Post-Operative Instructions

Instructions Following Treatment


It is normal following root canal treatment to have some minor discomfort and possible biting tenderness for a few days. It will typically feel like a soreness in the area that we worked on and should improve within three days. In order to minimize this discomfort, we recommend taking 600 mg of Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) every six hours for the first two days, not to exceed 3200 mg per day. Over the counter Ibuprofen comes in 200 mg tablets and therefore you should take three tablets to equal the recommended 600 mg dose.

Please take the medication “on the clock” versus waiting for the soreness to set in. If you are still experiencing discomfort that is not alleviated by the ibuprofen alone, we recommend adding 500 mg of acetaminophen (Tylenol, not to exceed 3000 mg per day) which is taken at the same time as the ibuprofen. This combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen has been shown in studies to be more effective at pain management than narcotics or opioid medications. **Consuming caffeine with the ibuprofen & Tylenol regimen can maximize the effectiveness of both medications. A 65-100 mg does twice daily is recommended. Food & drinks such as coffee, tea, sodas or dark chocolate are a natural source of caffeine. Alternatively, caffeine tablets are available over the counter.

It is rare to need an antibiotic in conjunction with endodontic therapy, but if you have been prescribed one please continue the recommended dosing regimen until complete.

Signs that are not normal following endodontic therapy include swelling, increased pain, a bad taste, fever, and malaise. If you experience any of these symptoms, please call our office to consult with Dr. Estes. Please note that biting sensitivity/tenderness is the last symptom to heal after root canal therapy. This may take a few days or up to a few weeks to resolve, but should be improving with time.

Please be sure to return to your general dentist as soon as possible for the placement of a permanent restoration. This is a very important part to ensure the success of your case.

If you experience an after-hour emergency, please contact our office at 843-899-7668 and follow the prompt on the message to be directed to speak with Dr. Estes.