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After Root Canal Therapy: Patient Recovery and Healing

By Dr. Gary Herskovits on October 14, 2017

A root canal infectionRoot canal therapy is performed in order to address an infection of the pulp located within a tooth. This dental pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue. While necessary for the initial formation and maturation of a tooth, this dental pulp is no longer necessary once a tooth has fully formed.

By performing a root canal here a Brooklyn Smile, a dentist can prevent the spread of infection beyond the tooth and can avoid extracting the tooth. Patient maintain their natural tooth rather than requiring a bridge or replacement of some kind.

Are Root Canals Painful?

While pain and discomfort are common after undergoing a root canal, the procedure is nowhere near as painful as its reputation in pop culture. In fact, a root canal will be far less painful than the pain associated with an infected tooth. Ultimately, the temporary soreness from professional dental care is worth it given the benefits.

Will I Need to Take Time Off Work?

Since the pain and pressure can be considerable after a root canal, it is sometimes advisable for patients to take a day or two off from work depending on the nature of their job. This can vary depending on your work schedule and what day of the week the root canal is performed. We can go over this and help you plan accordingly as part of the consultation process.

What to Expect in the First Days After a Root Canal

After undergoing a root canal, the following side effects are common:

  • Pain and pressure around the treated tooth
  • Sensitivity around the tooth

Again, the pain is only temporary, and it can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription pain killers. Take these medications as directed.

When eating, be sure to avoid foods that are hot or cold in temperature as these may lead to major sensations of discomfort. It's ideal to eat soft foods, and to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the root canal was performed.

Proper Oral Hygiene After a Root Canal

Patients are advised to brush and floss their other teeth as they usually would after undergoing a root canal, though to be especially gentle around the treated tooth. An antiseptic rinse is often used after a root canal in order to keep the mouth clean and to prevent infection and other complications.

Follow-up Appointments with Your Dentist

Patients will have follow-up visits with their dentist in order to monitor recovery and to ensure that the procedure was effective. It's important to attend these visits as scheduled. Any time patients notice adverse issues or concerns, it's important that they contact their dentist as soon as possible so the matter can be addressed in a timely fashion.

Getting the Final Restoration Placed

A root canal is not completed until a permanent restoration is placed on the treated tooth. This is commonly a filling, an inlay, an onlay, or a crown. The final restoration may not be placed for a week to two weeks depending on the nature of treatment and the patient's needs.

With the final restoration in place, patients will be able to bite and chew as normal again. Their tooth should not be tender or painful at this time.

Contact Brooklyn Smile

To learn more about root canal therapy and how we can help enhance your smile and your dental health, be sure to contact an experienced dentist today. Our team looks forward to your visit and discussing these matters in much greater detail.

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