Coronation Dental Specialty Group

Instructions for Endodontics (Root Canals)


Patient Instructions  >  Endodontics Instructions


Following a Root Canal


Following root canal therapy, some soreness is normal in the area of the treated tooth for the following few days, due to a healing response at the root ends and the injection sites. For pain, we recommend that you take:

  • 400-600 mg of ibuprofen (2-3 Advil or Motrin tablets of 200 mg each) every 4 to 6  hours after the procedure (at least 24 hrs), and as necessary thereafter for pain (not exceeding 5 days).  You should take no more than 2400 mg (12 tablets of 200 mg) in 24 hours

  • If you cannot take ibuprofen, Advil, or Motrin for a medical or health reason, you may take 500-1000 mg of acetaminophen (1-2 extra-strength Tylenols) every 6 hours.  You should take no more than 4000 mg (8 tablets of 500 mg extra-strength Tylenol) in 24 hours.

  • You can also take both 500 mg ibuprofen with 500 mg of acetaminophen for extra pain relief.  Do not exceed for more than 4 days. If the pain persists, please contact the office.



In general, teeth that are severely infected or present with a swelling have more discomfort after treatment and require stronger pain medication. If a swelling results after the root canal therapy, antibiotics may be indicated. Please contact us for a prescription and follow the instructions on the bottle.


Depending on the condition of the tooth prior to the root canal, the healing phase may be swift or slow.  Please be patient with this process as it can take up to several days to a few weeks for proper resolution of symptoms. Generally, the tooth should be back to normal within a month after the completion of the treatment.



A temporary filling is placed in the root canal treated tooth. Following root canal therapy, a final restoration has to be placed on the treated tooth by your general dentist AS SOON AS POSSIBLE (less than 30 days). Failure to do so may result in failure of the root canal.


We recommend that you continue good oral hygiene care with tooth brushing and flossing.



Following Endodontic Surgery (Apicoectomy, Retrofill)

Rest as much as possible after the surgery.  Mild discomfort is normal after the surgery – before the anaesthetic wears off, take the analgesic that has been recommended or prescribed.  Swelling is also normal following surgery. To minimize swelling, place an ice pack of the face over the operated area for 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, for 4-6 hrs following surgery.


Some blood from the site and in your saliva is normal over the first 24 hrs. If excessive bleeding occurs, take moist sterile gauze and apply pressure in the area for 20 minutes. If the bleeding persists, contact the office immediately.


Maintain good oral hygiene, but avoid brushing the surgical area the same day of the surgery.  The day after surgery, use warm salt water rinses (1 teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water) or the prescription mouth rinse (if provided).  Rinse 4-5 times per day for a week.


Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid overly hot fluids like coffee or tea.  Do not skip meals, but stay with soft, bland foods (soups, eggs, etc) for 2 days.  Avoid chewing in the surgical area until the sutures are removed, and avoid hard or chewy foods for 1 week.  Avoid smoking.


Some bruising may occur after surgery; this is normal and will gradually disappear over 7-10 days. Do not lift your lip to examine the site, as this may tear the stitches.

Numbness may occur in the area for days or weeks, but does not mean that the nerves have been damaged.   Tell your dentist about any numbness you experience.


Stitches will be removed 2-7 days after the procedure, and all soreness and swelling are usually gone by 14 days after the procedure.


Gums may recede after surgery, making your teeth look longer.  Although healing occurs rapidly, gum re-contouring occurs over weeks to months.