Root Canal


The purpose of the root canal treatment is to remove diseased tissue from inside of the root and seal the root end. Dependiing on each case, endodontic treatment may be completed in one, two, or three appointments. Once started, it is important to complete the root canal therapy.

After your root canal therapy has been completed, you will notice some relief from the pain you may have been experiencing. Please avoid biting on the tooth for the next few days. It is not unusual for the tooth to be tender after a root canal, and healing occurs more quickly if you do not chew on it immediately. If you had pain prior to starting the treatment, it will take up to a week for the tooth to get back to normal. Give the therapy a chance to work. If your tooth was not in pain prior to beginning treatment (likely because the tooth was abscessed or had a deep cavity that had not begun to hurt) your tooth may still be sore for awhile after the appointment. This will be alleviated with time. Should you have pain that you cannot tolerate, abnormal swelling, fever, or significant pain, please call the office.

You may continue regular hygiene regimen. Avoid biting or chewing on the tooth during the first few days. Avoid sticky foods like caramel, jelleybeans or gum since they may loosen or remove the temporary filling, which was placed. If the temporary filling feels loose or completely falls out, please call our office as it will need to be replaced.

A permanent restoration is recommended after having a root canal and may require additional appointments. We usually place a temporary in the tooth, so it is important that you schedule promptly for a permanent restoration because the temporary filling will eventually allow bacteria to leak in and contaminate the tooth. Failure to complete the final restoration in a timely manner may result in the need for re-treatment of the root canal(s) in your tooth at an additional cost or possibly severe pain, fracture, and/or infection which can lead to a loss of the tooth.

With proper care, your restored tooth can last a lifetime if healing is adequate. Teeth treated with endodontic therapy can still decay. As with other teeth, proper dental care requires regular brushing and flossing, a nutritious diet and regular dental visits. Periodic examinations are important so that the tooth can be monitored and assure it is healing properly. Root canals have a high success rate, but sometimes despite our best efforts, a small percentage of patients may need to have the root canals retreated or possibly root-end surgery to achieve adequate healing.

Please call our office if your tooth feels unusual or discomfort persists after completion. These appointments are best handled during regular office hours.