Your dentist may suggest going through a root canal treatment if your tooth has decayed significantly. The damaged nerves and tissue inside the tooth’s pulp are removed during root canal therapy, and the natural tooth is saved. The American Association of Endodontists states that dental providers perform about fifteen million root canal treatments each year in the U.S.
A root canal procedure is highly effective and safe even though many individuals think of as painful. Fortunately, you’ll be under a local anesthetic, so you are not supposed to feel any pain during the root canal procedure. And even better, a successful root canal treatment will relieve symptoms associated with decayed teeth, such as swelling, pain, and bleeding.
It’s essential to see your dentist and have a thorough dental examination if you’re considering a root canal treatment. To evaluate whether a root canal can be effective, the dentist needs to review your tooth. The tooth can be severely impaired, and in some cases, you may have to extract it. You’ll be booked for the root canal procedure only if your dentist gives the green light. You may replace a missing tooth with a bridge or a dental implant if possible.
Preparing For a Root Canal Treatment
There’s isn’t much to do to prepare for root canal therapy. Most root canals take about one hour, so the procedure is pretty quick. Think about a few critical things below if you’re unsure how to prepare for the treatment.
Ask Your Dentist Questions
Ask your dentist questions about everything concerning your root canal therapy during the initial visit to the dental office. The questions that often come up are before and aftercare instructions, types of sedation, the cost, expected results, and more. Any ongoing treatment or medication should be reported to your dentist.
Don’t Drive After the Root Canal.
You’ll be numbed or sedated to prevent pain and anxiety during the treatment. We recommend someone to drive you home. It’s essential because of the sedation you’ll receive. You may not be feeling good enough to drive yourself because it’s expected that you’ll feel minor discomfort or pain after the anesthetic wears off.
Don’t Smoke Before and After the Root Canal.
Avoid tobacco products and smoking for at least 24 hours before and after the root canal. Smoking is bad for your lungs, everyone knows it, but it also increases the healing time, especially during a surgical procedure.
Don’t Consume Alcohol Before and After the Root Canal.
Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours before and after the treatment. It will lengthen the healing time, and the procedure can also become more complicated because alcohol tends to dry out the mouth.
Take All Medications as prescribed by the dentist.
Before and after the treatment, the dentist may request you to take a specific medication in some cases. Taking the medication as directed is essential. If you feel the need to take medications, but the dentist hasn’t prescribed any, ensure you first consult with them.
Eat a Few Hours before the procedure.
Eating a few hours before the procedure is recommended. A healthy meal will give your body the strength and nutrients it needs to undergo the procedure. Fasting for a root canal is not required unless your dentist tells you to.
The Root Canal Procedure
Here’s what to expect during the procedure:
A local anesthetic will be injected to keep you relaxed throughout the root canal procedure and prevent pain. To prepare the tooth for the procedure, the dentist will clean it and the surrounding area. The next step is to drill through the tooth and reach the infected pulp. After that, the dentist will clean out the pulp and remove any infected tissues. To prevent new infections, the pulp is then disinfected, and the tooth is filled. Sealing the tooth will make it impossible for new bacteria to collect and cause infection. For protection against further damage and added strength, the tooth may be covered by a crown.
Root Canal Aftercare Instructions
Proper dental care and hygiene are essential after a root canal procedure. It promotes fast healing and helps prevent new infections. Here are some aftercare instructions to keep in mind:
- For the first 24 hours, don’t brush around the treated tooth, but you can rinse your mouth with warm salty water.
- Relax and take it easy for at least 24 hours
- Hydrate well and select healthier foods
- Avoid the treated tooth for 24 hours, but brush and floss daily
- Don’t ignore taking all prescribed medication as directed by your dentist
- In case of any complications such as bleeding, severe pain, or swelling, inform your dentist immediately
- Schedule regular dental cleanings and exams
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks
- Avoid chewing sticky and hard foods
Would you like to learn more about root canal therapy, or are you looking for a treatment office? Book your appointment with California Dental Care today and start your treatment.