A root canal is a procedure that strikes fear in the hearts of many, but it isn’t nearly as bad as you may think. In fact, root canals are virtually painless. This procedure is done when a tooth is severely decayed and removing the infected pulp, which is the inside of the tooth, is the only way to save it from extraction. Since this includes removing the nerves, it actually stops the pain, not causes it. If you recently learned that you need to get a root canal, here’s what you can expect during recovery.
How the Root Canal Recovery Process Works
During the root canal procedure, your dentist will use a numbing agent to prevent you from experiencing any discomfort throughout treatment. even so, you will likely begin to experience some sensitivity a few hours after the procedure. Although this is to be expected, patients generally want to avoid this sensation if possible. Fortunately, an ice pack or cold compress and over-the-counter pain medicine can keep you comfortable as your mouth heals. Additionally, if a temporary crown was placed over the tooth, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until you’ve had the permanent one placed to avoid discomfort or complications.
4 Tips for a Smooth Recovery After Root Canal Therapy
Along with taking pain medicine, putting an ice pack on the affected area, and avoiding chewing on that side of your mouth until you’ve had your permanent crown placed, some other ways to ensure you have a smooth recovery include:
- Have soft foods at the ready – Though your temporary crown will protect your tooth until your permanent one is ready, avoid eating hard, sticky, and acidic foods until your permanent one is placed. Make sure to stock up on soft, mouth-healthy foods like hard-boiled eggs, soup, applesauce, and pasta before the procedure.
- Keep your mouth clean – To keep food particles, plaque, and bacteria from re-infecting the tooth, make sure to keep your mouth clean. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions on how to do this, but you can rinse with salt and warm water to alleviate discomfort and eliminate bacteria.
- Get plenty of rest – Root canal therapy is a straightforward and common treatment, but it’s important not to overexert yourself after the procedure. For a few days post-op, don’t lift heavy items or do intense workouts. Focus on resting so your body can heal properly. Make sure to take time off from work or school if need be.
- Follow your dentist’s instructions – Keep in touch with your dentist during recovery so they can keep track of how you’re doing. Notify them if increased swelling after the first few days or any other abnormal symptoms arise.
If your dentist says you need a root canal, make sure to schedule the procedure as soon as possible to prevent further complications. This treatment will help relieve any discomfort you’re feeling so you can get back to enjoying a gorgeous, pain-free grin!
About the Practice
Dr. James Geer offers the residents of Tomball the exceptional, high-quality oral health services that they deserve. If you have a tooth in need of a root canal, they will ensure that you feel comfortable during the procedure and have the information you need to heal properly. Call Dr. James Geer’s office at (281) 357-4337 or visit his website if you’re interested in learning more about root canals or want to set up an appointment.