Root Canal Therapy Recovery
By J. Brent Gorrell on August 01, 2018
Whenever bacteria breach the pulp of a tooth, root canal therapy is necessary to remedy the problem. This procedure is incredibly effective, and can save your natural tooth from extraction.
At Gorrell Smiles in Mountain View, CA, our team discusses root canal therapy recovery so patients can know what to expect in the days and weeks following their treatment. Here, we will explore how to:
- Manage post-treatment discomfort
- Care for your temporary filling
- Practice good oral hygiene following your root canal therapy
Will I Experience Discomfort or Pain?
Root canal therapy tends to have a bad reputation when it comes to post-treatment pain. However, these fears are largely unfounded. In fact, because this treatment removes infection at its source, most patients experience some degree of relief following the procedure.
Of course, as with any procedure, some tenderness can be expected. However, any discomfort is typically manageable with over-the-counter pain medication. Following the procedure, it is also a good idea to avoid strenuous exercise or heavy lifting, as elevating the heart rate can lead to an increase in bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.
If your post-operative pain becomes severe, or if it lingers for several days after treatment, there may be an underlying cause. In this case, it is important to call your doctor for further instructions.
Caring for Your Temporary Filling
In most cases, root canal therapy requires two separate visits. During the first appointment, the infected tooth is treated and impressions are taken so the final crown can be fabricated. Because it can take one to two weeks for your restoration to be crafted, a temporary filling is usually placed in the meantime.
A temporary filling is not as strong and resilient as the final crown. Therefore, it is essential that patients avoid placing excessive pressure on the tooth. As a general rule, it is a good idea to steer clear of sticky, chewy, or hard foods, which could cause the filling to become dislodged.
During the second visit, your final crown will be bonded into place. Once this occurs, you can return to normal function once again.
Tips and Tricks: Oral Hygiene following Root Canal Treatment
Caring for your teeth and gums after root canal therapy is essential for long-term success. Proper brushing and flossing will help prevent further damage and prevent the spread of infection. In general, patients should:
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Attend all routine dental hygiene appointments
- Schedule regular dental examinations
When to Call Your Dentist
As aforementioned, patients can experience some level of discomfort following root canal therapy. However, these side effects are typically mild and manageable. Although it is common to feel a slightly different sensation in your treated tooth occasionally, you should call your dentist if you notice:
- Severe pain or pressure
- Swelling around the gums or along the jaw
- An uneven bite
- The temporary filling has come out
- An allergic reaction, such as a rash, hives, or itching
- Pre-treatment symptoms return
Contact Us to Learn More
If you must undergo root canal therapy, knowing what to anticipate after your treatment can be helpful for a successful recovery. To learn more about post-treatment care, or to schedule a consultation at Gorrell Smiles, contact us online or call our office at (650) 399-9657.
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