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      Root Canal Aftercare Essentials: A Detailed Guide

      Our mouth is a vulnerable place and is likely to get infected. Most of the bacteria that enter your body are through the mouth as you eat and drink. It can affect your oral health, and the result can be painful conditions that can require the patient to undergo a root canal.

      Your root canal specialist (endodontist) will numb the tooth and surrounding treatment site with local anesthesia which makes the treatment painless. There can be mild discomfort or pain afterward that’s easily managed with over the counter pain medications, which is only temporary.

      If you just had a root canal or planning to get one done, we have put together a comprehensive guide for you about proper root canal aftercare.

      Root Canal – Why and How?

      Root canal therapy (endodontic treatment) happens to be a common teeth-repairing and saving treatment from infection and severe decay. Every year, dentists treat and save millions of teeth with the help of this procedure.

      Due to deep decay and infection, the nerve and pulp can become irritated, infected, and inflamed. Moreover, a chip or crack in the tooth, large fillings, and repeated dental procedures can lead to inflamed or infected tooth nerve and pulp. Trauma to the face can also lead to such repercussions.

      Signs and Symptoms That Indicate Need for Root Canal

      Root Canal Procedure

      A root canal procedure involves the removal of both the nerve and the pulp. After that, the endodontist cleans and seals the inside of the mouth thoroughly. Not doing this could damage the surrounding tissue infecting it and leading to the formation of an abscess. An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms at the end of the tooth’s root when the infection spreads past the root ends.

      An infection in the root canal can lead to:

      Once the tooth has emerged from the gums, a tooth’s nerve is essential to a tooth’s function and health. The nerve is responsible solely for sensory function. It gives you the sensation of cold or hot. However, the absence of nerves does not impact the functionality of the tooth.

      Root Canal Aftercare – Immediate and Afterwards

      Following a root canal, some patients may experience temporary discomfort, but most can resume normal activities the next day. Your endodonitst will likely prescribe medication to manage any pain and potentially antibiotics to prevent infection. Post-operative care focuses on controlling inflammation and swelling alongside pain management. This may involve recommendations for gentle oral hygiene practices and dietary modifications, such as avoiding hard foods, until any numbness subsides.

      We have divided the aftercare into three stages:

      Immediately After

      Due to the lingering effects of anesthesia, numbness may persist for several hours after your root canal treatment. To prevent accidental burns or bites, avoid consuming hot beverages and refrain from chewing hard foods, especially on the treated tooth.

      Following your root canal procedure, you might receive a temporary restoration while awaiting further treatment. If your root canal requires multiple appointments, your temporary filling will be replaced with a permanent restoration, often a dental crown, once the therapy is complete. Until you receive the permanent restoration, avoid applying excessive pressure when chewing on the treated tooth.

      Continue taking your medications as prescribed.

      Over the Next Few Days

      Here are few practices you need to follow strictly after getting a root canal:

      As mentioned, avoid pressure on the affected area. The area is going to be both swollen and sensitive after a root canal. The aim is to reduce swelling as fast as possible. See that you avoid chewing with that side of the mouth. So, give that area time to recover without functioning normally.

      Be careful in choosing the foods and drinks that you consume. Avoid chewy and hard foods. Tooth sensitivity is common after a root canal, avoid foods that are too hot or too cold to prevent unnecessary pain and discomfort.

      Maintaining oral hygiene is crucial during recovery as well to prevent infection. While brushing the affected area, see that you are gentle. Increase your use of mouthwash.

      Take prescribed anti-inflammatory and pain relief medicine as instructed. With proper care, the pain should start to improve gradually.

      In the Future

      After a root canal, a temporary filling protects the treated tooth while it heals. This temporary restoration allows time for healing and prevents irritation. A permanent restoration, often a dental crown, is usually recommended because root canals can weaken the tooth structure. Crowns provide strength, improved function for chewing, and long-lasting durability.

      Certain endodontic works may require multiple appointments to ensure thorough cleaning and healing before placing the final crown. Attending all scheduled appointments is crucial for successful treatment and minimizes the risk of complications. Never neglect any kind of follow-up. It is essential for an efficient, smooth recovery and improved functionality.

      Here are some of the signs of gum disease that you need to watch out for:

      For further information on root canal therapy, feel free to contact our Specialist Endodontist (root canal expert) at SameDay Dental Clinic.

      Dr. Petros Yuvanoglu
      DMD summa cum laude
      Cert. Prosthodontics (Tufts, USA)
      Adjunct Faculty, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine