How do I care for my treated tooth?
After treatment, your tooth may be sensitive or tender. This discomfort is usually relieved by taking mild painkillers and you are advised to avoid biting on the tooth for the next few days.
What's next, a crown?
If your root canal treated tooth had been heavily restored or it is a molar or premolar, it will be more susceptible to fracture or splitting over time. So, it is important to crown the tooth as soon as possible to ensure the longevity of the tooth. Ask your endodontist if you are unsure of your particular situation.
Will the root canal treated tooth last?
Yes, root canal treatment has a high success rate.
Generally, most root canal treated teeth last as long as natural teeth if appropriately restored and regularly maintained. In addition to brushing, flossing and scaling, the root canal treated tooth will need to be checked at six monthly recalls until your endodontist ensures that healing is complete.
What is complete healing? And if my tooth does not hurt now and I'm able to chew on it, why do I need to be followed up?
Root canal treatment removes infection within the tooth and hence, the tooth does not hurt soon after treatment.
However, healing of the surrounding tissues and the affected bone takes time. This often takes at least six months and is observed through an X-ray examination. Sometimes when the infection is extensive, complete healing may take more than two years.
Occasionally, some teeth may become symptomatic again despite successful treatment. A very small proportion of root treatment may also fail. In these cases, there will be a need for further intervention or surgery. Therefore, it is very important to have your root canal treated tooth regularly reviewed by your endodontist.
What happens at the recall appointment?
Your endodontist will examine your tooth for signs of any persistent or new infection and ensure that it has been crowned as indicated.
A new X-ray will be taken to assess the healing of the surrounding tissues and bone. If complete healing is observed, you will be discharged to your regular dentist for checkups. Otherwise, your endodontist will continue with the recall cycle, either six or 12 monthly.
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