Root canal therapy has a bad reputation of being horribly painful, but thankfully, this isn’t the case today. With modern anesthetics and technology, having a root canal is typically no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed. However, you may feel some soreness for a few days following the procedure. Continue reading to learn more about root canal therapy, what recovery looks like, and when you should see your dentist.
How Does Root Canal Therapy Work?
During root canal therapy, your dentist will start by administering a local anesthetic to make sure that you’re comfortable throughout the treatment. Once the area is completely numb, a small hole will be made in the enamel so all infected and damaged tissues can be removed from the inside of the tooth. Afterwards, the tooth will be cleaned out and sanitized so it’s completely free of bacteria. Lastly, the tooth is filled with a biocompatible material.
What Does Root Canal Therapy Recovery Look Like?
After root canal therapy, you can expect to experience some sensitivity and soreness. Since this is a minor surgery, your mouth will need a little time to heal. To manage discomfort afterwards, closely follow your dentist’s instructions. Over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen, can help to reduce pain and swelling. Try sticking to softer food to avoid biting down too hard at this time.
Following your procedure, your tooth will be sealed with a permanent or temporary filling. If a temporary filling has been placed, you shouldn’t chew on the tooth until it has been restored by your dentist. The initial swelling should go down after a couple of days. If it doesn’t, give your dentist a call so they can make sure there aren’t any underlying issues.
To ensure the long-term health of your tooth, you should return to your dentist to have it restored at a second appointment. A crown or another restoration often needs to be placed to help the tooth regain its full strength and function. Ultimately, by keeping up with your dental visits, it’s more likely that it will stay healthy for years to come.
How Much Pain Is Too Much?
You may be experiencing some discomfort as your mouth heals, but how do you know if you’re experiencing too much pain? If the pain that you’re feeling is so severe that you aren’t able to go about your normal life, you should give your dentist a call. While uncommon, complications can develop after root canal therapy. You should also call if you are experiencing swelling, fever, uneven bite, or are just feeling unwell overall. It is important that serious issues that can affect the healing process are ruled out.
Root canal therapy is meant to relieve pain, not cause it. If you feel significant discomfort after your procedure, don’t hesitate to give your dentist a call. This way, you can get some relief!
About the Author
Dr. John Hackbarth is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for over 40 years! He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston and has completed hundreds of hours of continuing education in a variety of topics, including endodontics. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, and numerous other professional organizations. To learn more about root canal therapy or to schedule an appointment at his office in Texas City, visit his website or call (409) 935-2111.