Do you suspect that you need root canal therapy, or do you already have an appointment on the books for this procedure? It’s understandable if you are a little apprehensive, but a key thing to remember is that a root canal isn’t nearly as scary or uncomfortable as most people believe. Your endodontist will do everything they can help you enjoy an easy treatment process. They will also give you instructions to facilitate a smooth recovery. Here are some notes on what you can expect after your appointment:
Root canal therapy is an effective way to relieve severe toothache pain and tooth sensitivity. However, the procedure itself might cause a bit of temporary sensitivity, bleeding, and swelling. After all, it is a surgery, and side effects are to be expected. To keep your discomfort to a minimum, you might have to take some pain relievers. It would also be wise to stick to eating soft foods for a few days. Things like brothy soups, applesauce, pudding, and ice cream (without hard mix-ins) are all acceptable choices.
Also, bear in mind that even when you feel up to chewing, you should not use your treated tooth to chew in the days immediately after your procedure. Even though it will have a temporary restoration to protect it, you should avoid exposing it to any significant force.
The Importance of Rest
You might be sedated during your root canal appointment. Depending on the type of sedation used, you can expect to feel groggy for several hours (or perhaps up to a day or longer) after you get home. During this time period, avoid strenuous activity and relax as much as your body tells you to. You might even need to take a day or two off of work.
Your Follow-Up Appointment
Your endodontist or dentist may encourage you to attend a follow-up appointment after your initial root canal. They will check on your recovery, and at some point, you will receive a permanent crown to replace your temporary restoration. Once that permanent crown is in place, you can resume your normal eating habits. You can expect your treated tooth to feel good, function well, and look fantastic (if you receive a metal-free crown).
What if Something Goes Wrong?
In the vast majority of cases, root canal therapy is successful and can enable your tooth to endure for the rest of your life. In rare instances, however, there are post-surgical complications. If you experience any severe side effects, such as pus, abnormal swelling, or intense pain, contact your endodontist right away.
Root canal therapy is nothing to be afraid of! If you have questions about what is involved in it or what you can expect afterward, your endodontist will be happy to chat with you.
Meet Our Practice
Dr. Gregory C. Gell is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. He has many years of experience in his field. Together with Dr. Kathryn Watts, he provides comfortable and precise endodontic treatment (including root canal therapy) to residents of Concord and the surrounding communities. If you would like to learn more about our practice and the services we offer, contact us at 704-784-4625.