Tips for Caring for Your Root Canal Post-Op

When you need a root canal for tooth decay or other dental problems, you might be nervous about this procedure. Root canals are done in a way that minimizes discomfort, but what can you expect afterward? Since this procedure is an invasive one, it’s important to know how to care for your tooth post-op. The following information on post-op care can help you understand what to expect after having a root canal.


Taking Medication

Will you need to take any medication after your procedure? You might have some pain and swelling afterward, which is normal as localized anesthesia wears off. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever should help ease this discomfort. Swelling and pain after root canals are only temporary and should be minor. Depending on the condition of your tooth, you might need to take prescription antibiotics. These are typically used to treat infections in teeth, so they don’t spread to any other parts of your body. If you have to take antibiotics for an infection, you’ll have a procedure done at your next appointment once it heals. Our endodontist, Dr. Ernest Rillman, will provide you with instructions on taking prescription or non-prescription medications.


Brushing and Flossing

Do you have to do anything different when it comes to dental hygiene at home? It’s important to make sure your teeth, including your treated tooth, stay as clean as possible to reduce the risk of dental problems. After having a root canal, you should continue to brush and floss as often as you normally would. If your tooth and gums are sore, you should brush and floss gently. You can also rinse your mouth with mouthwash after your procedure.



Since you’re likely to experience discomfort after your procedure, you should avoid chewing or biting down on food on the affected side of your mouth. Our endodontist might advise you to do this in order to lower the risk of hurting the affected tooth until it’s done healing. Teeth that have had root canals or other endodontic treatments often have an increased risk of breaking or fracturing until a dental crown is put on. A dental crown helps protect your tooth from damage and infection after you’ve had a root canal.


When to See Our Endodontist

Root canals are common dental procedures that are safe, but there are certain risks to be aware of. These risks include nerve injuries, sinus and upper teeth communication issues, and post-op infections. Nerve injuries are rare and should be temporary if they do occur. In even rarer cases, these injuries become more permanent. Nerve injuries can result in tingling, pain, or a loss of sensation.

Root canals done on upper teeth can cause problems with your sinuses, although this is uncommon. You can reduce the risk of having this complication by avoiding blowing your nose for a few days after your procedure. Sneezing with your mouth open rather than closed also helps lower this risk. If you experience any pressure or discomfort in your sinuses after a root canal, you should let our endodontist know.

Infections can occur after root canals, although they’re not common. Signs that you might have an infection include swelling, pain, and fever. You might also see pus or develop an abscess. You should see our endodontist right away if you have an infection since you’ll need antibiotics for treatment.


Follow-Up Visit

After having a root canal, you can expect to have a dental crown placed on your tooth. You might have a temporary crown placed on your tooth the day of the procedure, which means you’ll need to go back for another visit to get your permanent crown. You might also need a follow-up visit if you’re experiencing any problems with your tooth after your procedure. You should make sure you go to any follow-up appointments you have to ensure that your tooth is healing properly.


If you need a root canal, please contact Largo Endodontics for an appointment. Our dental team will make sure you know how to care for your tooth post-op for proper healing.