After-Care: Root Cannal Treatment

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Local anesthesia that causes numbness is usually applied during root canal treatment. Because of this numbness, the patient may bite and damage his/her soft tissues such as tongue, lips and cheeks. Extremely cold-hot beverages should be avoided at the same time, which can damage soft tissues.

After root canal treatment, use the other part of your jaw while eating until the pain is over. If a temporary filling has been made, use the other part of your jaw until a permanent filling is made. Temporary fillings are easily abradable, breakable and thus may fall even when they are stiffened. If the dental tissue surrounding the filling is too thin, these breaking materials of the filling can also break the tooth.

Please avoid extraordinary forces such as cracking the shell of a hazelnut or pistachio or trying to open a bottle with your teeth. These forces, which you should not even apply to your natural teeth, can cause serious damage to your root canal treated teeth as well.

If you have a temporary filling and your pain is completely gone, please do not delay your essential treatment. We have to extract many teeth because some of our patients neglect and delay their treatment when their pain is gone. Feeling no pain does not mean that your treatment is finished. Remember that even if your root canal treatment is finished, a tooth that is not permanently filled can cause a much greater problem after a few months and may be lost.

Using a medication with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties for a week will relieve your pain and help you to recover quickly. Many of the drugs you have been using for headache can be used. Examples are Majezik, Apranax, Aprol, Cataflam, Dolorex, Surgam, Artril and so on. Whatever medication you take, you should first consult your physician and get his/her approval. For example, painkillers such as Parol (paracetamol), Minoset, etc., do not have anti-inflammatory effect. So they are less effective after root canal treatment.

In some cases, there may be inflammatory bulks at the root of your tooth, where the root canal treatment is applied. This inflammatory bulks may be chronic and you may not feel any discomfort. However, when the root canal treatment is started and various antiseptic substances are applied to the related area, the chronic (sleeping) inflammation bulk may be awakened. In such situations, facial swelling and pain may occur. You should consult your dentist if the medication recommended by your dentist does not relieve the pain.

If the swelling mentioned above spreads over a large area and at the same time fever, malaise, etc. is observed, you should contact your dentist and follow his/her directions. In such cases, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotics for you and arrange appointments to check if the inflammation is gone or not.

If you feel excess filling material or high filling on your temporary or permanent filling after the numbness is gone, please contact your dentist.

If your temporary filling is a little abraded but still covers the root canal of the tooth, there is no problem. But if the abrasion is too much, different substances may get into the root canal of your tooth. In that case, put a little cotton in that area and go to your dentist immediately. Do not forget that if it is not treated immediately, you may loose your tooth.

Root canal treated teeth may loose their flexibility to a some extent and may become fragile. If the remaining dental tissue is too thin and your tooth is likely to break in the following years, your physician may recommend a crown after a permanent filling. Sometimes special fillings (called inlay-onlay) are required instead of normal fillings. They are made in the laboratory environment and glued there. This type of special filling may cost more, but prevents tooth loss.

Root canal treatment is a form of treatment that requires a great deal of effort and is an indication of your dentist’s attention given to you and your teeth. It is much easier to extract your teeth and replace them with bridges or implants. After a successful root canal treatment, you may keep your tooth in your mouth for lifetime. But sometimes the treatment may be unsuccessful. If the root of the teeth is excessively curved, the side canals are impossible to clean, some bacteria types that do not respond to any antiseptics exist, massive inflammatory bulks are formed at the root or there is not enough dental tissue for filling and crowning, the treatment may be unsuccessful.