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A Comprehensive Guide to Root Canals (Endodontic Therapy)a dental room with a large flat screen tv
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Despite the myths, endodontic therapy are key treatments that remove the pulp, save teeth and relieve pain. You will learn about root canal therapy and how to care for your tooth after, so you can confidently handle your dental health.

Endodontic Therapy Step-By-Step

Understanding Endodontic Therapy

What Does a Root Canal Look Like?

The endodontic procedure to remove the infected pulp, clean and disinfect it, and fill it to avoid further issues. Root canal pictures often show the before and after of the tooth’s interior, highlighting the clean, filled, and sealed canals.

Root Canal on front teeth - Root Canal Xray:

Root Canal on front teeth

Root Canal Before and After:

Before and After

The Lifespan of a Endodontic Therapy

How long does a endodontic therapy last? With proper dental care, including regular check-ups, cleanings, and good oral hygiene, a treated tooth can last a lifetime. A dental crown after endodontic therapy treatment adds protection and longevity.

Tooth with root canal hurts with pressure? Sometimes, it takes time for the surrounding soft tissues to fully heal after a endodontic therapy. In rare cases, some bacteria may remain in the affected tooth or the surrounding tissues, causing continued discomfort. Pressure on a cracked tooth may cause pain as well if left untreated.

If you're in pain or feeling sensitive after dental treatment, it's a good idea to see your dentist or endodontist for a check-up. They can determine the cause of the discomfort and recommend appropriate treatment to address it.

How long does a root canal last without a crown? The absence of a dental crown can greatly shorten a tooth's life. The crown is essential for protecting the weakened tooth from fractures post-treatment. Without a crown, the tooth is more likely to fail, particularly molars and premolars that handle most of the chewing.

Post-Endodontic Therapy Care

Immediate Aftercare

Can I drive after a root canal? After endodontic therapy, driving is safe as long as you feel well and have no lingering effects from sedation.

What can I eat after a root canal? What to eat after a endodontic therapy is crucial. Eat soft, easy-to-chew foods to avoid discomfort and protect the treated area.

Managing Discomfort

How to stop throbbing pain after root canal? Over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses can alleviate pain. If you have pressure pain on root canal tooth or any other persistent discomfort, contact your dentist.

Root Canal Treatment Side Effects

  1. Without a crown for protection, the tooth that underwent endodontic therapy may weaken and become more susceptible to breaking. This happens because the procedure removes the tooth's pulp, which can make the tooth less strong.
  2. Rarely, but a few folks might get an allergic reaction to the things used in the procedure, such as the filling or anesthesia.
  3. Bacteria can cause another infection if it gets back into the tooth filling material. Signs of a re-infection include pain, swelling, and sensitivity.
  4. Root Canal Cracked Tooth: Without a crown, the tooth could crack, potentially causing infection and pain.

Common Questions and Concerns

Endodontic Therapy vs. Dental Implants

When considering root canal vs implant, remember that preserving your natural teeth is always preferable. Endodontic therapy can save the natural tooth structure, while implants replace the entire tooth.

Smoking and Oral Health

Can you smoke after a root canal? We advise against smoking because it can delay healing and raise the risk of complications.

Enhancing Your Dental Health

Preventing Root Canals

How to avoid root canal? The key lies in preventing tooth decay and gum disease through regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups. Addressing issues early with treatments like dental fillings can prevent the need for more invasive procedures.

Emergency Care

What about emergency root canal? When faced with severe pain or a cracked tooth root canal, immediate dental attention can prevent further damage and save your tooth.

Myths vs. Reality

The Truth About Pain

How bad does a root canal hurt 1-10? With modern techniques and anesthesia, most patients experience minimal discomfort.

Are Root Canals Bad for You?

Endodontic Therapy is a safe and effective way to treat infected teeth. The procedure removes bacteria, protecting your tooth and overall health.

Advanced Care and Alternatives

The Role of Dental Crowns

Getting a crown after root canal can help your tooth look, feel, and function normal again. A crown will ensure its strength and durability as well for the long term. The dentist will remove the temporary filling after the endodontic therapy, and complete your dental crown.

Exploring Alternatives

While there is alternative to root canal to consider, most of the time it's better to save your natural tooth.


