If you have been told that you need a root canal, you are undoubtedly a
little nervous about the procedure ahead. This procedure is done to save
a badly decayed or infected tooth by removing the pulp from the center
of the tooth and filling the cavity that is left behind. Although it is
a relatively simple procedure, it will require you to undergo local anesthesia.
For this reason, it is important to know what you should expect before,
during and after your
root canal procedure.
Prepping for Your Root Canal Procedure
In the days leading up to your root canal procedure, there are a few simple
steps that you can take to minimize pain and improve your chances of a
speedy recovery. While nothing should be done without the approval of
your dentist, most will recommend that you complete a few steps:
Take an anti-inflammatory (NSAID): non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen can significantly reduce
pain and swelling. Your dentist may recommend taking one a few days before
the procedure, as well as a few days after in order to improve your recovery.
Get a good night’s sleep the day before: the day before your root canal procedure, you should make sure that you
get to bed early. Not only will this help to reduce your anxiety about
the procedure, but it will also improve your ability to think and react clearly.
Eat a good meal prior to the procedure: root canal procedures can take anywhere from one to three hours, so it
is important that you eat a good meal prior to your appointment. This
will ensure that you aren’t bothered by an upset or hungry stomach
during the procedure.
What to Expect During Your Root Canal
When your tooth has reached the point of decay, extreme measures must be
taken to save it. Root canals aren’t fun – but really, what
dental procedure is? Fortunately, you can trust that your smile will be
in capable hands when you work with
Dr. Weitzman at Ventura County Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. He was rated the “Top
Dentist in Ventura County” from 2012 to 2013. With a gentle touch,
Dr. Weitzman will do everything he can to ensure that your recovery is
as painless as possible.
When you come in for your root canal procedure, your dentist will numb
the area with a local anesthetic. They will then inject the area with
additional numbing medicine in order to ensure that you do not feel any
pain during the procedure. Your dentist will then prep the area by separating
your tooth from the rest of your mouth with a shield. Next, they will
drill into the center of your tooth in order to remove the pulp. Finally,
the center will be filled with medicine and a filling.
How to Handle the Aftermath of a Root Canal
In almost any case, you are going to feel some degree of pain in the days
following your root canal procedure. Swelling and sensitivity is normal,
so there is no reason for concern. Over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen
can help to reduce pain safely and effectively, but your dentist may also
write you a prescription if the pain is more severe. In order to minimize
the recovery time, it is important to follow your dentist’s advice
– which may include some of the following tips:
Avoid solid foods for a while: nothing will exacerbate the pain more than trying to chew solid foods after
a root canal procedure. Give your mouth a break by sticking to soft foods
or liquids and maintaining regular brushing and flossing habits to stave
off possible infection.
Sleep with your head elevated: your dentist may recommend sleeping with your head elevated after the procedure
to help alleviate some of the pressure. You should also avoid doing anything
strenuous or rigorous to ensure that your recovery is as speedy as possible.
Avoid nicotine & alcohol: consuming either nicotine and/or alcohol can hinder the recovery process
after a root canal procedure. For this reason, it would be best to avoid
smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol entirely in the days following
Have more questions? Call Mark Weitzman D.D.S. today!
If you have been experiencing intense tooth pain, prolonged sensitivity
or swelling near your gums, it may be time for a root canal. Don’t
put off a trip to the dentist any longer – after all, the longer
you wait, the worse your symptoms will get. The Ventura County Center
for Cosmetic Dentistry offers a wide range of
dental services at a rate you can afford. Don't wait to give us a call!
Contact our office today for a free consultation: (805) 295-8896.