A root canal can be a necessary procedure to save your tooth and alleviate pain. The root canal procedure involves removing the infected pulp from your inner tooth. Once thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, the tooth is then filled and sealed. The goal of the root canal is to relieve pain while at the same time saving your tooth. If you’re preparing for a root canal, knowing what to expect from the root canal recovery process can help you prepare and manage your expectations.
Access Endodontics provides root canals using top technology in our Ellicott City office. Our team, led by Dr. Lina Jarboe and Dr. Burton Waxman, can quickly relieve pain and help you improve the health of your teeth and gums. Reach out to our team at 410.304.7226 or contact us online to learn more about our root canal therapy services.
What to Expect During a Root Canal
A root canal procedure may take one or two visits to the endodontist. During the root canal, your endodontist will use local anesthesia to numb the treatment area and then make a small hole in your tooth to access and remove the infected pulp. Once the root canals are cleaned and disinfected, they will be filled with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Finally, the crown of your tooth will be restored with a dental filling or crown to protect it from further damage.
The Root Canal Recovery Timeline
Day of The Procedure
After your root canal, you may feel some tenderness in your gums and teeth. This is normal and is a result of the local anesthesia that was used as well as having some of the root canals opened up. You may take over-the-counter pain medications to help manage discomfort, but this pain should go away within a few days. Avoid chewing on that side of your mouth for 24 hours.
24 Hours After The Procedure
You can expect some gum swelling after your procedure. Apply a cold compress to your face for 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. Avoid hot beverages and foods as well as alcohol for at least 24 hours as they can irritate your gums. It’s recommended to stick to soft foods for a day or two, such as:
- Cottage cheese
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft cooked vegetables
72 Hours After The Procedure
Your gums should be feeling better at this point, and the swelling should have gone down. You can start eating more of the foods you normally enjoy, but avoid chewy or sticky foods as they can pull at your gums. You should also avoid extremely hot or cold foods as they can cause sensitivity in your teeth.
One Week After The Procedure
You shouldn’t notice any issues and you should be back to normal. There may be some residual tenderness in your gums, but this will dissipate over time. Continue to avoid chewy or sticky foods as well as extremely hot or cold foods until your gums are completely healed.
Post-Root Canal Care
Taking care of your root canal is essential for its long-term health and success. Make sure to practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice daily, flossing once a day, and visiting your dentist for regular checkups.
Contact Access Endodontics Today
Most people recover from a root canal without any major issues. Recovery is usually straightforward, with only minor discomfort and tenderness in the gums lasting for a few days to a week after the procedure. If you have any concerns about your recovery, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist or endodontist.