions or instructions being provided.  Please contact Dr. Jeffrey Fortna for an appointment to discuss your unique dental needs. 

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