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HOME CARE 
AFTER A ROOT CANAL  IS "OPENED" 
For Two Appointment Procedure

Your endodontic (root canal) treatment has been started but IS NOT COMPLETE.     

An additional appointment's is necessary to continue treatment.

WHAT TO EXPECT

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     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 a few days (or even weeks) This occurs because of conditions, which existed before treatment was started.  Experience shows that if there was pain prior to treatment there maybe a degree of pain that will continue for a few days after the procedure.  Remember that pain radiates.  You may feel sensations of discomfort that are not related to the treated area during the healing process. This can be created by inflammation in this area and/or due to increase in blood volume that natural occurs in the  healing process.

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     Your tooth will be sensitive to biting pressure and may even appear to feel loose.  This feeling is a result of the sensitivity of nerve-ending 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.  Warm salt-water rinses for the next two days will help, and avoid chewing on this side until all tenderness is gone.

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     You may feel a depression or 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.  An unusual taste can be expected.

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     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 no longer can be sustained around the tooth.  This should disappear within a few days.  

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 WHAT TO DO :

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Please do not chew or attempt to eat on the side of your mouth that has been worked on while this area is still numb.  

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You may want to put an ice pack over area where the procedure was done for 1/2 hour when you first get home to minimize swelling.  Apply the ice pack (or use frozen vegetables like peas) every hour for 10-15 minutes during the first 4-6 minutes.

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Sleep with your head in an elevated position for the first few nights if you do not have any physical limitations.

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Eat a soft diet for at least two days and remember not to chew on the treated side.  Avoid very hot or cold foods during the healing process.    

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We recommend you take something for pain-relief 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)-800 mg (four tablets). Two to four tables may be taken four times a day for the next 3-4 days to help control the sensitivity in this area.  If you have a medical condition or gastrointestinal disorder which precludes ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin) is a substitute, although it 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.

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Please take prescribed medication (antibiotics and /or pain medication) as directed. If you are given PenicillinVK take 2 pills every 4 hours for 48-72 hours, then complete prescription taking 1 pill very 6 hours. Please take the full course of antibiotic medication.  If you were given a prescription for pain, it is meant to help you with more serious discomfort only for a couple of days.  Refer to pain control article

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Whenever possible, try to chew on the opposite side from the tooth we have just treated, until you have a crown placed, or until the access area is restored.  Until that time, your tooth still is weakened and could fracture.  

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Do not smoke during the first 24 hours and minimize the number of times you smoke during the remaining healing process because smoking delays the healing process.  Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.  Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours.

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Please avoid crunchy foods, chewing gum, caramels, or other sticky, soft candy, which could dislodge the temporary material or fracture you tooth.  

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  PLEASE CALL US IF…………..

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You are experiencing symptoms more intense or of longer duration than those described above.

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You encounter significant post-operative swelling

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The temporary material is dislodged, feels loose, or feels “high” when biting

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Your tooth fractures

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You have any questions, or difficulties as a consequence of your endodontic treatment do not hesitate to call 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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