Root Canal Aftercare

Woman at the dentistry

After getting a root canal procedure, there are some steps you can take to make yourself more comfortable. While root canals are routine, there can be a discomfort stage. That discomfort may or may not include swelling. Each case is different, but about 40 percent of root canal patients report some level of discomfort immediately after. That discomfort typically subsides within 12 to 24 hours.

Pain management starts with over-the-counter pain reliever—particularly ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin, since this can increase chances of bleeding.

Deceptive symptoms may arise, such as the affected tooth feeling loose. This is only because of increased sensitivity in the nerves just past the treated area. You should also expect increased sensitivity to biting pressure, so it’s best to tread lightly in the affected area at first.

Something called endodontic flare-up occurs in about 8 percent of cases. This may mean you need retreatment. It happens in the first 48 hours after treatment, and involves an unusual amount of pain or swelling. You should contact your East Los Angeles dentist if you experience any of the following:

Rash, hives or itching
Perceptible unevenness in your bite
Pain or pressure lasting longer than 24 hours

In an event called overinstrumentation, the dentist or endodontist may accidentally extend the treatment area to healthy tissue. This can cause a ligament to be nicked, for example. Leakage may also occur, either of solutions or medications. This is not a malpractice issue, but lies within the normal margin of surgical risk.

Most pain or discomfort is due to simple post-op inflammation. It is far less likely that the act of root canal therapy itself triggers a new infection.

It’s best to customize your intake of food and drink for the first few days, maintaining special awareness of the root canal site. Our expert in East LA root canal can answer any other questions you may have.