13 Dos and Don’ts After Root Canal Treatment for a Speedy Recovery

A root canal treatment is a dental procedure that is conducted to remove inflamed pulp or infected pulp on the inside of a tooth. You may need a root canal to save a tooth from extraction. The process of a root canal helps get rid of bacteria from the infected root canal, which will help prevent reinfection and keep it from spreading to other teeth.

If you need root canal therapy, you should visit the root canal specialists at Park Crossing Dentistry. Our Pineville dental office provides exceptional dental care services including root canal treatment. We aim to ensure a comfortable procedure and successful recovery process for our patients. In this informative article, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of root canal aftercare for your best root canal recovery. 

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Understanding the Root Canal Procedure and Its Purpose

Root canals are a procedure that involves removing bacterial infections from the pulp, the innermost chamber of the tooth. Inside the pulp, there are nerves and blood vessels. When bacteria gets inside the pulp, it causes inflammation and decay.

A root canal procedure is necessary to stop this infection from destroying your tooth and spreading further infections to your gums and jawbone. Prior to a root canal treatment, your dentist will take a look at the affected tooth and the surrounding tissues as well as use x-rays to determine the extent of the damage. In cases where the damage is extensive and the tooth is severely infected, oral surgery may be necessary to remove the tooth if it can’t be saved.

During root canals, the dentist starts by numbing the area with local anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable. Next, they drill a hole through the decayed tooth to get to the infected pulp, then remove the infected materials and clean out the area to prevent reinfections. Since the root canal procedure involves removing a vital part of the tooth, it will also need to be filled as a measure of strengthening and protection. Once this is complete, your dentist seals the tooth, either with a temporary filling or a temporary crown that allows the tooth to heal before a permanent dental crown is put in place.

Importance of Proper Root Canal Aftercare for Successful Root Canal Recovery

After the root canal is complete, you will need to follow proper root canal aftercare to minimize discomfort and prevent infections. Your dentist will issue prescriptions for medications that will aid in your comfort and healing. Even if you feel fine, it is important to take all prescribed medications to tame inflammation and ensure a proper recovery.

Follow these dos and don’ts to ensure optimal healing and your long-term oral health. 

Things to Do for Root Canal Recovery

Dentists recommend that you do the following things as you recover from your root canal.

1. Keep Up Your Oral Hygiene

It’s important to continue the practice of good oral hygiene for your dental health during this recovery period. Brush gently twice each day, particularly around the treated tooth and the entire treated area to prevent irritation until the swelling subsides. 

2. Eat the Right Foods

Soft foods are ideal after the anesthesia wears off to keep from irritating the area. You can eat rice, porridge, mashed potatoes, soups, and other soft food items. Focus on eating nutritious things to help restore your health. Additionally, make sure the foods you choose are cool rather than too hot or cold. 

3. Take All Medication as Prescribed

Your dentist will prescribe a variety of medications to help your healing process. Follow the full course of the prescription and do not stop until it is complete. If you take any other medications to manage medical conditions, it is imperative that you discuss this prior to having root canals to allow your dentist to prescribe something that will not clash. 

4. Use a Cold Compress

A great way to help your mouth heal is to use a cold compress. Apply it to the affected area on the exterior of your cheek to help manage swelling.

5. Rinse with Salt Water

Warm salt water is an excellent rinse for your teeth when you’re healing from root canals. It will help your treated tooth recover and prevent infections. 

6. Get Plenty of Rest

Root canal recovery gives you an excuse to rest. Take it easy in the hours following this procedure. It is best to elevate your pillow slightly to keep your head above your heart. 

7. Attend Your Follow-Up Appointments

You will need to go back to your dentist so they can check to make sure everything is healing nicely with your treated tooth. You may also need to begin your cosmetic dentistry treatments to help restore your smile.

Don’t Do These Things After Root Canals

In order for the healing process to be effective, dentists recommend avoiding the following actions after this procedure. 

8. Wait Before Eating or Drinking

You can’t eat anything until the anesthesia wears off. You may bite your cheek or tongue because they are still numb. 

9. Avoid Certain Foods

Do not eat hard foods, sticky foods, spicy, crunchy, or chewy foods. These things can cause irritation. Sugary foods should also be avoided as they can encourage the development of infections around the tooth. Additionally, don’t have anything that is hot to eat or drink as it can increase soreness. 

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10. Avoid Chewing with This Tooth

It’s best to wait until you’ve healed for a few days before trying to chew or bite foods with the side of the mouth that was treated. 

11. No Drinking or Smoking

Alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and oral tobacco products should not be used during this recovery period. Additionally, anything that requires you to suck, spit, or drink from a straw should be avoided. 

12. Avoid Strenuous Activities

Now is not the time to start walking long distances or engage in strenuous activities. Proper aftercare requires you to rest for the best healing process. 

13. Don’t Wait for Crown Placement

If you receive a temporary restoration, make sure you attend your next appointment for the permanent installation. Your dentist can help protect your tooth from further infections and fractures when you don’t put off this appointment. 

Signs of Complications and When to Seek Professional Help

While it is not common, complications may arise after a root canal. There is always the possibility of infection, though following the dos and don’ts of aftercare will help. If you notice the symptoms of a tooth infection, swelling worsens, or you have a fever, you should contact your dentist immediately. 

Park Crossing Dentistry is here to help with an array of dental services to meet your needs. Located in Pineville, NC, we proudly serve patients in the surrounding areas with top-quality dental care.

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