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Dr. Jeff Adams DDS
Dr. Eric Wilbur DDS
Call Us: (605) 791-5900
Post-Op Instructions


1. DISCOMFORT – Some discomfort is normal following root canal therapy. If you had pain before treatment, you are more likely to have some residual discomfort.  Some common reasons are:

  • Sore jaw joint from having your mouth open.
  • Sore muscle from the injection site.
  • Sore gum from the rubber dam placement. 

2. SWELLING – About 5% of teeth may experience pain and/or swelling called a “flare-up.” It is caused by residual inflammation at the end of your tooth.  A flare-up can occur randomly, even on patients that have had several root canals done previously without any problems.  A flare-up can begin a few hours after treatment, but usually occurs 2 to 3 days later.

3. MEDICATIONS – Please follow the medication protocol below even if you don’t have discomfort:

  • 600 mg Ibuprofen (3-200mg over the counter pills of Advil or Motrin or generic equivalent) every 8 hours for the next 2 days AND:
  • 1000mg Acetaminophen (2 extra strength Tylenol or generic equivalent) every 8 hours for the next 2 days.
  • Take 1 of the medications every 4 hours.  Alternate medications so that you do not exceed the daily recommended limit.  If you cannot take ibuprofen then only take the Tylenol.
  • We recommend applying ice to the area and a soft diet.  Most symptoms will go away within 1-3 days.
  • Please call if the above protocol is not relieving your discomfort.

4. FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR GENERAL DENTIST – It is very important to have your tooth properly restored to prevent fracture or new decay.  Most teeth need crowns after root canal treatment, but your general dentist will discuss the best options to preserve your tooth. 

  • If we placed a temporary filling, it takes about half an hour to harden.  Please don’t eat anything hard or drink anything hot during that time.  A temporary filling can only reliably provide a seal for about 1 month.  After that time, the tooth and root canal can become contaminated with bacteria.  
  • Do not bite anything hard or chewy (nuts, bagels, pretzels, ice, etc.) until your tooth has a final restoration.  Again, the tooth is prone to fracture and if you bite down on anything too hard or crunchy you may crack the tooth.

5. Predictability – Along with our advanced knowledge of endodontics, your root canal was done using an endodontic surgical microscope, digital x-rays, electronic apex locators, rotary nickel titanium files, and ultrasonic irrigation.  Your root canal treatment should have a very high degree of success. We have discussed with you how the infection in your tooth started and why your tooth needed a root canal.