Root Canal After-Care: Dos and Don’ts

Root Canal After-Care: Dos and Don’ts

October 1, 2021

Endodontic treatment is a painful procedure to remove the infected or inflamed pulp at the tooth’s center. The treatment is fearsome and likely to make patients put off the treatment if recommended by the dentist. Root canal treatments hurt before, during, and after the procedure. Whether you receive local anesthesia or complete anesthesia, the process causes discomfort for a few days after undergoing the treatment.

Suppose you plan to get root canal treatment for an infected tooth in your mouth. In that case, you join millions of Americans who have successfully undergone endodontics treatment to save their natural tooth. However, before you begin your journey for your appointment, wouldn’t it help if you learned about appropriate root canal after-care? If you need information on what you can or cannot do after endodontic therapy, please continue reading this article to educate yourself.

What Can You Expect When Undergoing Root Canals?

Your mind will likely be flooded with questions when preparing for your appointment to undergo a root canal. Questions like do root canals hurt, how much time with the procedure take, how to manage your recovery, et cetera.

Root canal treatment is intimidating but is a popular remedy performed on nearly 40 million Americans every year. Canals and remove decay from within your tooth to the dental pulp to preserve your natural tooth.

Your tooth has a hard outer layer called enamel. Beneath the enamel lies the dentin, and after that, the dental pulp housing blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. The dental pulp nourishes your tooth during its developmental stages and helps the tooth flourish for you to use appropriately. However, if you experience damages to the tooth by way of cavities, injuries, or impacts and allow bacteria to penetrate your tooth to infect the pulp, you begin experiencing severe tooth pain.

The pain you experience will likely send you to your dentist to receive a referral to an endodontic specialist for evaluation. The endodontist x-rays your tooth to determine the extent of the damage before recommending root canal treatment as the optimal procedure to save your tooth besides extracting it. They will also provide a comprehensive list of things you can and cannot do after getting this treatment.

What Do Root Canals Involve?

When you arrive for your appointment to undergo a root canal to receive anesthesia as discussed by the specialist. Root canals involve drilling your tooth from the crown to access the dental pulp and root walls. The specialist utilizes flexible instruments to clean the insides of the root canal after removing the dental pulp. Root canals are sealed beside the access hole in the crown with a temporary filling needing replacement as soon as possible with a permanent restoration. The procedure requires a couple of appointments with your dentist, depending on which tooth is undergoing root canal treatment.

Root Canal After-Care

The fearsome reputation of the pain associated with root canals will affect you a few hours after your treatment. As the numbing medication begins to wear off, you will experience excruciating pain from the procedure.

  • For the initial few hours after undergoing root canals, you must refrain from having any foods requiring chewing. It helps if you stay away from scorching or freezing foods as well. Trying to eat before the numbing medication wears off, you risk biting too hard on the treated tooth. Do not begin smoking either because the chemicals of tobacco hinder the healing process. You must remain on a soft food diet for a couple of days until you can reintroduce your regular diet into your everyday life.
  • Do not venture out to begin your regular activities immediately after the procedure but spend some time resting to recover from the intensive treatment.
  • You can use an ice pack on your cheek to control swelling but do not use it for over 10 minutes at a time.
  • Take any medications prescription or over-the-counter as recommended by the specialist according to schedule.

Over the next few days, as you recover, you can continue taking the medicines prescribed and eating softer foods by avoiding chewing with the treated tooth. Exercise caution when brushing the tooth to prevent re-infection before recovery.

As you recover, visit your dentist as soon as possible to ensure the treated tooth is filled with a permanent filling or a dental crown. You wouldn’t want to leave a tooth rendered fragile by root canals without protection, would you? You can have a permanent filling from your dentist or even a dental crown to offer the tooth a permanent restoration lasting for over a decade.

If you are planning on undergoing root canal treatment, you must prepare yourself with all knowledge about the procedure and the after-care to help you go through the treatment and have a natural tooth functioning in your mouth.

Our dental office in St. Catharines, ON also welcome patients from the below-mentioned nearby areas:

  • Port Dalhousie
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Beamsville
  • Lincoln
  • Port Weller
  • Lakeport
  • Grantham
  • Haig
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