After Completion of Endodontic Treatment

Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary filling. A follow-up restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please call your general dentist for an appointment. A complete report of treatment will be sent to your general dentist within 48 hours after completion of treatment.

Your tooth is more prone to fracture immediately after endodontic treatment. You should chew on the other side until your restorative dentist has placed a core build-up and a protective restoration, usually a crown. If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, your endodontist or restorative dentist may place a post and core build-up inside the tooth. Your general dentist and endodontist will determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth.

Are There Any Potential Problems After Treatment?

  • Lower teeth and nerve injury. There is a slight possibility that nerve injury can occur during root canal surgery to the lower back teeth. Your endodontist is trained to assess this possibility prior to treatment and will advise you accordingly. Occasionally in these teeth, the root tips may be near a nerve that supplies feeling to the lip, chin and gums. Your endodontist is trained to design your treatment to minimize the chances of damaging this nerve. Rarely, this nerve can become irritated during the process of surgery. In these cases, when the local anesthesia wears off, you may experience tingling, altered sensation or, in rare cases, a complete lack of feeling in the affected tissues. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve over a period of days, weeks or months. In very rare cases, these changes can be permanent and/or painful.
  • Upper teeth and sinus communication. The upper teeth are situated near your sinuses, and root canal surgery can result in a communication between your mouth and the adjacent sinus. Should this complication occur, it will usually heal spontaneously. We will give you special instructions if this is apparent at the time of surgery. We prefer that you don’t blow your nose for two to three days after surgery. If you have to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. You should not create any pressure in the sinus area. If you sense a complication after surgery, please contact us.
  • Post-operative infections. Post-operative infections occasionally occur. This usually requires just an office visit and examination. Most times, placing you on an antibiotic will take care of the infection. Occasionally, other follow-up procedures will be needed.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 703-539-0400