Root canal therapy often takes two or more appointments to complete. A temporary filling or crown is placed to protect the tooth between appointments, but you should take the following precautions to protect your tooth and ease any discomfort.

Usually, the last step after root canal treatment is the placement of a crown on the tooth. A crown covers the tooth and protects it from breaking in the future. Please call our office if your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent swelling or pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns.

To further reduce pain and swelling, rinse three times a day with warm salt water (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water). To protect the tooth and help keep your temporary filling or crown in place, avoid eating sticky or hard foods (especially gum), and if possible, chew only on the opposite side of your mouth. It's important to continue to brush normally, but floss very carefully. To prevent removal of the crown, remove the floss by pulling it through the teeth, not down or up from between the space between teeth.

Your lips, teeth, and tongue may be numb for several hours after appointments in which we've used an anesthetic. Avoid chewing anything until the numbness has completely worn off.

It's common, and not a problem, for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off between appointments. If the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, call us so that we can replace it.

It's normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment, especially when chewing. To control discomfort, take pain medication as recommended. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.