A root canal procedure is a fact of life for many Americans. According to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE), more than 41,000 root canals are performed every day, which adds up to over 15 million root canals each year. Only a small percentage of cases develop complications or experience more than mild discomfort – especially when the procedure is performed by an Endodontist. Still, the way you care for your mouth after a root canal procedure can impact the ease of your recovery.
Here are the most important actions you should take to help speed up healing after your root canal treatment.
1. Plan a Recovery Period
Just as with any other surgical procedure, your body needs to rest to optimize your healing. Most endodontists recommend taking it easy for at least the remainder of the day and night of your procedure.
If possible, plan to relax for 24 hours after the root canal. Recovery time for any medical procedure varies from patient to patient, but many people can go back to their normal level of activity the day after root canal therapy.
However, don’t count on doing so because if you wake up feeling less than 100%, it’s best to have a restful day instead of pushing yourself to carry out normal or strenuous activities.
2. Treat Your Pain
There’s no value in suffering unnecessarily, so unless you have medical reasons for not using analgesics like Tylenol and Ibuprofen use them as directed by your Endodontists. These medications have been proven to be very effective in treating even the most significant levels of pain. Reducing the pain signals to your brain will help you avoid touching the area with your tongue or having difficulty resting, both of which will support your efforts to recover.
Rinse your mouth gently with warm saltwater. This has a cleansing and soothing effect that will reduce soreness and promote healing while helping to prevent any bacteria from taking hold.
3. Choose Your Food with Care
The endodontist will likely tell you not to eat for a few hours after the procedure. This gives your temporary filling time to set up and seal the opening the Endodontist made to do the procedure. This also helps prevent you from biting your lip or cheek while they are numb.
In general, you want to think of your tooth as if it’s bruised or injured so when you eat, try to chew on the opposite side of the mouth from the root canal site, eat slowly and mindfully for at least a few days after your procedure.
4. Avoid Inflammation
Think of the area where the work was done as a bruise or injury, as such some inflammation will occur because of the problem and the procedure. It is important not to do things that will increase the inflammation even more.
Actions that can cause irritation and pressure on the site that result in inflammation include:
- Sucking hard candies
- Biting hard foods
- Pushing on or against the treated tooth
You can reduce inflammation by using the medications recommended to you by your doctor. In addition, you can hold an icepack against your cheek in the vicinity of the root canal site to reduce the heat of inflammation. In extreme cases you may try to Keep your head elevated when resting or sleeping to avoid the blood traveling to the wound site, which can also trigger inflammation.
Saving Your Teeth from Extraction
Root canal therapy by an experienced endodontist can help you save a tooth from extraction and avoid the cost, discomfort, and inconvenience of getting dental implants or other restorative procedures. Most root canal treatments are highly successful and long-lasting, and once you have fully healed, your tooth should be completely functional and as strong and healthy as it was before the infection occurred.
About Professional Endodontics
Professional Endodontics has been exceeding the standard of care in Wayne and Macomb counties for over 50 years. The team specializes in treating issues with the inside of the tooth and goes out of its way to provide a safe easy environment for patients. Each member of the practice is dedicated to providing excellence in patient care and values high-quality relationships with referring dentists and specialists. Each endodontist at Professional Endodontics has been individually chosen as Hour Detroit Magazine’s Best Dentists. Thanks to contemporary advances in endodontics, Professional Endodontics is able to use innovative technology to treat and save teeth that have suffered damage to the soft tissue within the roots of the tooth.
Professional Endodontics offers state-of-the-art facilities in Clarkston, Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, and Southfield. All locations offer the latest in advanced dental delivery systems, microscopy, and digital radiography.
6803 Dixie Highway
Clarkston, MI 48346
29201 Telegraph Road
Southfield, MI 48034
Henry Ford Hospital Medical Pavilion
16151 19 Mile Rd, Suite 101
Clinton Township, MI 48038
St. Clair Shores
St. Clair Professional Plaza
23829 Little Mack, Suite 300
St. Clair Shores, MI 48080