A root canal is the quintessential dental procedure people seem to be most apprehensive about when thinking of a trip to the dentist. However, it does not have to be as stressful as it is made out to be.
Before the procedure, a patient’s mouth is thoroughly numbed so that the procedure itself is painless. Also, this numbing medication works for hours after, which is nice as it gives additional pain medication time to become effective so there is less discomfort after the initial medication wears off.
There are several things that can be done during aftercare to make the experience as comfortable as possible:
- It is best to avoid eating or drinking until initial numbness wears off. This is due to the fact that the patient cannot orient things in their mouth as well and may bite inside mouth and tongue.
- Take over the counter anti-inflammatories as directed by dentist. There is a possibility that the dentist could prescribe additional pain medication.
- Do not chew sticky foods such as gum, caramels, and other sugary candy.
- Do not chew some hard foods such as, carrots, corn on the cob, and apples directly on side of procedure. They could dislodge the temporary material filling the tooth or cause a fracture.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed by the dentist if necessary. Be sure to take the entire prescription as directed, even if it feels well enough.
Be aware that it is normal for the tooth and surrounding gums to be tender and even uncomfortable for several days, up to a week, after the procedure. There are signs to look for that could be signs of a greater issue or infection. Contact the office immediately <a href=”tel:559-900-2332″ onClick=”ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘CallFromMobile’, ‘content’, document.URL);”>559-900-2332</a> if any of the following symptoms occur:
- Severe pain or pressure that persists for several days
- Visible swelling of gums or jaw days after
- Loss of the temporary crown or filling
- Unevenness in bite
- Return of prior symptoms or pain
- Any possible allergic reactions to medication immediately or some time following the procedure (includes itching, rash, etc.