What To Expect During And After A Root Canal Treatment

Posted on: 4 November 2015

Just hearing the term "root canal" often strikes fear in many dental patients. In the past, root canals were a painful process with an unpleasant recovery period. However, today, with updated techniques, root canals are no longer something to fear. Root canals are a necessary procedure when infection has spread under the tooth. It's natural to have some questions about the procedure and the recovery, so here are three things you can expect during and after a root canal. 

During the Procedure

Knowing what to expect during the procedure helps relieve anxiety. Know that it is a routine procedure and experienced dentists perform them on a daily basis. Before the procedure begins the dentist will numb your gums and inject them with a local anesthetic. If necessary, your dentist may administer an anti-anxiety medication. Once your mouth is numb, your dentist will use tools to remove the pulp and fill the inside of the tooth with antibiotic medication to kill the infection. The dentist will also use temporary fillings while a crown is being created. Once ready, the dentist will install your final dental crown.

Immediately After

Your mouth will still feel numb and tingly following the procedure and you may feel a bit drowsy if the dentist administered any type of anti-anxiety medication. For this reason, dentists recommend that you have someone pick you up and take you home. Your dentist may release you with a prescription for pain medication, or he may recommend an over-the-counter pain medicine. Once the local anesthetic wears off, you will notice some pain and tenderness. You may experience soreness in your jaw from having it open during the procedure. 

After Care

Avoid eating until the anesthetic has completely warn off. Otherwise you may accidentally bite into your cheek or tongue. It's a good idea to pick up your pain medication on the way home from the procedure so that you're prepared to manage any pain. The medication works best when taken before discomfort begins. Take your pain medication at the interval specified to keep pain at bay. For example, it's recommended that you take ibuprofen for post-root canal pain every four to six hours. When you are ready to eat, know that hot and cold sensitivity is common. Avoid eating or drinking anything that is too hot or too cold. The sensitivity should subside within a few weeks. Expect for your mouth to have some slight discomfort for the first few days. If you experience severe pain, contact your dentist immediately.

For professional dental care, contact a dentist such as Michael J Tisdelle DDS