If you are planning for root canal treatment at the Yuba City Dentistry Group, be assured that you have nothing to fear. We perform this procedure often, with excellent results.
But you may be wondering, what should you expect after the root canal procedure is complete?
Immediately Following Surgery
The following are general guidelines for immediate post-treatment care:
- Do not eat anything while your mouth is still numb, to avoid biting your cheek or tongue
- Try to avoid biting down on the treated tooth
- Adhere to your normal brushing and flossing routine
- You may apply an ice pack to the affected area to help reduce swelling
- Try to eat a soft diet for the first day or two. Avoid very hot or cold foods as much as possible
- Avoid smoking, alcoholic beverages, and strenuous exercise during the healing process (especially for the first 24 hours)
- Follow your doctor’s directions regarding medication to manage pain
Make sure to contact your dentist right away if:
- The entire temporary filling comes out (It’s possible for a thin layer to wear away, this is okay)
- You believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction to medication
- Your symptoms do not subside after a few days
- Your bite feels very uneven
The First Few Days
It’s completely normal to feel a bit of tenderness in the area of treatment for a few days following as your body begins to heal. Your doctor will decide which pain reliever is best for you; in most circumstances, over-the-counter medications will suffice. Whatever the case, it’s important that you follow the instructions from your dentist as well as those that accompany the medication.
You may find that the tooth that has undergone treatment feels slightly different from your other teeth. It is also possible that your tooth feels sensitive to biting pressure, or even that it appears slightly loose. Or you may experience soreness or swelling in your gum(s). This is normal.
Warm-water rinses can help calm the area down, and you may want to avoid chewing on this side of the mouth until the tenderness has subsided.
The initial root canal treatment is only the first step in restoring your tooth to full function. Your doctor will arrange a second appointment to provide a permanent restoration (crown) for the tooth.
This step is vital to ensure the tooth’s long-term success.
A tooth that has undergone successful root canal treatment and received a proper restoration may last just as long as your other permanent teeth. Of course, it’s important that you follow a good routine of oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing, and continue to receive regular dental examinations.
If your tooth becomes painful or you suspect something is wrong many months (or even years) after a successful treatment, be sure to tell your dentist immediately. Often, it is possible to save the tooth by repeating the root canal procedure.