We hope your visit to Endodontics of New Mexico was pleasant and exceeded all your expectations. Saving your tooth was a wise decision that you will benefit from every day. We strive to prove that root canal therapy in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is comfortable, valuable, and dramatically better solution than the alternative of extraction and artificial tooth replacement. Thank you for your patronage and we appreciate your referrals to Dr. James Wolcott.

It is recommended that you limit your physical activity for the first 24 hours after your treatment. This helps prevent bleeding problems from the surgical area. However, some bleeding may be expected for the first 24 hours. You may want to cover your pillowcase with a towel, or use an old pillowcase.

To minimize swelling, use ice packs intermittently, 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off, for the first hour or two after the procedure if possible.  Swelling is normal and may take up to a week to resolve. Sometimes it may increase and peak as late as 3 or 4 days following surgery. The surgical area may be uncomfortable for several days. Tenderness should decrease slowly as the area heals and may remain evident for several months as deep bony healing progresses. Due to the nature of dental pain, anti-inflammatory pain medications are our first choice of pain relievers.

Over the counter medications


Ibuprofen: (Advil, Nuprin, Motrin) 600 to 800 mg every 6 to 8 hours

Aleve or generic: (over the counter naproxen sodium) Two 220 mg tablets every 6 to 8 hours.

Non anti-inflammatory:

Acetaminophen: (Tylenol – regular or extra strength) can be taken between your anti-inflammatory doses for extra relief without drowsiness.

Prescription medications

If a narcotic prescription pain reliever was prescribed, it can be substituted for the acetaminophen between your anti-inflammatory doses. Narcotics cause drowsiness and caution is advised if driving is anticipated. Also, taking narcotics and anti-inflammatory drugs with food or following a meal will help avoid the nausea they sometimes cause.

Antibiotic medications

If swelling develops or worsens after treatment, take your prescribed antibiotics or call us for a prescription. Improvement should be noticed in 2-3 days. Take the antibiotic on schedule until gone even if your symptoms improve rapidly. If you are taking birth control pills and antibiotics, an additional birth control measure is recommended through the completion of the cycle, as the antibiotics may inactivate your birth control pills. Call us or your pharmacist if unusual side effects occur.

Hygiene after surgery

The second and third day after surgery, rinse after mills with warm water (salt optional). Keep all other areas brushed and flossed as usual. Begin gentle brushing of the surgical area on day three, using a soft bristle toothbrush. Resume full mouth regular flossing and brushing after one week. Do not lift your lip to examine the stitches, as this may cause them to tear. However, early loss of a dissolving suture is not cause for concern.

Follow a soft diet the day of and day after your surgery. After day one, cut food into small pieces. No toast. Soft nourishing foods are excellent. Examples include juices, pureed vegetables, soups, gelatin, ice cream, yogurt and applesauce. Drink plenty of liquids.

Smoking during the first week after your surgery will increase the risk of infection and hinder the healing process.

If you have any questions, please call our office 505-819-5690.