Post-Operative Instructions

Following Root Canal Therapy

First of all, congratulations, you made it through the root canal. Hopefully you had a pleasant experience, considering the circumstances. That truly is our goal. This sheet will go over some information about what to expect for the next few weeks now that the root canal is completed. Please follow the instructions outlined below and contact us should any questions or problems arise.

  • DO NOT eat anything until the numbness wears off. DO NOT try to feel around your tooth with your tongue. You have a temporary filling in the tooth and it takes about half an hour to harden.
  • You need to have a permanent filling an/or crown placed on your tooth within 1 MONTH of the root canal being completed. It is essential for you to follow up on this. If this is not done, the tooth is very likely to fracture or to develop new decay which will cause your root canal to fail.
  • DO NOT use the tooth to bite down on anything hard (peanuts, pretzels, ice, bones, etc.) until the permanent filling/crown has been placed on the tooth. Again, the tooth is prone to fracture and if you bite down on anything too hard or crunchy you may crack the tooth.
  • It is normal for the temporary filling to slightly “wash away” with use. It is very rare for it to fall out entirely. If it happens when our office is closed, we recommend you purchase some temporary filling material from any pharmacy and place a dab in the tooth until you have an opportunity to see us at our office.
  • Some minor discomfort in the area is normal following the root canal. It is normal for the tooth be uncomfortable for up to one week after today’s treatment. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, the tooth and surrounding tissues may remain sore for a few weeks post treatment.

    The three most common reasons for pain are:
    a. Sore jaw joint from having your mouth open for a prolonged time.
    b. Sore muscle from the injection site
    c. Sore hum from the rubber dam placement

  • WHAT DO I DO ABOUT THE PAIN? All of the above scenarios should be handled with over the counter medication. We recommend you take:
    400-600 mg ibuprofen (2-3 over the counter pills of Advil or Motrin or generic equivalent) every 6 hours for the next 2-3 days EVEN IF PAIN IS NOT PRESENT (REDUCES INFLAMMATION, INCLUDING PAIN) OR (if unable to take ibuprofen) 500-1000 mg Acetaminophen (1-2 extra strength Tylenol or generic equivalent) every 6 hours for the next 2-3 days ONLY IF PAIN IS PRESENT (DOES NOT REDUCE INFLAMMATION). This is enough 90% of the time to handle the discomfort. Please contact our office if this does not relieve pain.
  • If you are given any prescription medications related to this treatment, please take them as instructed by your doctor.

  • You may floss and brush your tooth as normal, unless told otherwise by the doctor.



Although about 95% of root canals cause very little discomfort after the treatment is completed, there are about 5% of cases which can cause significant pain. These are commonly referred to as “Flare-ups”. They mostly occur on badly affected teeth, teeth that are extremely irritated or sensitive, or teeth that have a history of prior treatment. Sometimes, however, they occur randomly, even on patients that have had several root canals done previously without any problems. If you have a flare-up you may experience moderate to severe pain, swelling, bruising, throbbing and general discomfort, which usually begins within 24 hours after treatment and may last 2-4 days. Please contact our office if you experience any of these symptoms and we possibly do everything to get you some relief. You may be prescribed antibiotics, stronger pain medication, or you may be asked to come to the office to receive further therapy should you experience any of these symptoms call our office at 718-323-0633.

Hicksville Dentist Office

120 Bethpage Rd Suite 310
Hicksville, NY 11801

Bethpage Dentist Office

549 Stewart Ave
Bethpage, NY 11801

(516) 822-6659
[email protected]

Contact Us

    Best way to reply:

    teeth white logo

    Hicksville Dentist Office

    120 Bethpage Rd Suite 310
    Hicksville, NY 11801


    Bethpage Dentist Office

    549 Stewart Ave
    Bethpage NY 118011