For most people, hearing they need a root canal causes dread. However, a root canal can be a lifesaver for an infected tooth. And, there really isn’t anything to worry about.
Our providers at Silver Lake Dentistry in Raymore, Missouri, are experts in performing root canals. And they know that how you take care of your tooth after a root canal is just as important as the procedure itself.
In this blog, they explain what a root canal is and how you should take care of your mouth after your procedure.
The basics of root canals
At the center of your tooth are blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissues. Collectively, this material is called pulp. If the pulp gets infected — which can occur, for example, because a cavity reaches the pulp — the pulp may need to be removed. This is where a root canal comes in.
To remove the pulp, your provider drills a small hole to the pulp chamber and removes the pulp. Then, your provider cleans the chamber, fills it with a rubbery material, and puts a filling in the access hole. And while your tooth is being treated, you won’t feel a thing, because your provider numbs the area.
In most cases, after a root canal is performed, a crown is placed on the tooth to strengthen and reinforce it.
What to expect after your root canal
Recovering from a root canal can be a breeze if you follow a few simple guidelines.
Treating pain and swelling
It's normal to feel some pain and discomfort after your root canal. This will begin as the anesthesia wears off and could last a few days. However, your provider will likely prescribe pain medication to help you manage the pain and discomfort. You should take the medication exactly as directed.
If you experience significant swelling, you can try applying a cold compress or ice pack to your face. This can help reduce the swelling and ease any pain.
Taking care of your oral health
To ensure a successful recovery, you need to take good care of your oral health. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
- Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water once or twice a day to reduce inflammation and prevent infection
- Brush the area around the treated tooth carefully to avoid irritating it
- Take extra care around the treated tooth when flossing to avoid irritating it
- Avoid using straws until you heal, as the pressure from the suction could disrupt the healing process
- Eat soft foods, such as pasta, for the first few days after your procedure
- Avoid biting or chewing on the side of your treated tooth until we give you the all-clear
Prior to performing your root canal, your provider will go over the steps you should follow. Furthermore, if you have any questions about the things you should do, please feel free to ask your provider.
Monitoring your mouth
Complications after a root canal are rare, especially when performed by an experienced dentist. However, it's crucial to watch for any signs that could mean there’s a problem.
Contact us immediately if you experience severe pain or suddenly break out in a rash or hives. You should also contact us if your filling becomes loose or dislodged.
Recovering from a root canal treatment can be smooth if you take the proper steps after your procedure. You just need to maintain good oral hygiene, check for signs of complications, and come in for all follow-up appointments.
To get a root canal, or to see if you need one, or for any other dental care, call 816-287-3216 to book an appointment with Silver Lake Dentistry today.