If your dentist is suggesting a root canal to deal with an abscessed or damaged tooth, it's important to know what to expect afterward. If this is your first root canal, the process may be unfamiliar. The root canal process involves removing the pulp inside your tooth to eliminate the infection. This eases the pain and discomfort in an infected, inflamed tooth. Once the procedure is done, you'll want to know what you can expect afterward. Familiarizing yourself with the basic recovery process can take much of the uncertainty out of the treatment. Here's a look at what you need to know.
Your dentist will treat your gum area with an anesthetic where the root canal will be performed. This reduces the discomfort you feel during the procedure. It can take several hours after the procedure for this numbness to go away as the anesthetic wears off.
Tooth and Gum Sensitivity
The first couple of weeks after your root canal will leave your tooth and the surrounding gums a little bit sensitive. You'll probably find that chewing anything too solid will cause more discomfort. Instead, avoid chewing in that area as much as possible or stick with soft foods so that you're not adding to the sensitivity.
Although the root canal procedure removes the infected pulp, that doesn't guarantee that the pain is going to go away immediately. The infection that caused the pain may be cleared away, but it can take a few days after treatment before all of the pain goes away. It takes time for the tissue to settle down and the pain to dissipate.
Pressure and Discomfort
After a root canal, your body will naturally send more blood to the tissue in that area to stimulate healing. The increased blood in the tissue can leave you feeling some pressure, throbbing and discomfort in the area. As it heals, this will ease.
While not common in every case, sometimes the abscess returns in your tooth after a root canal. If this happens, it is because there was some bacteria left behind after the procedure. If this happens, you'll have to have the abscess treated and then have the tooth sealed.
Knowing what you can expect of your root canal and the days following the process may make it easier for you to approach the treatment. Talk with a professional dentist, like those at Round Lake Dental Clinic, about any concerns or questions you might have before the appointment to ease anxiety.