Post Surgical Instructions

The following is a list of common questions and answers on how to best care for your tooth/teeth after root canal surgery (Apicoectomy). If you have any questions that are not answered below, please call us with any of your concerns. Thanks for choosing our office for your root canal treatment.

Rest:    After your surgical treatment, go directly home and rest as much as possible for the remainder of the day and the day after if necessary. Your discomfort is generally minimal after the first 12 hours. However, there is a wide range of healing patterns among individuals.

Antibiotic:   If you were prescribed antibiotics, continue to take them as prescribed.

Pain Medication:   Continue taking your prescribed pain medication every 6-8 hours as needed. If you were prescribed Vicodin or Tylenol # 3, you can improve pain relief by alternating 1 or 2 tablets of the prescribed medication with 600mg of an anti-inflammatory (i.e. Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Ibuprofen or Tylenol) at prescribed intervals.

Mouth Rinse:    Start the night of surgery, and continue as directed.

Ice:    The day of surgery, after the procedure, continue icing the area (15 minutes on, 15 minutes off) until you go to bed.

Do Not:   Raise your lip to look at the sutures. This may disrupt or tear the sutures.

Smoking:    Please refrain from smoking for the first 48 hours after surgery.

Eating:      Eat what is comfortable for you. Try to avoid eating brittle, crunchy food as well as hard foods that require heavy pressure to chew.  Soft foods and liquids are best and avoid chewing on the side that was treated.

Brushing:    Avoid brushing the gums at the surgical site for the first 72 hours.

Discoloration and Bleeding:    It is normal to have some discoloration of the tissues around the surgical site. You may notice some slight bleeding at the surgery site after treatment. Discoloration (bruising) of the skin or cheek under the jaw line may occur occasionally. This does not occur with every patient, but if it does, there is no concern.

Pain and Swelling:    Do not be alarmed if you develop swelling. Swelling in a normal consequence of manipulating the tissues at the surgical site.  It is important to understand that there is a wide range of healing patterns following a surgery. Some individuals have very little pain or swelling the next day. Other people can have more intense pain and swelling for several weeks. Regardless of where you fall on this scale, you can expect to still have some tenderness in that area a week or more after the surgery because it takes time for tissues to heal. It typically takes several weeks for gums to feel normal. It may take the tooth several months to feel completely normal as your body fills in the bone around the tooth.

Sutures:     The sutures we placed may begin to fall out prior to your next appointment; they are designed to do that.

Call:      Do not hesitate to call the office if you have any questions about unusual bleeding or severe pain. In case of an emergency after normal business hours, you can reach the doctors by calling the office phone number and following the prompts.