Root canal treatment is needed if you have an irritated, inflamed, or infected tooth. Dental infections and trauma put you at risk of losing the tooth. Infections are caused by deep dental decay that’s reached the tooth’s pulp.
During root canal therapy:
A resin or metal buildup and a crown then stabilize the tooth with the aim of saving it so you can use it for a lifetime.
Our Renovo specialist will numb the tooth during your treatment to ensure your comfort. Once the anesthetic wears off, you might experience discomfort and swelling. For many patients, though, post-operative discomfort is nothing compared to the pain they experienced while their tooth was infected.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to suffer from discomfort. We’ll provide suggestions to help you stay comfortable during your recovery period.
The typical discomfort associated with root canal therapy is described as mild soreness, lasting approximately three days at most.
If you have sharp, shooting, persistent pain—or pain that lasts more than three days—we want to know about it. Such discomfort may be a sign of an infection, a hidden canal, a perforation, or a fractured root.
When a patient has an infection, root canal therapy isn’t all that’s needed to eliminate the infection. Our Renovo dental team will often prescribe antibiotics to take in the days following the procedure. The antibiotics will kill the bacteria and help reduce swelling and discomfort caused by the infection.
We might also prescribe pain medications if a patient has an especially bad infection, but prescription pain medications aren’t always necessary. Most patients get relief from over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications.
Swelling and bruising are normal after root canal treatment. You can, however, minimize the swelling and bruising with an ice pack. If you don’t have an ice pack, you can use a bag of frozen vegetables like peas or corn.
Place the bag/pack on your cheek for 10-15 minutes. Remove for 10-15 minutes. And repeat for the rest of the day. You might also find the application of the ice pack feels soothing the next day as well.
Recovering from a root canal procedure takes approximately four to seven days. If the infection or trauma was particularly bad, it could take up to four weeks to fully heal, though this doesn’t mean you’ll be down recovering for that entire time.
Concerning when you can return to work, most patients can return to their jobs the day after their procedure.
How long it takes to recover from root canal treatment depends on several factors, including:
Thankfully, you can take steps to ensure a comfortable, speedy recovery:
Good dental hygiene practices can keep bacteria to a minimum. Make sure to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Floss once daily to remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth and under the gumline. Talk to your Renovo team about mouth rinse options. In some cases, we may recommend a prescription-strength antibiotic mouth rinse.
Avoid eating hard, chewy, crunchy foods after your procedure, as these can exacerbate soreness. Instead, stick to soft foods for the first few days, including:
We also recommend eating foods high in vitamins and minerals, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products, as these foods can aid in healing.
Smoking reduces the body’s ability to heal. Avoid smoking for at least a week after the procedure. If possible, try quitting altogether to avoid future dental issues and potential complications.
It’s also important to avoid exerting yourself during the healing process. During the first week after your procedure, avoid lifting heavy weights or engaging in strenuous activities. The faster your heart beats, the longer you’ll experience oral/facial swelling.
We recommend visiting Renovo Endodontic Studio within six months of root canal treatment. During this appointment, we’ll evaluate the success of the procedure and how well the tooth has healed. Regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and x-rays will also help ensure the continued health of the tooth.
Successful root canal recovery depends on a collaborative effort between you and your Renovo endodontic team. When you understand the importance of careful post-operative care, you can significantly improve your chances of a positive outcome.
During your recovery, remember to follow your endodontist’s instructions carefully. Take the medications we prescribe, maintain good oral hygiene, and attend your follow-up appointments with our team.
Most importantly, be patient. The healing process can vary from person to person. But with proper care and a proactive approach, you can have a successful outcome, preserving your teeth and oral health for years to come.
You can trust our compassionate endodontists to provide the best care possible during your root canal recovery. Contact Renovo Endodontic Studio today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our tailored approach to endodontic care to ensure a successful outcome.