If you require root canal therapy at our Montreal, QC dental practice, it is important to know what to expect after your treatment. Following your procedure, you will be given a detailed list of post-operative instructions.
In the meantime, our doctors will discuss a few general guidelines that can prove beneficial during root canal therapy recovery. Following these recommendations is essential for a comfortable healing period and successful outcome.
Despite its unappealing reputation, root canal therapy typically only causes mild discomfort. Because this treatment removes the source of infection, most patients report they have less discomfort following the procedure than they did before.
That being said, it is normal to experience some degree of tenderness or sensitivity after your root canal therapy. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen. In addition, your doctor may provide you with prescription pain medication.
Keep the Area Clean
Following root canal therapy, many patients are tempted to avoid brushing the area for a few days. In actuality, brushing and flossing is an essential part of the healing process, as it is important to keep the area free of plaque, bacteria, and debris.
Using a non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush, gently clean the area within your comfort level. During this time, we also recommend using an alcohol-free, anti-bacterial mouthwash to reduce the risk of infection.
Avoid Chewing on the Treated Tooth
Excessive pressure can exacerbate post-treatment side effects and lead to pain and tenderness. To avoid this, do not chew on the side of your mouth where the root canal therapy was performed. If you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching), you may wish to consider purchasing a custom night guard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Avoid Chewy, Sticky, and Crunchy Foods
Because you will have some tenderness during your recovery period, it is a good idea to avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy. Additionally, you may wish to avoid extremely hot and cold foods for a week or two, as your teeth may be temperature-sensitive.
Take All Prescription Medications as Directed
Following your root canal therapy, you may be given prescription medications. This typically includes an antibiotic as well as a pain reliever.
It is important to take all medications exactly as directed by your dentist. In most cases, you will be asked to take all antibiotics until they are gone and take pain tablets only as needed. Many patients find that over-the-counter pain relievers effectively alleviate discomfort without making them drowsy.
When to Call Your Doctor
Root canal therapy is a safe and effective way to eliminate infection and restore your tooth. Like all procedures, however, there is a risk for infection and other complications. You should call your doctor right away if you notice:
- A fever of 100 degrees or more
- Sudden or severe pain that cannot be managed with medication
- Excessive swelling of the gum tissue or jaw
- Your bite feels uneven
- Your temporary restoration has fallen out
- The same symptoms you experienced before root canal therapy
Contact Us to Learn More
If you recently had root canal therapy, or if you are about to undergo the procedure, knowing what to anticipate following treatment can help you enjoy a comfortable recovery. To learn more, call our office at (514) 733-3933 or contact us online anytime.