Endodontic Therapy play a crucial role in dental health, addressing tooth infections and decay to save natural teeth. Knowing about root canals, caring for your tooth after, and preventing more dental issues can keep your smile healthy and free from pain. Remember, the key to a successful dental pulp therapy is early detection, proper aftercare, and regular dental visits. So, embrace your dental health journey with confidence and let root canals be a positive step towards a brighter smile.

A Comprehensive Guide to Root Canals (Endodontic Therapy)
A Comprehensive Guide to Root Canals (Endodontic Therapy)

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Post - OP Instructions: Crowns & Bridgesa dental room with a large flat screen tv
Post Appt. Care

Post - OP Instructions: Crowns & Bridges

February 20, 2024

Post – Op Instructions: Crowns & Bridges

Dental crowns and bridges usually take 2-3 appointments to complete. On the first appointment, the tooth/teeth are prepared, scans are taken, and a temporary crown/bridge is placed on the tooth/teeth. A custom fit temporary restoration will be fabricated to protect your teeth and gum tissue while your permanent crown or bridge is being created at the dental laboratory. The temporary prevents the tooth from shifting or moving, so it is essential that it stay in place for the duration of the time in between appointments.

A temporary, however, is not as durable as a permanent restoration, nor is it sealed completely, so it is important to be very careful chewing on that side, as well as keeping the area clean. Having sensitivity on the tooth/teeth while the temporary is in place is normal and will subside when the permanent restoration is placed, however, If the sensitivity gets increasingly worse or does not begin to subside after several weeks after the permanent restoration is placed, please contact our office.

Home Care

While your temporary is in place it is important to keep your gum tissue as clean and healthy as possible. You may need to alter your oral hygiene habits in the interim as temporary restorations are cemented with a special cement that is designed to come off easily. Continue to thoroughly brush and floss every day.

However, when flossing, take special care to pull the floss out from the side rather than out from the top. Pulling out from the top can cause the temporary to come loose. If your temporary does come off, call us immediately so we can arrange to cement it back into place.

Do not attempt to “glue” the temporary crown back in yourself or “go without it” as the teeth may become sensitive or shift slightly, preventing placement of the permanent crown. You can use a denture adhesive like Fixodent or toothpaste to hold the crown or bridge temporarily until you can get to our office.

Once your permanent crown or bridge is cemented, it is important to remember that these ceramic or zirconia restorations do not decay, but the teeth underneath them do. The most susceptible area for decay is at, or below, the area where the tooth and restoration meet. If this area is not routinely cleaned bacterial plaque will form around the restoration, which oftentimes lead to decay. This is the most common reason for needing to replace permanent crowns and/or bridges. Therefore, it is important that you maintain a diligent daily home care program to clean your teeth and gums.

Fixed dental bridges require additional cleaning under the pontic (missing tooth). Since this “false tooth” is connected to the adjacent teeth a bridge threader is used to thread floss under it to remove plaque. These are available at most pharmacies.


Although your temporary restoration should be very comfortable, you will need to alter your chewing habits to ensure the temporary stays in place in the interim in between appointments. 

Avoid chewing hard and sticky foods on the temporary crown such as gum, caramels, taffy, or hard candy. Also, if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. If your bite feels uneven or your teeth do not come together as they did before, please contact us immediately.

After the permanent restoration is placed it is normal to feel slight pressure and sensitivity to hot or cold for a few days up to a few weeks. If, however, after 2-3 days your bite still feels uneven, contact our office. Delaying the necessary adjustments may damage the tooth permanently. If the sensitivity gets increasingly worse or does not begin to subside after several weeks, please contact your local office.

Please contact your office if you have any questions or concerns

Post - OP Instructions: Fillingsa dental room with a large flat screen tv
Post Appt. Care

Post - OP Instructions: Fillings

February 20, 2024

Post – Operative Instructions: Fillings

Your anesthesia will wear off in approximately 1 to 3 hours after the procedure. It is very important not to chew on the numb side (to prevent biting tongue, lip, etc.) until the anesthesia wears off.

Children should be observed until the anesthesia has worn off. Due to the strange feeling of the anesthetic, many children chew on the inside of their cheeks, lips and tongue which can cause serious damage.

