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Post-Op Procedures & What To Expect

If you're feeling anxious about an upcoming endodontic procedure, a good way to calm your nerves is to prepare! Here's what you can expect to happen after your root canal (post-op) at Endodontic Specialists in Toronto, and the steps you should take as you recover.

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Instructions for Treatment

Treatment In Progress

These instructions are for treatment that has been initiated, but not completed.

Root Canal Therapy (Initiated)

If root canal therapy has been initiated, you must schedule an additional appointment(s) at our office for completion.

Temporary Filling

If you receive a temporary filling as part of your initial treatment, it is best to ‘stay off’ that tooth to prevent discomfort and give it time to heal. The tooth will remain fragile until it is completely restored at your follow up appointment.

Tooth Has Been Left Open to Drain Until Next Appointment

In order to alleviate your distress, your tooth has been left open for drainage. Follow these instructions until your next appointment. Irrigate your tooth as instructed:

  • Dissolve a teaspoon of table salt in an 8 ounce glass of warm water.
  • Swish and spit over the affected area one mouthful at a time, until the glass is finished. Repeat this procedure after every meal or snack.
  • If a small piece of cotton has been placed in your tooth and it falls out, it may be replaced with a fresh piece if instructed to do so.
  • Avoid blocking the open tooth with food by cautiously eating on the opposite side of your mouth.
  • Avoid eating foods that may contain small seeds that could get caught in the tooth.
  • Avoid using objects (such as toothpicks) to remove debris within the tooth. If medication(s) have been prescribed, use according to directions. Notify the office if you have concerns about significant swelling, discomfort, or problems from the prescribed medication(s).

Alleviating pain is only the first step. Please schedule your follow-up appointment as soon as possible to resolve the underlying problem.

Instructions for Completed Treatment

These instructions are for treatment that has been completed.

Root Canal Treatment

If root canal therapy has been completed, you must return to your regular dentist to have the temporary filling replaced.

A crown may be recommended. Please call your dentist within 2 weeks after completion of root canal treatment to make an appointment for permanent restoration.

1. Food

While you are anaesthetized, frozen, and may not have feeling in the area, please avoid eating or drinking anything hot as you may not feel the heat and may burn yourself.

Please avoid pressure or chewing on the tooth (teeth) that has been treated, to decrease the risk of fracture, until you have seen your regular dentist for permanent restoration.

2. Discomfort

You may experience some discomfort on the tooth that has been treated. This may last anywhere between 7 to 10 days.

Swelling in the affected area may also occur. These are not unusual post-operative events.

3. Medication

Please continue with any medications prescribed, unless instructed otherwise by the doctor. Notify the office of any problems that may arise from medications being taken.

If You Have Had Surgery

Follow these instructions after surgery to reduce any pain and discomfort. and to aid recovery.

1. Ice the Area

  • Immediately after your appointment, apply the ice pack that is provided to you for half an hour.
  • Continue to ice the area for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off until bedtime. In the morning, continue to ice the area for an additional two hours. A package of frozen vegetables will also suffice as an ice pack as it will mold to the shape of your face.
  • DO NOT apply the ice pack directly to your skin; rather, use a paper towel to prevent irritation to the skin.

2. Alleviate Swelling, Bruising & Discomfort

Swelling, bruising and moderate discomfort may occur after surgery and is completely normal. It may begin 24 hours after surgery and increase for 48 hours, then gradually subside. Follow these instructions to minimize and alleviate discomfort:

  • Sleep with your head in an elevated position using an extra pillow, for the first couple of nights after surgery.
  • For minor discomfort, use extra strength Tylenol every 4-6 hours as required, as long as you are not allergic to it. Do not use aspirin products.
  • For discomfort of a more intense nature, use the prescription provided for you. Antibiotics and any other medications prescribed must be taken as directed.

3. Wait 24 Hours to Rinse

Please wait a full 24 hours after surgery before rinsing your mouth. 24 hours after surgery you may rinse after each meal or snack and before retiring at night. Follow these instructions for rinsing:

  • Use one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Continue this until your post-surgical visit 7-14 days later.
  • No mouth wash is to be used during this time (as it is very irritating) but an antibacterial rinse may be prescribed by the doctor if necessary.

4. Consume Appropriate Food & Fluids

Keep food away from the surgical site. It is important to maintain proper nourishment.

Stick to a soft food diet for the day of and the day after surgery. Avoid hot foods while the surgical site is still frozen, as this may burn your mouth.

Warm foods may be eaten once the freezing has worn off.

5. Other Lifestyle Instructions

  • Refrain from smoking during the first 48 hours as well as minimizing its frequency during the healing phase.
  • No strenuous exercise for 48 hours after surgery.
  • No drinking of alcoholic beverages while taking the prescribed medication.
  • Keep talking and facial movements to a minimum during the first day and refrain from lifting your lip in order to look at the surgical site.

6. Maintain Oral Hygiene

  • Maintain your normal oral hygiene program of brushing and flossing, except in the surgical site until your post-surgical visit.
  • Periodic (3-4 times daily) salt water rinses and gently running a wet Q-tip over the surface of the teeth in the surgical site (wait 48 hours after surgery before using the Q-tip) will maintain hygiene in the surgical site.

Note: If your sinus was involved during surgery (the doctor and staff will inform you) please refrain from blowing your nose. Please use a nasal decongestant spray to prevent congestion. If blood is seen through the nose, this is not unusual and will subside within 48 hours. If excessive bleeding is seen, please inform the office.

We expect your recovery period to be as uneventful as possible. However, if a question or concern should arise regarding your treatment or medication being taken, feel free to contact our office.

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