Root Canal Recovery Guide: Dos and Don’ts

Almost any invasive medical procedure requires some time for recovery. On top of that, you might need to apply some special care for the fastest and most effective recovery after the procedure. Root canal treatment is not an exception. Here is a root canal recovery guide with the most important dos and don’ts.

What Is a Root Canal Treatment?

Root canal therapy, as the name suggests, treats infections in the canals inside of a tooth root. Infections of this kind are dangerous because not only do they cause severe pain, but they also can lead to tooth loss. On top of that, if you do not get the treatment in time, the oral infection can spread to the neighboring teeth, causing even more discomfort, bad breath, and risk of losing more teeth in the future.

Steps of a Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment usually begins with an X-ray to see the condition of your teeth and the extent of the damage. Then, the doctor will access the pulp chamber of your tooth through its crown. The next step is the removal of the infected pulp using special dental instruments. After the diseased tissue is removed, your doctor will clean the pulp chamber and root canals and then dry them.

The next step is putting the dental filling into the interior of the tooth. Sometimes, a temporary filling is used first. Later it is replaced with permanent filling. In some cases, medication is put into the pulp chamber and root canals to treat the infection all the way. Some patients might also be prescribed antibiotics.

After the tooth is filled, it needs to be restored and protected from future decay. Usually, your doctor will place a crown over the tooth. A crown is basically an artificial tooth that looks very similar to your natural teeth. A crown can be made of several different materials porcelain, a combination of porcelain and metal, and others. Porcelain and porcelain fused to metal crowns can be tinted to match the natural color of your teeth perfectly. In cases when a tooth is severely decayed and a large part of it is missing, a special metal post is inserted in the tooth first to support the crown.

The Recovery After a Root Canal Treatment

An average recovery time after the treatment is typically less than a week. Some patients report experiencing mild discomfort for a couple of days. Usually, such symptoms can be easily managed with some pain medication. However, if the pain persists for longer than a week after the root canal treatment, visit a dentist to make sure that everything is well or to treat the tooth if there is an issue.

Root Canal Recovery Guide: Dos and Don’ts

Dos During Root Canal Recovery

Usually, patients experience swelling in the mouth right after the procedure. Keeping your head lifted during the day and at night can reduce the swelling.

Ask your doctor for painkiller recommendations. Take the medication exactly as prescribed when your tooth starts aching, and never exceed the recommended daily dose.

Take care to prevent infection and inflammation by disinfecting your mouth as often as your doctor recommends.

Usually, warm salt water is good for cleaning your mouth after a root canal treatment. However, your doctor can suggest other solutions.

Avoid any strenuous activities or sports until the swelling subsides and your tooth is fully recovered.

Don’ts During Root Canal Recovery

Typically, the procedure of root canal treatment is done using an anesthetic to protect the patient from strong pain. The numbness in your mouth caused by the anesthetic can last for a couple of hours after the procedure. Avoid eating anything until the numbness is fully gone. Otherwise, you risk biting yourself badly or damaging your newly restored tooth.

Try to avoid chewing food on the side of your mouth where you had root canal treatment. Also, do not bite onto the treated tooth. You can start eating as usual after the tenderness and swelling are gone.
Try to avoid hard or sticky foods, very hot or cold beverages, and alcohol.
Do not use a straw while drinking, as the suction can prevent the necessary clot from forming.

Any invasive dental procedure can cause pain and discomfort, which might persist for some time after the treatment. Make sure to closely follow your doctor’s recommendations. Be careful with your newly treated tooth until the end of the recovery period. Visit your doctor immediately if the pain is severe or lasts longer than a week.

Remember that you should never postpone the root canal treatment as it can lead to more serious issues. Sign up for your visit at Smile Studio and get your teeth attended to by our highly professional dentist.