Trust us: it’s completely normal to not be excited about getting a root canal. No one looks forward to giving up time from their busy day to visit the endodontist’s office, but root canal therapy has come a long way over the years. In fact, our doctors at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado use the latest technological advances to repair your tooth while keeping you comfortable. But what’s the best way to nurse your root canal tooth back to health? Fear not! We’ve rounded up the best tips on everything you need to know about recovering from a root canal.
How We Perform Root Canal Therapy
Every tooth has a root canal space, but not every tooth needs a root canal treatment. In the center of your tooth is dental pulp – a collection of blood vessels, nerves, and tissue that help build the outer elements of your tooth. Dental injuries, tooth decay, faulty crowns, or cracked or chipped teeth, puffy gums (gingivitis), gum infection (gum disease) or repeated dental procedures can cause inflammation and l infections in your tooth.
Endodontic treatment removes the infected or inflamed tissue from inside the tooth. Following careful cleaning and disinfection, the space is then filled and sealed internally. After root canal treatment, the tooth is restored with a filling or crown for protection, allowing it to function again like any other tooth. With routine check-ups and care, most endodontically treated teeth can last a lifetime. To learn more, see this informative video: root canal treatment, step by step.
If you have a tooth injury, loose tooth, swollen gums, sensitivity to cold or hot, pain with biting, or pain in your tooth and gums – you may need an endodontic evaluation. Regular dental check-ups are key – your general dentist may also find an infected tooth on an x-ray exam. Not all tooth pain requires endodontic care. And so, our team always takes the time to get to know you and learn about your tooth issue before beginning any kind of treatment.
How to Prepare For Your Root Canal
You don’t need to do much to prepare for a root canal procedure. Depending on the type of sedation, your endodontist will tell you if you should avoid eating just before your appointment, or if you’ll need someone to drive you home. Most root canals take an hour or so to complete depending on the severity of the damage.
At Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, we are committed to providing a pain-free experience by using modern local anesthetics to keep you comfortable during your root canal procedure. In addition to relaxation amenities such as blankets, in-ceiling TV and headphones, and music, we offer sedation dentistry services such as nitrous oxide, known as “laughing gas”. For those requesting oral relaxation pill medications or IV conscious sedation, we can arrange those services following a consultation appointment.
Your care doesn’t stop at the completion of your treatment. Our patient-centered specialists check in with you following treatment and are available by phone after business hours to answer any questions you may have about your endodontic procedure.
How to Recover From Treatment
You may experience some mild discomfort and density as the local anesthesia wears off following your root canal. To help minimize discomfort and keep your recovery on the right track, here are a few tips:
- Use over-the-counter pain relief medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen following your treatment. Remember to check- in with your dentist and doctor before taking these to ensure they don’t interact with prescriptions or supplements you already take.
- Avoid eating hard foods for a day or two. It is especially crucial to avoid hard foods right after the root canal.
- Try to reduce the number of sugary foods and drinks in your diet, which can deter your oral health.
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day. Take special care of the area around the tooth with the root canal.
- Floss at least once a day, preferably before going to bed. This will help prevent further infections.
- To ensure your root canal lasts long, schedule regular cleanings with the dentist. This will also keep your teeth healthy, discourage the build of any infection that can lead you to another root canal.
Remember that your endodontist is always available to help you after hours. If you’re still experiencing pain days after your root canal or find that pain medications don’t help, contact your endodontist.
When it comes to root canal therapy, trust your teeth with the experts. Our team of specialized doctors make it their mission to restore our patients’ smile for years to come. Contact us today to learn how we can help!