Root canals have an unfair reputation; despite what you may have heard through the grapevine or seen in dramatized television shows, a root canal isn’t painful or scary at all! In fact, the treatment is often the best way to save a compromised tooth and keep it inside your mouth where it belongs. That said, there are still a few important things to consider throughout the process, especially following the procedure. Here are three things your dentist wants you to keep in mind to ensure that everything goes as planned.
1. Expect Some Minor Soreness
It’s worth highlighting that the very first thing that your dentist will do going into root canal therapy is numb your mouth, so you won’t feel an ounce of pain during the actual procedure. But since root canal therapy is still technically a minor surgery, your mouth is going to need some time to heal up and it’s totally normal to experience some initial soreness and sensitivity following the procedure. This means it’s crucial to follow the recovery guidelines provided by your dentist, in addition to sticking to a soft food diet, drinking plenty of water, and using cold compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers to manage your discomfort.
2. Receive A New Restoration
After a root canal, your tooth will be sealed with a permanent or temporary filling. In any case, you should avoid chewing on the side of your mouth that underwent the procedure at first, until the final restoration has been completed. In the meantime, you can expect a thin layer of the filling to wear off and for the tooth to feel a little fragile and sensitive. After a few days, this discomfort should die down.
3. Watch for Potential Complications
In very rare instances, complications may arise after root canal treatment. If you experience any of the following signs of complications, you should contact your dentist at once:
- Feeling generally ill (malaise)
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Uneven bite
- Temporary filling falls out
- Itching, difficulty breathing, or hives (signs of allergies to medication)
Root canals are technically good news—after all, they give your tooth a second chance to remain part of your smile! That said, knowing what to expect after root canal therapy will ensure that your recovery is as smooth as possible.
About the Author
Dr. Mariliza LaCap is thrilled to provide an exceptional level of care for patients and families in the Bergenfield community. Her practice offers a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative services including root canal therapy. If you have any questions about the article or would like to arrange a visit, feel free to contact her through her practice’s website or over the phone: (201) 453-4863.