Root canals are considered to be anxiety-inducing procedures. But the truth is that advances in dentistry and dental technology have made root canals less invasive, thus allowing for improved, faster recovery times. The reputation root canals have of being painful or difficult procedures is not the case with today’s endodontics.
If you’re preparing for a root canal procedure, this should come as a relief. That said, with your root canal surgery you may still notice some swelling and discomfort. This may require a small amount of recovery time.
What Is Root Canal Surgery?
A root canal is a dental procedure performed on a damaged or decayed tooth to preserve that tooth and avoid further complications. It involves the removal of decayed or infected tissue from the inside of the tooth.
The Root Canal Timeline
Here’s what you can expect when you go in for your root canal surgery:
- Before the procedure begins, your endodontist will numb the area with a local anesthetic, and you will likely be given some form of sedation to help you remain calm and relaxed throughout the process.
- The procedure then begins with your endodontist drilling a small hole into the infected tooth to access the area that needs to be cleaned.
- Next, your endodontist will clean both the exterior and interior surfaces and infected pulp from the problematic tooth. This includes bacteria and food residue and any infected areas and damaged tissues, such as nerve endings and blood vessels.
- Finally, once the tooth has been cleaned out and all of the infected tissues have been removed, your endodontist will seal the tooth. This should prevent further infection and mitigate any other potential complications. A dental filling can save your tooth many times, but a root canal is required when a filling won’t successfully correct the problem.
Root Canal Recovery Period
After the procedure is over and your anesthetic and sedation have worn off, you will begin the process of recovery. This will most likely involve some swelling and discomfort. Still, modern technology has made many advances, and so has the recovery process. Often, our patients return to work the same day. Your endodontist will be sure to keep things as pain-free as possible.
The typical root canal recovery process may only take a few days, with most patients able to return to their normal activities within 24-48 hours. Your endodontist will suggest medications to help manage possible pain. In some instances, your dentist or endodontist may prescribe something stronger.
If you find that you’re not healing and the pain persists for several days, you should consult your endodontist immediately.
Tips for Your Recovery
Below are just a few suggestions for getting through your recovery as quickly and comfortably as possible:
- Avoid hard or crunchy foods (your endodontist should give you a list of foods to avoid)
- Talk to your endodontist about a prescription for pain relievers
- Maintain good oral hygiene habits to avoid further issues
- If any complications arise, contact your endodontist
Following these easy tips and any advice that your endodontist offers, should help make your root canal recovery less daunting than expected.
Want to Know More About Root Canal Recovery?
If your dentist feels you need a root canal, it’s time to speak with an endodontist. Access Endodontics offers root canals using cutting-edge technology in our Ellicott City practice. We will quickly and efficiently relieve pain and get you back to full health.