What to expect with treatment

During treatment, home care instructions and after treatment

During your treatment

During your visit, one of our endodontists will complete an examination and explain what to expect with treatment. In some cases, treatment will be completed during your first visit.

During root canal therapy, our endodontist will remove the injured or diseased pulp and then thoroughly clean and seal the root canal system. This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one or more visits depending on the treatment required. You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine soon after treatment. 

If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, our endodontists will inform you at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.

Our endodontists use a number of advanced technologies that enhance the practice of endodontics and care we provide our patients.

Each year, millions of teeth are treated and saved using endodontic treatment, relieving pain and making teeth healthy again.

Home care instructions

When your endodontic treatment is completed, we will send you home with care instructions.

The root canal system has been sealed and covered with a temporary restoration. In the hours and days following your root canal, it is important to take measures to protect the affected area and monitor any changes you may experience such as swelling, bleeding and fever.

You should not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had a crown or restoration placed on the tooth. You will need to contact your general dentist to schedule an appointment. The unrestored tooth is susceptible to fracture, so you should see your dentist for a full restoration within four weeks. Otherwise, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings.

Our office will forward a report of treatment to your general dentist.

Discomfort after treatment​

Your tooth and surrounding gum tissue may be slightly tender for several days as a result of manipulation during treatment and previous condition of your tooth. This tenderness is normal and is no cause for alarm. To understand and respond to normal pain, please consider the following:

  • Do not chew food on the affected side until your endodontic therapy is completed and your tooth is covered with a protective restoration provided by your general dentist.
  • You may continue your regular dental hygiene regimen.
  • Discomfort may be alleviated by taking ibuprofen (Advil®), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol®) as directed. Alcohol intake is not advised while taking any of these medications.
  • Should you experience discomfort that cannot be controlled with the above listed medications, or should swelling develop, please contact our office immediately. The office telephone is answered day and night. If you need to call after hours, please have your pharmacy number available.

Do not chew food on the affected side until your tooth is covered with a protective restoration provided by your general dentist.

If you have had endodontic surgery, please refer to our “What to Expect After Surgery” information sheet »