We can understand your hesitation when it comes to needing a root canal. 80% of adult Americans fear dentists, according to the American Association of Endodontics. However, we’re here to make your root canal as seamless as possible. Here’s what to expect after getting your procedure done.
It’s normal to feel some tenderness in the area for a few days after your root canal treatment as your body undergoes the natural healing process. You may also feel some tenderness in your jaw from keeping it open for an extended period of time. These symptoms are temporary and usually respond very well to over-the-counter pain medications. It is important for you to follow the instructions on how to take these medications.
Remember that narcotic medications, if prescribed, may make you drowsy, and caution should be exercised in operating dangerous machinery or driving a car after taking them.
Your tooth may continue to feel slightly different from your other teeth for some time after your root canal has been completed. However, if you have severe pain or pressure that lasts more than a few days, contact your endodontist.
Guidelines for Post-Treatment Care
- Do not eat anything until the numbness in your mouth wears off. This will prevent you from biting your cheek or tongue.
- Do not chew or bite on the treated tooth until you have had it restored by your dentist.
- Be sure to brush and floss your teeth as you normally would.
- If the opening in your tooth was restored with a temporary filling material, it is not unusual for a thin layer to wear off in-between appointments. However, if you think the entire filling has come out, contact your endodontist.
- Contact your endodontist right away if you develop any of the following:
- a visible swelling inside or outside of your mouth;
- an allergic reaction to medication, including rash, hives or itching (nausea is not an allergic reaction);
- a return of original symptoms; or
- your bite feels uneven.
Taking Care of Your Tooth
Root canal treatment is only one step in returning your tooth to full function. A proper final restoration of the tooth is extremely important in ensuring long-term success.
What the Future Holds
The tooth that has appropriate endodontic treatment followed by a proper restoration can last as long as your other natural teeth. After the tooth has been restored, you need only practice good oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, regular checkups and cleanings.