Recovery & Care After a Root Canal

dental exam seatsDentistry has progressed greatly over the last few years and preventative dental care is better than it has ever been. However, there are still some problems that can’t be solved such as cavities that have gone too deep into a tooth or trauma that can’t be fixed such as a badly broken tooth.

In these situations, your dentist will perform a root canal. Root canals remove the tooth and nerve structure which is replaced by an implant and a crown. Teeth that have been replaced by a root canal and implant require some care but will last for years allowing you to continue eating and drinking normally as well as enjoying a beautiful smile.

A Root Canal and Aftercare

After a root canal, your dentist or endodontist will give you a set of strict instructions for your mouth. Following these guidelines, especially right after the procedure, are crucial for pain management as well as future oral health and comfort.

Let’s go through these instructions and learn the need for each step as well as the potential benefits. Following these steps to the letter will help ensure you suffer as little pain as possible and decrease your recovery time.

  1. Be aware of numbness – Your mouth will be numbed for the procedure. After the procedure, chew carefully and avoid hot foods and drinks in order to not burn your mouth
  2. Take prescribed pain medication – Your dentist will give you both painkillers and antibiotics. Take both as prescribed for the duration on the bottle, even if you start to feel better
  3. Avoid sticky or hard foods – Between the root canal and the installation of the full crown, don’t eat hard or sticky foods like hard candy, gum or caramel and try to chew on the other side of your mouth

One of the most common mistakes after a root canal is to stop taking your medication when you feel better. Medicines like antibiotics require the full course to be effective even if you start to feel better sooner. Additionally, it is important to remember that pain medicine makes you drowsy so avoid driving after the procedure and while you’re taking your prescribed medication.

Temporary to Permanent Crown

After a root canal, the tooth will be replaced by a crown. Sometimes, the permanent crown can be installed immediately. More commonly, a temporary will be placed which will need special treatment for a few days until the permanent crown can be installed. This temporary can chip which is not a big problem but you must let your dentist know if it comes out entirely.

While it can handle some chewing, the temporary is also not permanently affixed which requires you to be careful with how you eat and what you eat. Hard foods or sticky foods can damage the tooth. Once the permanent crown is installed, you can eat and drink normally.

Root Canals Are Nothing to Fear

Gone are the days of weeks of pain after a root canal. If you need a root canal, you rest assured that the process is easier than it has ever been. However, this doesn’t mean you can ignore aftercare instructions. In fact, ignoring the instructions can make things a lot worse. If you follow the steps outlined here and do what your dentist tells you, your root canal aftercare will be smooth sailing.

If you need a root canal or are having serious pain in your tooth, contact us today at Beechcroft Dental for an appointment.