Lisa C Petrov, RDH, DDS

5505 Detroit Dr. Suite C
Sheffield Village, OH 44054
(440) 366-5530

Therapy Instructions


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.

  1. DO NOT eat or drink anything for the next half hour.  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.
  2. You need to have a permanent filling or a crown placed on your tooth within 1 MONTH of the root canal being completed.  It is essential for you to follow up with your general dentist on this.  If this is not done, the tooth is very likely to fracture or to develop new decay underneath the temporary filling which may cause your root canal to fail.  You will be responsible for all costs incurred if you fail to follow this instruction.
  3. DO NOT use the tooth to bite down on anything hard (peanuts, pretzels, ice, 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.
  4. It is normal for the temporary filling to “divot” in with use.  It is very rare for it to fall out entirely.  If the temporary falls out you should contact us, or your general dentist as soon as possible.  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.
  5. Some minor discomfort in the area is normal following the root canalIt is normal for the tooth to be uncomfortable for 2-3 days 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:
    • Sore jaw joint from having your mouth open for a prolonged time.
    • Sore muscle from the injection site.
    • Sore gum from the rubber dam placement.
  6. WHAT DO I DO ABOUT THE PAIN???  All of the above scenarios should be handled with over the counter medication, primarily.  We recommend you take:
    600 mg Ibuprofen (3 over the counter pills of Advil or Motrin or generic equivalent) every 6 hours for the next 2 days.
    (if unable to take ibuprofen)

    1000mg Acetaminophen (2 extra strength Tylenol or generic equivalent) every 6-8 hours for the next 2 days.
    90% of the time this is enough to handle the discomfort.  If it is not, please contact our office and we will ensure you are comfortable.
  7. If you are given any prescription medications related to this treatment please take them as instructed by your doctor.
  8. You may floss and brush your tooth as normal, unless told otherwise by the doctor.


Please refer to the following instructions to facilitate your healing process after your surgical endodontic procedure.  Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions that are not answered below.

  1. Initially place an ice pack over the surgical site for ½ hour.  In order to minimize swelling, continue to apply ice packs for 15 minutes at a time, with a 15 minute break in between icing.  It is recommended you do this for the first 6 hours following surgery.  The ice pack given to you at the time of the surgery may be reused by placing it in the freezer.
  1. Swelling may occur after the surgery and is completely normal.  It may begin 24 hours after surgery then increase for 48 hours, then gradually subside.  The amount of swelling is different for every person.  Some people have very minimal swelling while others may have a significant amount.  Sleep with your head in an elevated position for the first couple of nights after surgery to minimize it.
  1. Some bleeding is normal as the anesthetic wears off.  You do not need to be concerned nor do anything special for this.  Bleeding should be minimal and should stop within 24 hours.
  1. Please be gentle with the surgical area.  Do not eat hard or “jagged” foods (potato chips, peanuts, pretzels, etc.).  Do not try to lift your lips to “look” at the surgery area – you may pull a suture out!  Brush very gently with the provided EXTRA SOFT toothbrush and refrain from touching your gums.  Please continue to rinse with PERIDEX two to three times a day.
  1. Please try to refrain from smoking as long as you can as this slows the healing process.
  1. Please refrain from strenuous exercise for 48 hours after surgery.  Keep talking and facial movements to a minimum as well.
  1. Pain is expected for 2-3 days.  Sometimes it can last a few weeks.  We recommend you take:

600mg Ibuprofen (3 over the counter pills of Advil or Motrin or generic equivalent) every 6 hours for the next 2 days.
(If unable to take Ibuprofen)
1000mg Acetaminophen (2 extra strength Tylenol or generic equivalent) every 6-8 hours for the next 2 day.

You have been provided an antibiotic and narcotic pain medication that you should also use as directed.  The first 3 days are the worst as far as pain and swelling go; things improve dramatically after that initial period.

  1. You have resorbable sutures in place.  This means that they will fall out “when they are ready.”  Sometimes one will come out within 24 hours.  Or it may be a few days.  Do not be concerned about the timing.  They have been well-placed and everybody’s body breaks down the sutures at a different rate.
  1. We will be seeing you for a recall examination in 7-10 days.  At that time we will remove any remaining sutures, check up on you, and go over further instructions.
  1. If your sinus was involved during the surgery (the doctor will inform you) please refrain from blowing your nose.  Please use a nasal decongestant to prevent congestion.  If blood is seen through the nose, this is not unusual and will subside within 48 hours.

We expect your recovery to be as uneventful as possible.  This sheet covers most normal situations and questions that patients may have, but if you think of anything, or have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. (330) 366-5530

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