There are some procedures that you might need to undergo when it comes to getting dental work done. A root canal may be one of these procedures. There are several reasons you might need a root canal performed on one of your teeth, so let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons and why they might happen to you…
How Do I Know If I Need A Root Canal?
It’s not always clear when a root canal is needed. Sometimes tooth decay gets so bad it damages the nerve, causing pain, numbness, or tingling. There may also be additional symptoms if you have an abscessed tooth that needs draining. The best way to figure out if you need a root canal is to schedule an appointment with your dentist or oral surgeon and ask them any questions you may have about the procedure and how it can help you.
What Is Involved In Getting A Root Canal Treatment At The Dental Office?
The first step to having a root canal is the evaluation by the dentist. The dentist will look at the tooth and surrounding tissues to make a proper diagnosis. This may include checking for any nerve damage and finding out what type of bacteria is causing the tooth decay. Once they have found the cause of your problem, they can discuss with you which treatment option is best for your specific needs. After deciding on treatment, you will most likely be sent to a dental lab so that an appliance can be created for you that will let us better monitor your progress during recovery. Then, after being numb from local anesthesia, we may proceed with opening up the tooth canal so that we can clean out any bacteria or dead cells that are infecting your root canal system.
Will I Experience Any Pain During Or After My Procedure?
Root canals may cause some discomfort during the procedure but typically not pain. If a tooth requires a root canal, your dentist may recommend that you take ibuprofen about two hours before treatment for relief of possible discomfort. The most uncomfortable part of the process is waiting for the anesthetic to work after your initial injection. You may feel some discomfort from having the instrument in your mouth and when pressure is applied around the tooth. Once treatment is complete, you are usually given instructions on how to care for the treated tooth and will be prescribed any antibiotics or painkillers you might need in case they’re needed following your appointment.
How Long Will I Be Numb After My Treatment?
How long will I be numb after my root canal treatment?
Anesthesia wears off in about one hour for most people. For those who are sensitive to numbing medicines, it may take two hours or longer before the feeling returns. Often, patients have some residual soreness and discomfort from their teeth being drilled and cleaned of decay. This feeling often goes away within one day of having a root canal completed. Taking ibuprofen can help ease any pain as well.
After My Procedure, When Can I Eat Again?
For up to 24 hours, avoid any foods and beverages that may cause you significant discomfort such as:
-anything hot (including soup, coffee, tea, or hot cocoa)
-citrus fruits and juices
-onions and garlic. This is a short list of items but speak with your dentist if there are other foods you should limit. The night of the procedure, rinse the mouth out with water before going to sleep and take aspirin or ibuprofen for pain relief. Limit your caffeine intake for 48 hours after your root canal procedure and while the area is healing so as not to increase sensitivity in the tooth.
Can I Resume My Regular Activities Right Away Following My Procedure?
For the first day after your procedure, it is best to refrain from strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, spitting, or rinsing excessively. For two days following your root canal procedure, you may eat normally and brush and floss your teeth as you normally would. However, make sure that you do not consume anything high in sugar content. Drink plenty of water! It is also a good idea for you to drink through a straw for 48 hours following the procedure.
For three days after your root canal therapy, you will experience sensitivity to hot or cold foods and beverages on that side of your mouth; therefore we recommend avoiding them during these three days.
How Should I Care For Myself Following My Procedure At Home?
After your procedure, you should be able to resume eating within a few hours. Remember that anything sharp can hurt the area, so try not to use your teeth until they are no longer sensitive. Wait for 24-hours before brushing, and do not chew gum or anything hard. To help alleviate pain and swelling: (1) take an over-the-counter antihistamine for allergy or cold (2) take ibuprofen for inflammation or pain (3) apply a topical painkiller like calamine lotion or lidocaine gel; apply ice packs on the site if you have them at home.