If you have had root canal treatment to save a tooth whose pulp has been damaged, you can breathe a sigh of relief because you are on the road to recovery. Obtaining the necessary treatment is a step in the right direction to restoring your oral health. After having the procedure, it’s helpful to know what to expect during the days that follow and how to have a successful recovery.
Most patients report that discomfort is no different than getting a regular filling. However, here are some issues that might occur:
- Gum tenderness may be caused by the tools used during the procedure, but it should dissipate within the first day
- Tooth sensitivity may be present for the first day or so and can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers
- Inflammation of the tissues near the tooth’s root may be caused by poking from the dental instruments during the procedure, but ibuprofen is helpful in treating it.
- Rarely, the procedure can activate and spread bacteria present in the area. This can lead to an infection that requires antibiotic treatment.
It is best to take it easy on your tooth for a period of time after treatment. You want to avoid complications such as the tooth or filling becoming damaged or broken. If this occurs, bacteria and food particles can get into the interior of your tooth and create problems. The best way to protect your tooth after root canal treatment is to pay attention to what you eat. Especially avoid biting or chewing crunchy or hard foods. In terms of dental hygiene, continue regular brushing with a soft toothbrush and flossing carefully. If you encounter difficulties, let your dentist know.
Your tooth will need a permanent restoration to complete the root canal process. The type of restoration and the time frame in placing it play a role in the overall success of treatment. Make sure you discuss this aspect of treatment with your dentist.