No one ever wants to hear that they need a root canal, but the reality is more than 45 million root canals are performed each year. The goal of a root canal is to relieve pain caused by an infected or damaged tooth, making your teeth healthy again. Let’s discuss root canals in more detail, and what you can expect after treatment.
Over the years, the term “root canal” has grown to have a somewhat negative reputation, but fortunately, some great techniques will change your preconceptions about this healing dental treatment. Advanced Endodontics, Oral and Facial Specialists prides itself on our “Save It or Replace It” philosophy of dental care. We believe in keeping as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, to maintain your appearance and preserve your beautiful smile.
Root canal treatment previously relied on the use of hand tools and very fine files to remove inflamed material from inside the tooth, but this could be a tedious procedure for the patient to endure. At Advanced Endodontics, Oral and Facial Specialists, however, patients benefit from the revolutionary technology of the GentleWave® Procedure. This virtually pain-free procedure utilizes multiple wavelengths of sound to gently deliver disinfecting fluids throughout the entire root canal system, and provide a better cleaning, less-invasive alternative to standard root canal care. This approach can usually be completed in one session and often leads to better options for a final aesthetic solution.
While each situation is different, most patients only experience a mild sensation of discomfort and can return to normal activities quickly. Here is what you can expect after a root canal:
- Pain: Unless you have a very serious dental condition, you should not experience a great deal of pain. Ask our dental care team about using pain medications to ease your discomfort, but you should contact our office immediately if you are in severe pain after your procedure.
- Eating: Our team will advise you about appropriate food items, but try to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth the root canal was performed on for a short time. If we’re preparing your tooth for a dental crown, try to avoid hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy items until the crown is placed. Do not drink liquids through a straw as this causes an unusual pressure in your mouth.
- Driving: Most patients can drive home after a root canal procedure; however, if you have extensive treatments or require sedation, it is advisable to bring a driver with you.
- Working: You might be slightly numb for a few hours, but most patients are able to return to work. If you have a physically challenging job, you might want to take off the rest of the day.
- Medication: Always make sure the doctor is aware of your current medications, but you should be able to continue your normal routine. Depending on your medical history, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to help treat any infection.
- Oral Hygiene: Continue your normal brushing and flossing routine, but be gentler on the affected area for a few days. If a temporary filling is placed, the patient care team will provide instruction on flossing techniques. The doctor might also recommend rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water solution.
Advanced Endodontics, Oral and Facial Specialists provides a comprehensive dental solution for your oral care needs at one convenient location. Contact us today to learn more about what to expect after a root canal.