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Root Canal Therapy: Patient Aftercare and Recovery

Dr. Degel Nov 22, 2017

A root canal infectionThe team at Astoria Dental Group provides patients with advanced dental care treatments that improve the appearance of smile and overall health and wellness. When a tooth becomes infected, the ideal option for saving the tooth is root canal therapy (endodontic treatment). This removes the diseased dental pulp, prevents spread of infection, and saves the tooth from extraction.

An effective root canal means proper aftercare. With that in mind, the dentists of Astoria Dental Group would like to consider patient recovery following a root canal. We'll offer some simple healing tips to keep the procedure complication-free and as patient-friendly as possible.

How Painful Is a Root Canal?

Root canal treatment itself is not that painful thanks to modern advances in pain relief and pain management. Sedation and general anesthesia can help reduce discomfort during the procedure.

That said, patients will experience pain after the root canal has been performed. The tooth that's been treated is effectively dead, and patients may notice considerable discomfort centered around the treated tooth.

While this pain can be considerable for patients, keep in mind that it is temporary, and it can be properly managed through the use of prescription pain killers and over-the-counter pain medication taken as directed. A root canal treatment is less painful that an untreated root canal infection, which patients need to keep in mind. The discomfort will be worth it to prevent more severe dental problems.

Should I Take Time Off from Work?

Given the nature of the pain experienced after a root canal, it may be a good idea for patients to take a day or two days off from work. This will allow the discomfort to pass and for the patients to return to work feeling relatively comfortable.

Keep in mind that the amount of time you take off may depend on the day you undergo treatment and the nature of your job. We can go over these matters in more detail during the consultation process.

Common Side Effects After a Root Canal

Some common side effects after a root canal include:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Soreness in the jaw

Getting proper rest and taking pain relievers as directed will help manage these side effects in the first days after treatment. Cold compresses applied to the face may be recommended as well to help reduce your discomfort.

Changing Your Eating Habits After a Root Canal

The tooth treated during a root canal will be capped with a temporary dental crown and be quite sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Because of this, consider the following modifications to your diet during the first week of recovery:

  • Eat foods that are lukewarm/room temperature
  • Drink beverages that are lukewarm/room temperature
  • Avoiding chewing on the side of the mouth where the tooth was treated
  • Eat soft or pureed foods that do not require much chewing
  • Avoid sticky foods to protect the temporary restoration
  • Avoid foods that cause crumbs to keep the mouth sanitary

Follow-Up Appointments with Your Dentist

Patients will have multiple follow-up visits with their dentist to ensure the root canal was effective and to place the final crown or restoration. Be sure to attend all of these appointments as they're scheduled in order to ensure proper recovery. If you notice that your side effects get worse, be sure to contact the practice as soon as possible so these matters can be addresses right away.

Contact Astoria Dental Group

For more information about what to do after a root canal and how to improve your overall dental health, be sure to contact experienced cosmetic and restorative dentists. The team at Astoria Dental Group is here to help you smile with renewed confidence.

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Astoria, NY 11106

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