Dentists use root canals to save teeth that are badly infected. Sometimes, due to damage or decay, the inner part of the tooth becomes infected. However, the tooth may not have to be pulled, thanks to the root canal procedure. This article takes a closer look at this common treatment and three main signs you…
Tips for Root Canal Aftercare
A root canal is a dental technique devised to treat infection or damage within the pulp (the innermost chamber) of the tooth. While the procedure has a reputation for being painful, thanks to anesthetics, it is often no more uncomfortable than getting a filling.
While there is no recovery period after getting a root canal, proper aftercare is crucial to ensure a smooth recovery and prevent complications. Here are some essential tips for root canal aftercare.
Root canal aftercare tips
Here are some simple things patients can do to ensure recovery goes smoothly after getting a root canal:
1. Follow pain management advice provided by your dentist
Many patients do not experience significant pain following root canal therapy, and those who do are typically advised to use over-the-counter painkillers. Patients should not exceed the recommended dosage of these drugs for any reason, and those who experience considerable pain should visit a dentist immediately.
2. Try not to chew on the treated side
The root canal site will need some time to heal, and the tooth may be temporarily fragile until a permanent filling or crown is placed. Patients should try to avoid chewing food on that side of their mouth for a few days to prevent any damage or undue pressure on the treated tooth.
3. Practice good oral hygiene
Keeping the mouth clean after a root canal prevents infections and promotes healing. Patients should continue with their regular oral hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing. However, be gentle around the treated area to avoid irritating the tissues there.
4. Look out for inflammation
While some swelling is expected after a root canal, excessive swelling or the presence of an abscess could indicate an infection. Cold compresses can help reduce minor swelling. If swelling persists or seems severe, reach out to your dentist.
5. Avoid crunchy or hard foods
Patients should stick to soft foods for a few days after root canal therapy to minimize the risk of damaging the treated tooth. Soups, yogurts, mashed potatoes, and smoothies are good choices. Avoid anything too hot or cold, as the tooth may be temporarily sensitive.
6. Refrain from strenuous activities
Patients should look to rest and limit strenuous activities for a day or two after root canals. Engaging in vigorous activities can increase blood flow to the mouth, potentially prolonging swelling or bleeding.
7. Show up for follow-up appointments
Patients are often scheduled for follow-up appointments after root canals so that fillings or crowns can be used to repair the treated tooth. Attending this and any other follow-up visits recommended by the dentist is vital to ensure the tooth is healing correctly.
8. Know what the symptoms of complications look like
While complications after a root canal are rare, it is essential to be vigilant. Persistent pain, increased sensitivity, swelling, or the appearance of a bump on the gums near the treated tooth should be addressed immediately.
Root canals save teeth
A root canal is a valuable procedure that can save a damaged or infected tooth, eliminating the need for extraction. You can ensure a smoother recovery process by following the tips above. Always communicate with your dentist about any concerns or questions about your root canal aftercare. Give us a call or drop by our Portland clinic for more aftercare tips.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Root Canal in Portland, OR.
Patients typically do not feel much discomfort during root canal therapy, but there is likely to be discomfort during the recovery process. It is helpful to become familiar with the likely symptoms following root canal therapy and plan in advance on how to make a full recovery in the shortest amount of time possible.There are…
The term root canal treatment refers to the inner chamber between the tooth roots and the pulp, and also to the dental treatment for removing infected pulp material. Tooth infections can cause severe tooth pain and often necessitate tooth extraction. With root canal treatment, a dentist may be able to save the tooth and alleviate…
While you may be dreading your root canal, you will be happy to know the procedure is not nearly as bad as some people may believe. In fact, it is not the actual procedure that causes pain but the infection within the tooth root that is painful. The root canal procedure eliminates this pain and…