Though they have a bad reputation, root canals are actually very common procedures that help save teeth and often eliminate dental pain. Due to modern technology and anesthetics, root canals aren’t painful and they may help you avoid a tooth extraction. Plus, you don’t need to worry about the root canal recovery process – it’s quick, simple, and frustration-free.
Root Canal Recovery 101
Listen to your endodontist.
After the endodontist finishes the procedure, he or she will give you instructions for your root canal recovery. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and call their office later if you have any concerns.
Typically a temporary filling and/or crown is applied after a root canal to protect the tooth until the permanent filling and/or crown is placed. So after the initial procedure, you will need to schedule a follow-up visit for the final procedure.
Expect a bit of tenderness and sensitivity.
Your mouth will be numb during the procedure, and as this numbness fades, you may notice some sensitivity in your tooth and some tenderness in your jaw from keeping your mouth open for an extended period during the root canal. These feelings are temporary and will go away on their own. To prevent discomfort, your doctor may prescribe a medication or you can use an over-the-counter medicine (such as ibuprofen or naproxen). If you take any medications, read their instructions carefully, and contact your endodontist or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Watch out for unusual side effects.
If your tooth feels slightly different following the procedure, don’t worry – it’s normal. The reactions listed below are not normal, however, so you should contact your endodontist right away if you notice them:
- Severe pain
- Severe pressure
- Visible swelling (inside or outside the mouth)
- An allergic reaction (rash, hives, itching, etc.)
- An uneven bite
- A temporary crown or filling falls out (only applicable if one was used)
- Your pre-root canal symptoms return
You will need to schedule a follow-up visit so that your endodontist can assess the treated tooth, determine what’s causing the symptom, and provide an effective treatment.
Be gentle and kind to your teeth.
Caring for your treated tooth and your mouth after a root canal isn’t difficult.
First, while your mouth is still numb, be careful when chewing to ensure you don’t bite your tongue or cheek.
Next, while your tooth is being protected by a temporary filling and/or crown, avoid chewing or biting down on the tooth to avoid damage. This also helps protect the tooth’s interior from recontamination.
Finally, care for your teeth as you typically would to keep your mouth clean and infection-free. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, use mouthwash, and schedule regular appointments with your dentist. Once the permanent filling and/or crown are placed, you can treat the affected tooth like any other tooth.
To learn more, check out our blog post What to Expect After a Root Canal.
Have you been experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity? Don’t wait around letting the pain worsen, jeopardizing your oral health. Contact your dentist for a check-up to ensure that your tooth isn’t infected and in need of a root canal. Root canals may sound scary, but in reality, they’re painless and could save your tooth from extraction.
And if you’re looking for a new dentist in the Springfield, Missouri, area, contact Wilkinson Dental. We provide an array of general and cosmetic dental services, including root canals, regular cleanings, crowns, dentures, teeth whitening services, and more. Call us today at 417-708-0556 or visit us online to schedule your first appointment. We look forward to welcoming you to the Wilkinson Dental family.