Your tooth (or teeth) may be sensitive to hot, cold or pressure following the placement of fillings. This is completely normal. The possible symptoms of hot, cold or pressure sensitivity will cease within a few days to a couple of weeks. In very few instances, this sensitivity could last longer than a couple of weeks. As long as your teeth or gums are continuing to feel better (not getting worse), everything is fine, and there is no need for concern. However if you have any concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to your local dentist.

Once the anesthesia has worn off, if you feel as though any of the teeth we have worked on are hitting first when you bite down, please give our office a call immediately. This imbalance with your bite may cause further discomfort and should be adjusted.

The gum tissue can sometimes be irritated during the procedure and may be sore for a few days. The anesthetic injection site may also feel sore or bruised. If your gums are tender, rinse with warm salt water, dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of salt in an 8 oz. glass of warm water. An analgesic such as Tylenol or Advil will help to decrease discomfort.

Composite (tooth colored) fillings set up right away and can be chewed on as soon as the anesthetic wears off.

Home Care

Although the treatment that was performed is quite durable, the underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay, especially at the interface between the tooth and filling. It is important to resume regular brushing and flossing immediately. Daily home care and regulating your intake of sugar-containing foods will increase the longevity of your new restoration. If you have any other questions or concerns, please call your local office.

Please contact your office if you have any questions or concerns

Post - OP Instructions: Deep Cleaninga dental room with a large flat screen tv
Post Appt. Care

Post - OP Instructions: Deep Cleaning

February 20, 2024

Post – Operative Instructions: Deep Cleaning

Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease. The purpose of the treatment is to remove bacterial plaque and tartar from around teeth and under the gum line and smooth out rough target areas thereby eliminating the inflammation and infection that is the causative factor in gum disease. The progression of gum disease can be halted by removing inflammation and disrupting bacterial bio-film development with regular maintenance visits and meticulous home care.

After treatment you can expect to notice less redness, less bleeding, and less swelling of your gum tissues. Your teeth may feel smoother, and your mouth will taste and feel better. The following tips will make you more comfortable, help to prevent any possible compilations and ensure the success of the procedure.


You may take an over-the-counter pain reliever for any tenderness or discomfort. Take ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) unless you have medical conditions or allergies.

It is not unusual for the teeth to be more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures, and/or sweets. This is normal. This occurs as the gum tissue heals and shrinks in size and should gradually resolve in a few weeks with proper home care. Consistently brushing two to three times daily with sensitivity toothpaste or using fluoride rinses may alleviate this over time. Avoid toothpastes with “whitening” or baking soda, as this will contribute to the problem. If sensitivity continues or is severe, professional application of a desensitizing agent may be required.

Home Care

To help soothe the area, rinse your mouth 2-3 times a day with warm salt water rinses. If CloSYS is prescribed, use as directed.

Resume your home care regimen of brushing twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and daily flossing immediately, but be gentle with the area recently treated. Your gum health must be maintained with proper home care, as instructed, and regular dental visits. You may use a WaterPik if recommended as well.

Refrain from smoking for 24 to 48 hours after scaling and root planing as tobacco will delay healing of the tissues. Smoking cessation is highly recommended.


After scaling and root planing, avoid chewing in the area until the anesthetic has worn off completely. It is easy to bite or burn your cheek, tongue or lip while numb.

For several days following treatment, a soft diet is recommended. Avoid any hard foods such as tortilla chips, potato chips, popcorn, or seeds.


Minor bleeding that results in a pinkish tinge to your saliva is normal and may occur during the first 48 hours following treatment. You may rinse your mouth with warm salt water. If excessive bleeding should occur, apply light pressure to the area with a moistened gauze or moistened tea bag and call the office immediately for more assistance.

Follow – Up Care

We ask patients to return in 3-4 months following scaling and root planing for an additional periodontal evaluation. At this appointment the healing response of your periodontal tissues will be evaluated as well as the effectiveness of your oral self-care in order to determine if further periodontal treatments are necessary as well as the frequency of your recall interval. This appointment will include re-probing the periodontal tissues as well as a maintenance cleaning.

Please contact your office if you have any questions or concerns