What You Should Know About Root Canal Recovery

If you have a serious dental issue, such as an infection, a root canal may be able to help save the tooth. Here, our Lethbridge dentists offer some information about root canals and what you should know about recovery after you've had this procedure.

If you are in need of a root canal, you are likely thinking about what to expect and maybe even slightly nervous. We can help ease your concerns and talk about what you can expect during the procedure and recovery process.

Root Canal Surgery

Your dentist will work alongside you providing preventive care and maintenance so your teeth can remain healthy and strong. However, despite best efforts, you may still find yourself requiring a root canal procedure if the damage to a tooth's root is too severe to correct with other options. Avoiding a root canal in the first place is preferable. But if one becomes necessary, arm yourself with information to be prepared for the procedure and recovery process.

What happens during recovery from a root canal?

Your dentist will explain what to expect before your procedure. You should anticipate feeling some soreness over the days following your root canal, especially as the local anesthetic wears off. Typically, there will be some discomfort at the site of the root canal, as well as general jaw soreness as a result of having your mouth open for the duration of the procedure.

Your dentist may prescribe pain medication for you to take during recovery. Be sure to follow the recommended dosage.

Dental Concerns Requiring Emergency Care

You can expect a certain level of discomfort immediately after having a root canal but if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below you should contact your dentist right away. If it's after regular business hours or you're unable to get in for an appointment, you should go to the emergency department of your hospital. The sooner you seek help, the better the chances are that we can resolve the issue and reduce any pain you are feeling before your condition worsens.

Signs & Symptoms of Urgent Situations

  • Moderate-to-severe pain
  • Pain or pressure lasting more than a few days
  • Persistent or visible swelling (2+ days)
  • Rashes, hives, or other allergic reactions to the medication
  • Pain medication isn't working
  • Losing the temporary crown/filling

How You Can Help Speed Up Recovery

While the pain will vary from person to person, the pain that you were feeling prior to the procedure should diminish pretty quickly and nearly all pain should be gone within a week.

To help expedite the recovery process (and prevent secondary issues from happening), you can ensure the best care for your mouth, post-procedure, by following these suggestions.

  • Choose foods that won't require a lot of chewing
  • Avoid chewing on the tooth until after the permanent crown or filling is placed
  • Ensure regular brushing and flossing, as normal
  • Take a break from exercising for a few days
  • Get enough rest and sleep to help recovery
  • Monitor your health and any changes

To learn more about root canals or to schedule an appointment with us, contact our Lethbridge dentists today.

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