Prepare yourself for your root canal procedure.

Did you know that over 15 million root canals are performed in the U.S. every year?

If you’re booked to have one done, you’re definitely not alone! From faulty crowns to tooth decay, there are plenty of reasons why you might need a root canal, so it’s no surprise that so many Americans have them.

If you’ve never had one, you might not know much about what to expect after a root canal procedure. Luckily, our team at Metro East Dental Care is here to help. Here’s everything you need to know about root canal treatment.

What is a root canal procedure?

A root canal is a procedure that treats infections at the center of teeth. With the right team, it shouldn’t be painful and can prolong the life of a tooth that otherwise would need to be removed. If you want to keep all your pearly whites for years to come, a root canal might be essential!

When would you need a root canal?

Infections in teeth are actually more common than you might think. Bacteria in the mouth can get into your teeth through leaky fillings, areas of decay, or areas of trauma, such as a crack in your tooth after a fall. If you have an infection, you’ll probably experience some pain when eating and drinking, and you might find that your tooth becomes wobbly.

If the infection is left untreated, you might also experience swelling of the gums and face, pus around the infected tooth, and your tooth may turn dark. When it gets to this stage, the tooth is much harder to treat! The best thing to do is contact your dentist as soon as you have a toothache, and they can deal with the problem quickly.

Is it painful?

A lot of people worry about root canal pain, but this shouldn’t be a problem at all! In fact, the pain you feel from the infected tooth before the procedure will be a lot worse than the treatment itself.

During the procedure, your dental team will numb the entire area around your tooth with a local anesthetic. This means you shouldn’t feel any more discomfort than you would when getting a regular filling. If you do feel pain, let your dentist know and they can sort it out.

You should never put off getting a root canal because you’re worried about the pain. Once you have it done, you’ll realize there was absolutely nothing to worry about, and soon, you’ll be eating and drinking again without a hitch!

Pain After a Root Canal Procedure

After a root canal treatment, your dentist can prescribe you pain medication to keep any aches at bay. If you’re pretty hardcore, you might not even need this extra-strength medication, and over-the-counter pain killers will work just fine.

You might experience a little sensitivity, so you’ll want to avoid freezing cold drinks or chomping down on ice cream. Some people also find switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush helpful in the days after the procedure to help with sensitivity. But with the right medication, pain should be kept to a minimum.

What to Eat After a Root Canal

Your tooth has been through quite a lot, so treat it kindly with soft foods. You should also avoid very hot food and drinks, and try to eat on the side of your mouth that hasn’t had a root canal. Some tasty and nutritious foods you can enjoy in the first few days after your procedure include:

  • Soft fruit
  • Yogurt and milkshakes
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Warm soup (not hot!)
  • Oatmeal
  • Hummus
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sushi
  • Pasta
  • Pancakes

Try to wait until your mouth is no longer numb before you eat to avoid some very messy mealtimes.

Aftercare Tips

It’s normal to experience some swelling and sensitivity after a root canal, but with extra care, you can help your tooth recover quickly. Here are a few tips that will help you.

Use an ice pack.

An ice pack is a great way to bring down swelling. Hold it against your cheek and jaw on the side of your root canal as often as you can to speed up recovery and ease discomfort.

Avoid exercise.

If you exercise too soon after your root canal, you could increase any aching and slow down the healing process. Avoid it for at least a few days, following your dentist’s advice.

Don’t smoke.

If you smoke or vape, avoid it for the next few days. The chemicals you inhale can interfere with your healing and slow it down, which you definitely don’t want! If you think you’ll struggle, try nicotine patches to make it easier.

Get plenty of rest.

As with any surgery, it’s so important you get the rest you need after a root canal. This is going to do wonders for speeding up your healing and getting you back on your feet in no time! If you can, try and take a couple of days off work after your treatment and treat yourself a little gentler than you usually would.

Try to get plenty of sleep, stay off your feet, and keep up with your medication. Your body needs to heal, so give it a helping hand.

Book an appointment today!

Now that you know what to expect after a root canal procedure, you shouldn’t be worried to book an appointment. Remember, the longer you leave your infected tooth untreated, the harder it’ll be to fix. If you’re looking for a reliable, experienced team to carry out your root canal, get in touch with us at Metro East Dental Care and book your appointment as soon as possible.