Skip to main content

After Completion of Endodontic Treatment

Endodontic treatment has now been completed. The root canal system inside your tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, and the irritated tissue and bacteria that caused you to need root canal treatment have been removed. The root canal system has been permanently sealed. However, the outer surface is generally sealed with a temporary restoration. A follow-up restoration must be placed to protect your tooth against fracture and decay. If an appointment was not made with your restorative/general dentist at the completion of your root canal in our office, please telephone your dentist for an appointment. A complete report of treatment along with X-rays will be sent to your restorative/general dentist. If a permanent restoration is able to be completed by Dr. Ward or Dr. Ritter, you will be informed of this and a follow-up restoration appointment with your restorative/general dentist will not be needed.

If we have not placed your permanent restoration (filling), your tooth is more prone to fracture immediately after endodontic treatment. You should chew on the other side until your restorative dentist (typically your general dentist) has placed a core build-up and a protective restoration, usually a crown.  If your tooth’s strength is seriously compromised, your dentist may place a post and core build-up inside the tooth. Your restorative dentist along with Dr. Ward and/or Dr. Ritter will determine the appropriate restoration to best protect your tooth.  Generally, we like you to wait approximately a week before your final restoration appointment to make sure your tooth is healing nicely.  We suggest your appointment for your final restoration to be completed within 30 days.  Failure to have a tooth properly restored in a timely manner significantly increases the possibility of failure of the root canal procedure or tooth fracture.  However, your restoration dentist (typically your general dentist) will make the final decision on what is best for you with regards to your final restoration and the course of treatment outlined for you.  


Are There Any Potential Problems After Treatment?

Lower teeth and nerve injury. There is a slight possibility that nerve injury can occur during root canal surgery to the lower posterior teeth. Both Dr. Ward and Dr, Ritter 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. Your surgery is designed 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 a 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 don’t blow your nose for two to three days after surgery. If you have 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. Many times placing you on an antibiotic for one week will take care of the infection.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at (910) 350-3508.

Opening to Sinus

Air Communication From Sinus

Sinus Communication Corrected
Click to open and close visual accessibility options. The options include increasing font-size and color contrast.