Post-Op Instructions

Post Operative Instructions Following Root Canal Therapy:

You may have some discomfort after treatment, depending on how fast your body heals and the amount of infection/inflammation that was present in and around the tooth prior to the treatment. Pre-op pain is the best indicator of post-op pain. The tooth can be sore for up to 2 weeks, and post-operative pain is a normal occurrence for 7-10 days.

Pain Control

We recommend you take the following over the counter pain relievers as specified (unless allergic to either pain med):
2 tablets Ibuprofen (ex: Advil) (2 X 200mg tablet = 400mg total)
1 tablet Acetaminophen (ex: Tylenol Extra Strength) (1-500mg tablet)
3 tablets total every 5-6 hours for the next 2-3 days. (Clock regulated pain control)

If pain is not controlled by the 3 tablets every 5-6 hours, you can increase your dosage to a maximum of 3 tablets Ibuprofen (600 mg total) + 2 tablets Acetaminophen (1000mg total) = 5 tablets total every 5-6 hours. This is not to exceed 4 dosages of 5 tablets in a 24 hour period due to kidney/liver complication concerns.

NOTE: If you are allergic to either Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen and/or if you are taking ACE Inhibitors (ex: lisinopril), lithium, methotrexate, Warfarin (Coumadin) or Isoniazid please speak to Dr. Howard for a recommendation for an altered pain control plan. The efficacy of your medication may be altered or affected by pain medication.


Please notify Dr. Howard or Dr. Camba of any allergies you have to antibiotics.
1. Not all root canal treatments necessitate an antibiotic. Please consult with Dr. Howard or Dr. Camba if you need one or not.
2. If you were already taking an antibiotic before root canal therapy with Dr. Howard or Dr. Camba, finish your antibiotics.
3. If you have been given an antibiotic, please fill your prescription and completely take all pills as prescribed.
4. If starting an antibiotic regiment after root canal treatment, be aware that it may take 2-3 days before the antibiotic begins to take effect. Some mild swelling may occur until the antibiotics begin to counter the infection.
5. Halting your antibiotic regiment before taking all tablets can hinder healing success.


You may eat on the side of the mouth of root canal treatment, but are cautioned to be very careful. NO STICKY (gum, toffee, caramel, etc.) or HARD (pretzels, hard candy, chips, etc.) foods should be eaten. Doing so can pull the temporary filling out or break the tooth.

Restoring your root canal treated tooth:

We recommend seeing your general dentist for restoration of your tooth within 2 weeks of treatment. If your root canal treatment was through a crown, your general dentist will determine whether or not a new crown is advised. Most, though not all, root canal treated teeth need a crown after treatment. Do not have the permanent crown cemented until pain symptoms have resolved.

Emergency Contacts

True emergencies (problems breathing, swallowing, face swells rapidly impeding facial function, etc) should be handled directly with your local ER facility. Please call us after calling 911 and heading to the ER.

Non life threatening emergencies can be handled through our office. If an emergency arises please call 770.624.0029 and follow instructions. We will return calls at our earliest possibility. We are willing to see patients after hours and weekends if conditions warrant.

Call Us Today!


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"I have just returned from an appointment with Dr. Howard and my faith in the dental profession as a whole has been restored. I had to get a root canal done, and to my shock, it was a painless, relatively fast, and surprisingly pleasant experience"

- Annelyss M.

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