Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Root Canal Treatment
Q: Will I have pain following my appointment?
A: It is not unusual to have postoperative soreness for several days following endodontic therapy (root canal). Cleaning the root canal may cause inflammation of the tissue surrounding the tooth.
Q: What should I do if I have pain or soreness?
A: You may have been given a prescription for this. If not, simply taking over-the-counter analgesics should control this discomfort. For patients not allergic to anti-inflammatory medications or aspirin, we recommend two Advil (ibuprofen) every 4 hours or two Aleve (naproxen sodium) every 8-12 hours. It is important not to let these medications wear off between doses, they are more effective if taken consistently. These medications can be discontinued when there is no more discomfort.
Q: Will I have swelling following my appointment? What should I do if swelling occurs?
A: It is always possible to have swelling following an appointment. If swelling occurs or worsens after 24 hours, please call the office first thing in the morning. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed to help control infection. Please take all medications as directed. Please complete the entire prescription as infection could otherwise reoccur.
Q: Can I chew on the tooth while undergoing root canal treatment?
A: Do not chew on the side of the mouth where the tooth is being treated until a permanent restoration is placed. Please be especially careful not to chew hard foods as they may irritate the area or can cause the tooth to crack.
Q: Once treatment is completed, do I have to see my dentist?
A: After root canal therapy has been completed on your tooth, you should return to your dentist to have the tooth restored. The temporary filling placed in your tooth should be replaced by a permanent restoration in a timely manner. The temporary filling will eventually loosen which may cause reinfection of your tooth. A permanent restoration will help to restore the chewing strength of the tooth.
Q: How can I contact the doctor in case of an emergency?
A: If any unusual problem should occur during the course of endodontic treatment or if pain medications prescribed are not controlling your pain, please call the office. If you need to contact the doctor after hours for a problem of an emergency nature, please call the office directly at (973) 664-0181. After leaving your message with your phone number press #91. The doctor will return your phone call as soon as possible. Please have the telephone number of your pharmacy available. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to treat you.
“No matter how effective modern artificial tooth replacements are – and they can be very effective – nothing is as good as a natural tooth.” – Dr. Yudkin