After any treatment at our office, you will be given a post-operative instruction sheet. This should help answer any questions you may have.  If you have misplaced the sheet here are some helpful instructions.

NON-SURGICAL ROOT CANAL (most patients have this procedure) & RETREATMENTS

Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be tender for several days and possibly up to a month as a result of manipulation during treatment and the previous condition of your tooth. The anesthetic (numbness) will last 2-4 hours. We ask you to take every effort not to bite or chew on the treated tooth You should take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin or Nuprin) every 4-6 hours for the first 2-3 days starting before the anesthetic wears off. You may not feel any discomfort at all, or it may arise 24-36 hours after the root canal treatment. If after taking anti-inflammatory medications you do not have a sense of relief, you may take the prescription pain medications if any were prescribed to you. Stay ahead of the discomfort, do not wait until you have discomfort to take any medications. If you take the prescribed pain medication do continue to take anti-inflammatories (If its ibuprofen) medications as well. If you have an allergy to Ibuprofen, and you are taking Tylenol instead, you may take up to 1,000mg of Tylenol every 4-6 hours for 2-3 days. We ask that you do not take any prescribed pain pills that contain Tylenol such as; Vicodin/Hyrodocondone with additional OTC Tylenol products. You may consult with your pharmacist with any medication questions. You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen. You may have swelling after a root canal, continue on any antibiotics that may have been prescribed to you. Taking an antibiotic after a root canal can help clear up lingering bacteria and assist with the healing process.

If you have a Retreatment at our office, please be advised that after a Retreatment you may have discomfort that takes longer to decrease and it is possible for the discomfort to be more intense. If you grind or clench your teeth this may prolong the healing process. We ask if you have a nightguard to please wear it. Biting and grinding can irritate the healing tooth. 

Unless you are informed differently, there is a temporary filling placed in your tooth which will last approximately 2-4 weeks. In this time frame, you must call to make an appointment with your restorative dentist.  We will send a letter and an x-ray by mail or email to the restoring dentist you placed on your paperwork. Ultimately, it is up to you and your restorative dentist to decide the type of final restoration. We just ask that you take into consideration that you have put time and money into your root canal treatment if the root-canaled tooth is not properly restored the root canal treatment will fail. You must have the temporary filling we placed in the tooth replaced with something more permanent. Normally the temporary fillings will not come out. There is a cotton pellet that is placed under the temporary filling to help prevent contamination. If you have a crown on your tooth already, a small hole has been made in the crown and a temporary filling placed. If you start to feel the temporary filling become shallow, know that this is normal. Do not pick at or chew on the temporary filling, it is soft at first and can easily come out and cause the tooth to become recontaminated.

If you are still having discomfort after one month of treatment, and you had your final restorations completed please call our office for an evaluation.

Remember it is normal to have discomfort after a root canal, use these instructions to help stay ahead of and control your symptoms.

NOTE: Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications ask your pharmacist any questions you may have about mixing medications you currently take with any medication prescribed to you by our office.

Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above-listed medications, or should a large amount of swelling develop, please contact our office immediately. If it is after hours and you have a true dental emergency, please go to the nearest emergency room and leave a message on our voicemail on your way there.


The most important tip to remember after having an apico is to keep your mouth clean. Keep your fingers out of your mouth and away from the surgical site. CREST pro health is a great product to use to keep the surgical site free of debris and bacteria. Brush your teeth and floss as normal after the surgical procedure. DO NOT brush the sutures. Use a saltwater rinse or CREST pro-health a few times a day to keep the incision site clean.

For 2-3 days after surgery we recommend that you take Advil (Ibuprofen) 2 tabs=400mgs every 4-6 hours. The inflammation can get more intense 24-36 hours after the surgery. If you can not take Ibuprofen you may take Tylenol. If you are given a prescription pain pill you may take it after taking the OTC medications previously described. If you are taking Tylenol instead of Ibuprofen, we ask you not to take any Tylenol-based pain pills (Vicodin) with additional OTC Tylenol (Acetaminophen) products.

You will be given an ice pack at the time of surgery. Please attempt to place the ice pack 15 minutes on then 15 minutes off for the first 12 hours after surgery. You do not have to wake up at night to place the ice pack. When the ice pack is not in use, place it in the freezer in order to keep the ice pack frozen.  You may be prescribed antibiotics that will help clear up any lingering bacteria and assist with the healing process. You will need to return to the office in 7-12 days to have the sutures removed and to check the surgery site. You may need to return again in 4-6 months for a final x-ray and exam. It is normal to have swelling and discomfort after the surgery. It is normal to have slight bleeding come from the incision site. The sutures may come loose after the surgery and the area may be tender to touch for an extended period of time.

Do not cut or pull on your sutures. If your sutures are bothering you, please call our office to have them trimmed.