After Root Canal Treatment
Root Canal Work cleans out any infected nerve and seals with root filling, to help preserve the rest of the tooth. Root Canal Work often precedes any Advanced Cosmetic Dentistry, including Crowns, Dental Implants, mini Implants, immediate Dental Implants, Bridges, Veneers, Precision Dentures, Tooth Bleaching, Teeth Whitening, Cosmetic Bonding, Latest Ceramic Restorations etc, involved in treating Tooth wear and worn, uneven teeth, Periodontal Plastic Surgery, TMJ's, Difficult Occlusions, Excessive Wear Cases and even Denture cases needing something to hold onto to.
After you have had a Root Canal Treatment (RCT) involving Root Filling, please follow your Patient Information and Instructions after Root canal treatment (RCT), which is has involved removing the nerves from roots and deep cleaning that often takes two or more appointments to complete. A temporary covering is placed to protect the tooth between appointments, so given this is more complex treatment than average, it is not unusual to have some temporary discomfort after treatment visits.
Also after each appointment when anaesthetic has been used, your lips, teeth and tongue may be numb for several hours. Avoid any chewing until the numbness has completely worn off and don't burn your mouth on hot drinks! Between appointments, it's common (and not a problem) for a small portion of your temporary filling to wear away or break off. However, if the entire filling falls out, or if a temporary crown comes off, call your dentist so it can be replaced, to stop further bacterial invasion/infection.
It's normal to experience some discomfort for several days after a root canal appointment, especially when chewing. To control discomfort, take pain medication as recommended. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if all symptoms and signs of infection are gone.To further reduce pain and swelling, rinse three times a day with warm salt water; dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, then rinse around for at least 10 seconds, spit out and repeat again.
To protect the tooth and help keep your temporary in place:
Avoid eating sticky foods ( toffees, gum, sweets etc.)
Avoid hard foods (nuts, granary seeds, biscuits etc.) and hard items,
such as ice,
fingernails, pens or other "habits".
Example below shows before and after X-ray views of a 3 rooted molar
tooth that needed root canal treatment
It's not easy getting to the ends of the roots of all the canals
present - it is Dentistry's equivalent to keyhole Surgery !!!
Sometimes, despite the Dentist's best efforts, the RCT is unsuccessful. Success rates are about 85%, so about 1 in 7 fail and the tooth is lost if any re-treatment hasn't worked either.
This is usually due to resistant infections, complex anatomy, canal blockages or narrowing, that cannot be overcome (see diagram above).
Also even if the root canals are well cleaned and sealed as the above X-ray shows, a resistant infection may still prevent healing. That's just a biological risk for everyone!
This is why there is a recognised failure rate with RCT, though often 6 out of 7 are successful. If you are having a tooth with a failing RCT redone, then the overall success rate lowers further too, as re-treatment is always more difficult.The next step after root canal treatment is often the placement of a crown. This will usually be done after a suitable healing/monitoring period.A crown covers and helps protect the tooth from breaking in the future. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or you have any other questions or concerns, please contact your Dentist.
The Importance of good Aftercare and Maintenance!
As well as regular check-ups to your Dentist to prevent problems (or at least catch them very early-on), please follow your aftercare advice and don't neglect your Toothbrushing and Flossing Techniques that reduce Dental Plaque attack on your teeth, gums and dentistry work.
Want to know more about brushing and Flossing techniques that prevents bad breath and keeps your Mouth and Dentistry Healthier too?