After Completion of Endodontic Treatment
Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, the outer surface is sealed with a temporary restoration. A follow-up restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. Please contact your restorative dentist for an appointment. A complete report of treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist. Included in your treatment plan with our office is a follow-up examination to evaluate the progress of healing, if indicated. This appointment will require only a few minutes and no additional fee will be charged for the first check-up visit. We will notify you when it is time for this follow-up appointment.
Your tooth is more prone to fracture immediately after endodontic treatment. You should chew on the other side until your restorative dentist has placed a core build-up and a protective restoration, usually a crown. If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, your restorative dentist may place a post and core build-up inside the tooth. Your restorative dentist will determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth.
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Are there any potential problems after treatment?
- Possible complications to local anesthesia. Almost everyone becomes somewhat anxious with the thought of getting a shot! A few people may become so anxious that they actually feel faint or lose consciousness for a few seconds. Fainting is rare, but it is the most common “bad” reaction to a local anesthetic injection. With today’s local anesthetics, a true allergy is very rare but has been known to occur.
Although this is not a complete list, other possible, yet infrequent, complications include:
1. muscle soreness or stiffness in the area of the injection;
2. swelling, if a small blood vessel is inadvertently nicked when the injection is administered;
3. temporary paralysis of the cheek and eyelid muscle;
4. although rare, damage to a nerve, causes “tingling” or “numbness” from dental injections (This may be temporary, or in some cases permanent. The area most commonly affected is the lip when anesthetizing lower teeth. If numbness should occur after the anesthesia wears off, please call our office.);
5. perception of an electrical shock when an anesthetic is administered to the lower jaw; and,
6. increased rate and strength of the heartbeat immediately following administration of the anesthetic (this is generally attributed to the epinephrine in certain local anesthetics).
Please inform Dr. Allen, Dr. Campbell or Dr. Cooper before the anesthetic is administered or dental work is started if you have had any past “bad” reactions or have allergies to local anesthesia.
- Lower teeth and nerve injury. During root canal surgery, there is a slight possibility that nerve injury can occur to the lower posterior teeth. Drs. Allen, Campbell and Cooper are trained to assess this possibility prior to treatment and will advise you accordingly. For lower posterior teeth, the root tips may be near a nerve that supplies feeling to the lip, chin, and gums. Drs. Allen, Campbell and Cooper are trained to design your surgery to minimize the chances of damaging this nerve. Rarely, this nerve can become irritated during the process of surgery. In these cases, when the local anesthesia wears off, you may experience tingling, altered sensation, or in rare cases, a complete lack of feeling in the affected tissues. Should this occur, it is usually temporary and will resolve over a period of days, weeks, or months. In rare cases, these changes can be permanent and/or painful.
- Upper teeth and sinus communication. The upper teeth are situated near your sinuses, and root canal surgery can result in communication between your mouth and the adjacent sinus. Should this complication occur, it will usually heal spontaneously. We will give you special instructions if this is apparent at the time of surgery. We prefer that you do not blow your nose for two to three days after surgery. If you feel the need to sneeze, you should sneeze with an open mouth into a tissue. You should not create any pressure in the sinus area. If you sense a complication after surgery, please contact us.
- Post-operative infections. Post-operative infections occasionally occur and may require an office visit and examination. Many times, placing you on an antibiotic for a week to ten days will take care of the infection. Occasionally, other follow-up procedures will be needed.