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2845 Parkwood Blvd #300 • Plano, Texas 75093
972-309-9400
What to Expect During and After Your Root Canal

First visit
Your initial visit will consist of a diagnostic evaluation and consultation. We will discuss the findings, the diagnosis as well as your treatment options. Depending on the condition of the tooth, it may be appropriate to start treatment at the initial appointment if you so desire. In some cases, a patient’s complicated medical history or complex condition of the tooth may require another appointment to initiate treatment.

Here are some general instructions to follow prior to you initial visit:
  • To aid in diagnosis, do not take pain medication (prescription or over-the-counter) within 6 hours prior to your appointment unless otherwise instructed by our office.
  • Please ask all dental insurance questions prior to your appointment date.
  • Minors must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Bring a list of your medications.
  • When you make your appointment, please inform us if you are wanting an evaluation only or if you are wanting to start root canal treatment (if treatment is possible) at the initial visit.
  • If you are wanting treatment at the initial appointment please allow 2 – 2 ½ hours at our office.
  • If you are wanting an evaluation only, please allow 1 – 1 ½ hours at our office.
  • Emergency appointments will be worked into the schedule in as timely of a manner as possible but may have an extended wait time depending on the day.
  • As a courtesy we will help file your dental insurance but our professional fees will be due at the time services are rendered.
  • If your dentist has given you a referral card, letter or x-rays, please bring those with you to your appointment.
  • (Women) Let us know if you are pregnant or nursing prior to the appointment date. Please have your OB/GYN (if pregnant) or (if nursing) your pediatrician’s phone number so that we can confirm what alterations need to be made to our treatment.
The length of a root canal procedure varies tremendously depending on the type, condition, infection and drainage of the tooth. It usually takes between one and three separate visits. Because the x-ray does not provide all the necessary information, your endodontist will not be able to tell you exactly how many appointments your root canal will take until well into the treatment of the tooth. Therefore, predicting exactly how long each root canal will take is impossible, so please realize that we respect your schedule but also want to provide you as well as every other patient a carefully done root canal.

Healing
After any dental procedure some discomfort is expected. Most of the time it is mild to moderate and subsides after a few days. If you experience pain that gets worse each day or if you have facial swelling that increases after treatment, please call the office. “Aches” may continue for some time after the root canal has been completed. However, if you have increasing pain that lasts for several consecutive days, please contact us.

The goal of root canal therapy is for you to be able to chew without pain. Your tooth may always feel “different” than it did before your infection or different than other teeth around it. It may be sensitive when you tap on it from the side or when you brush your teeth even after the root canal is complete. Sometimes when the bone and ligament around your tooth heal, scar tissue may remain. If you have questions or would like for us to see you for another exam and x-ray, please call and schedule an appointment.

Medications
You may be given pain medicine. If so, read the instructions on how often to take it and do not exceed this frequency or the instructed amount. Do not drive while you are taking a narcotic pain medicine. If you have been given antibiotics, take them as directed until they are all gone. The only reason to stop taking the antibiotic is if you get diarrhea or have an allergic reaction (rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing). If any of this occurs, please call our office and let us know that you discontinued the prescription and why. If you have a life-threatening reaction to any medication, call 911. Always read the inserts that are given by the pharmacy and follow the instructions. If you have any questions about drug interactions, the pharmacist can help or you can call our office prior to taking the medicine.

Eating
After your root canal procedure, the ligament that holds your tooth in the bone may be inflamed. This is what usually causes soreness. If possible, stay away from hard or crunchy foods and foods that take strong jaw forces to chew (hard bread crusts, steak, nuts, tortilla chips, etc.) for the first week. This will allow the ligament to start to heal without being bruised again. Slowly introduce harder foods in the next few weeks.

Your tooth and the new filling
After each appointment, some type of filling (temporary or permanent) is placed in the access opening that was made to get to the roots of the tooth. The pulp has been removed and the canal(s) permanently filled. Your tooth is slightly weaker than before the initial problem. If you don’t have a crown already on the tooth, you may need one to avoid tooth fracture. Your family dentist will do this. Confirm with us and/or your dentist if further treatment of your tooth is necessary. If the root canal was performed through an existing crown, make sure you know if the filling that is placed is temporary or if it is permanent. If it is a temporary, you will need to return to your family dentist for permanent filling placement.

Report and recall
A report of the treatment along with a copy of the x-ray will be sent to your dentist so that your chart may be updated at their office. Also, in a few weeks to months, you may receive a card from us in the mail asking you to return to our office for a follow-up x-ray to evaluate healing. If you do, please call to schedule an appointment. There is no additional fee for this appointment.

We appreciate the opportunity to treat you. We strive to provide expert endodontic treatment with the latest technology so that you have the best chance to keep your natural tooth as long as possible.

Thank you and please don’t hesitate to call the office if you have questions or concerns.
 

Field Endodontics • (972) 309-9400
2845 Parkwood Blvd. #300 • Plano, TX 75093