With modern technology, root canal procedures have become efficient and relatively painless. In most cases, you can be done with your treatment in under two appointments depending on the extent of the tooth damage or your personal schedule.
While the actual time you spend at your trusted dentist’s office in Littleton, CO for a root canal might be short, most of the healing will depend on what you do the moment you step out of the clinic. Here are the things you should expect, do, or avoid immediately after a root canal procedure to recover fast.
Wait for the Numbness to Go Away Before Using Your Mouth
Expect some numbness for up to six hours after your appointment with the dentist. When your mouth is still numb, avoid chewing anything as you can easily bite your tongue or cheek. Also, avoid chewing with your treated tooth until your follow-up visits are over, and you are fully cleared by the dentist. You can use the unaffected side of your mouth for chewing to avoid placing stress on the treated tooth.
Take Some Painkillers for the Soreness
After the general anesthesia wears out, you might experience some soreness around the treated tooth for up to three days. Most dentists will prescribe you some medication for pain and inflammation. Take the medication diligently to reduce any after-procedure discomfort.
Don’t Apply Pressure on the Treated Tooth
Most people have the irresistible urge to apply pressure on the treated tooth with a finger or the tongue to check how it feels. You may think you’re only checking the healing process, but the truth is, the extra pressure can reduce healing time and even prolong sensitivity on the treated tooth. Keep off the tooth at all costs.
Don’t Chew Hard Food or Bite on Hard Material with the Treated Tooth
Even after your root canal-treated tooth is fully healed, you should still avoid chewing hard food with it. Though reliable, a root canal doesn’t guarantee your treated tooth will be as strong as before. You can injure your gum or crack the tooth if you misuse it. The treated tooth may handle most food types, but it is still prone to damage if you gnaw on bones or open things with your teeth.
Consult Your Dentist If You Still Feel Discomfort After a Week
Normally, you should start feeling better a week after the root canal procedure. A complication, an infection, or post-procedure injury can extend your discomfort in rare cases. If you still feel sore and some pain after a week, have your dentist look at the tooth to find out what is going on.
Root canal procedures are often successful, but it is still your responsibility to ensure that your tooth heals perfectly after the treatment. Besides the post-treatment care tips above, don’t forget to observe proper oral hygiene to prevent further damage to the just-treated tooth and the rest of your oral health.