Root Canal Therapy Recovery
When a tooth becomes infected, there are different options to consider for treatment. Sometimes tooth extraction is recommended, while other times the ideal option is a root canal. Root canal therapy (endodontic treatment) can save an infected tooth, restoring your ability to bite and chew in the process.
Many patients wonder what recovery from root canal therapy is like. Houston, TX dentist Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate would like to cover the basics below so you understand what to expect.
How Painful Is Root Canal Therapy?
Thanks to modern pain management techniques, a root canal is not as painful as it used to be in the past. That said, patients will still experience some degree of discomfort as they recover from the procedure. This is normal, and some patients do experience serious pain after treatment.
With this in mind, the pain experienced after a root canal is nowhere near as bad as the pain one would experience if the root canal infection were allowed to spread and get worse.
Will I Need to Take Time Off from Work?
The depends. Each patient has a different experience with pain and discomfort, and this could have an impact on your job performance depending on your line of work. Most patients are able to work through the pain, while others may want to consider a day or two off to recuperate. We can discuss this with you during the consultation process.
Use Pain Relievers as Needed
Prescription pain relievers may be used as a patient is recovering from a root canal. Follow the recommended dosage on your prescription, and switch to over-the-counter pain relievers when the soreness is noticeably easier.
Cold Compresses Against Your Face
To help address pain and swelling after a root canal, patients can use a cold compress against their face. Be sure to leave the cold compress on for 20 minutes and then take it off for 20 minutes. Repeat the pattern as needed to provide comfort and relief.
Modifying Your Diet
Biting and chewing can be uncomfortable after a root canal, which is why it’s important for patients to alter their diet until the pain is no longer an issue. Stick with soft foods or liquids for the first few days. Avoid crunchy foods, foods that produce a lot of crumbs, and seeds until you are able to bite and chew normally.
Avoiding Hot/Cold Foods and Beverages
Hot and cold temperatures can trigger bouts of soreness and tooth sensitivity. Be sure to stick with lukewarm and room temperature food items and beverages for the first couple of days. You can return to these food items once you’ve healed up and tooth sensitivity is no longer a serious issue.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing is still important after a root canal. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Take it a bit easy around the tooth that was operated on. You may receive additional oral hygiene instructions as well.
Attend Follow-Up Visits with Your Dentist
After a root canal, you will have a few follow-up visits with your dentist to ensure the treatment was successful. Attend all of these as scheduled, and do not hesitate to contact the practice between visits if you have any cause for concern.
Learn More About Root Canal Therapy
For more information about recovering from root canal therapy and what you can expect from the treatment process, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate is here to help. You can reach our practice by phone at (713) 783-1993.