If your dentist has informed you that you are in need of a root canal, then you may be running through all of the worst-case scenarios in your head. Luckily, our dentists are here to help put your mind at ease and prepare you for what to expect during the recovery from your procedure.
What is a Root Canal Procedure?
The main focus of your dental care will usually be on preventive care and maintaining the health of your teeth. That being said, even will ongoing oral care you may still find yourself in need of a root canal procedure if the damage to a tooth's root is too severe to correct with other options. Avoiding a root canal in the first place is preferable. But if one becomes necessary, arm yourself with information to be prepared for the procedure and recovery process.
What will you experience during recovery from a root canal?
Prior to your root canal procedure, your dentist should inform you of what to expect both during and after your root canal. You should anticipate feeling some soreness over the days following your root canal, especially as the local anesthetic wears off. Typically, there will be some discomfort at the site of the root canal, as well as general jaw soreness as a result of having your mouth open for the duration of the procedure.
Your dentist may provide you with a prescription for pain medication after your root canal. Be sure to take these as needed and according to the dosage.
Complications From Root Canal Surgery
While you are likely to experience some form of discomfort, Sever pain or other concerning symptoms such as those listed below are not normal and you should contact your dentists if you notice anything out of the ordinary. If it's after regular business hours or you're unable to get in for an appointment, you should go to the emergency department of your hospital. Having the situation examined as soon as possible will be the key to receiving the appropriate treatment in a timely manner.
What are the signs and symptoms of an emergency?
- Moderate-to-severe pain
- Pain or pressure lasting more than a few days
- Persistent or visible swelling (2+ days)
- Rashes, hives, or other allergic reactions to the medication
- Pain medication isn't working
- Losing the temporary crown/filling
How can you help make your recovery a success?
Recovery time varies from individual to individual, but you can expect most of the pain you were having pre-treatment to quickly fade after a root canal procedure. Generally speaking, within 7 days following the procedure, your mouth should have reduced swelling and minimal to no pain.
To help expedite the recovery process (and prevent secondary issues from happening), you can ensure the best care for your mouth, post-procedure, by following these suggestions.
- Choose foods that won't require a lot of chewing
- Avoid chewing on the tooth until after the permanent crown or filling is placed
- Ensure regular brushing and flossing, as normal
- Take a break from exercising for a few days
- Get enough rest and sleep to help recovery
- Monitor your health and any changes