Post Root Canal (Endodontic) Care


It is not uncommon for a tooth to be uncomfortable or even exhibit a dull ache immediately after receiving root-canal therapy. This should subside within one week.

Your tooth will be sensitive to biting pressure and may even appear to be loose. This feeling is a result of the sensitivity of the nerve endings in the tissue just outside the end of the root where we cleaned, irrigated, and placed filler and sealer material. This feeling will be short-lived and should subside.

You may feel a depression or a rough area on the top of a back tooth or the back of a front tooth where our access was made. There is a soft, temporary material in that area, which may wear away to some degree before your next visit. Don’t worry – this is normal and we will be replacing this filling at your next visit.

Occasionally, a small ‘bubble’ or ‘pimple’ will appear on the gum tissue within a few days after completion of a root canal. This represents the release of pressure and bacteria which can be sustained around the tooth. This should disappear within a few days.

What you should do:

  • We recommend you take something for pain relief within one hour of leaving our office so that the medication can enter your blood stream before the anesthesia we administered begins to subside. Generally, only one dose is needed. We recommend 600 mg of ibuprofen (Nuprin, Advil, Motrin). If you have a medical condition or gastrointestinal disorder which precludes ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin) may also be used. However, you should keep in mind that acetaminophen does not contain anti-inflammatory properties. Aspirin and aspirin-containing products are NOT advisable as they tend to increase bleeding from the area that was treated.
  • Whenever possible try to chew on the opposite side from the tooth we have just treated until you have a crown or onlay placed or until the access is restored. Until that time, your tooth is still weakened and could fracture.
  • Please avoid chewing gum, caramels, or other sticky, soft candy, which could dislodge the temporary material or fracture your tooth.

Please call us if:

  • You are experiencing symptoms more intense or of longer duration that those described above.
  • You encounter significant post-operative swelling.
  • The temporary material is dislodged, feels loose, or feels ‘high’ when biting
  • Your tooth fractures
  • You have any questions at all.