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HOME CARE AFTER
ROOT CANAL CLOSE
For Two Appointment Procedure

 Endodontic treatment (root canal) is now complete

     The canals inside the roots have been cleaned and permanently sealed. The opening in the tooth through which root canal treatment was done has been sealed with a filling. 

Delay in obtaining final restoration (crown)  may result in fracture and/or possible loss of the tooth.

WHAT TO EXPECT

     Although the nerves inside the tooth have been removed, there are still many nerves outside the roots. Discomfort in this area for a few days to a couple of weeks is common. 

     The gums may be sore and the tooth may be tender when biting or chewing. These conditions exist because the nerves around the tooth have been inflamed because of the conditions that existed before treatment was started and due to the manipulation of the tooth during treatment.

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WHAT TO DO

Because your comfort is important to us try these following suggestions:

bulletAvoid chewing with this tooth until after the numbness and tenderness has gone
bulletFrequent rinsing with warm salt water for the next two days
bulletIf the doctor has prescribed other medications, be sure to take as directed by the doctor.
bulletWe recommend you take something for the increased sensitivity in this area within one hour of leaving our office, to get the medication into your blood system before the anesthesia we administered begins to subside. Generally, only one dose is needed. We recommend ibuprofen (Nuprin, Advil, Motrin)-two to four tablets, which may be taken four times a day if needed. If you have a medical condition or gastrointestinal disorder, which precludes ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin) can be a good substitute, although it does not contain anti-inflammatory properties.

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NON-HEALING AFTER ENDODONTIC TREATMENT

     Fortunately for everyone, most root canals heal with about a 95% success rate. When they don't heal, we would prefer to call this "non-healing". Be aware that this is not mere carpentry -- it is a medical procedure and all medical procedures do not heal 100% of the time, including root canals. Generally speaking, the non-healing takes one of two avenues:


1. Pain (mild too severe) with or without swelling, or
2. No symptoms at all, but rather changes on the x-ray suggestive of non-healing (i.e.: bone dissolving around the root tips).

Typically, the non-healing is caused by one of two things:

1.  Inflammation-The inflammation may be from the tooth being inflamed prior to treatment, or the treatment itself may elicit more inflammation. Usually time, and medication like Advil, or steroids can resolve this. 

2.  Infection can be from three main causes:

1. The original infection persists
2. There is a crack in the tooth,
3. There is leakage through the top of the tooth (i.e.: the filling) that re-infected the root canal filling.

If the non-healing is due to infection, usually time and antibiotics will resolve this. If signs or symptoms persist, there are three options:


1. Retreat the root canal, or
2. Surgically clean the bone that surrounds the root tip and seal the tip of the root, or
3. Extract the tooth.

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     Obviously, every case is different and careful evaluation is paramount to resolving any conditions of non-healing.

     We will contact you by mail and/or phone in six months for a re-examination to determine that healing is progressing normally. We may take a x-ray to ensure that the tooth and surrounding tissues are healed. There will be no additional fee for this service.

If you ever have any questions, or should difficulties arise as a consequence of your endodontic treatment, please do not hesitate to call Dr. Peterson: office 436-3491 

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February 06, 2008

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
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