If you have just received root canal treatment, congratulations! Your tooth should be restored to its former glory, before it was broken, decayed or infected. Root canal therapy brings back the functionality of a tooth that is severely damaged, while restoring its appearance as well. Once the procedure is a success, you may be wondering how you can make sure it stays that way.
5 tips after a root canal
After a root canal, patients will want to make sure of a few things: that there is little to no pain in the days following treatment, to eat the right things, and to keep the treated tooth safe and healthy. It is always a good rule of thumb to follow every instruction given by the dentist or endodontist.
Curious about what it will be like after the procedure? Read on to discover our 5 top tips for those recovering from a root canal treatment.
1. Take all prescribed medications as directed
Do not delay in taking all prescribed medications exactly as they are directed. The dentist will prescribe an antibiotic to prevent any further infection. Even if the patient is feeling better after a few days, keep taking antibiotics as prescribed. Another important thing – do not wait to take antibiotics. This decreases their effectiveness and can cause other issues.
2. Keep the mouth clean
Patients will need to keep up with their daily oral health routine, plus a little extra special care for the operation area. Make sure that the teeth and gums are very clean to prevent infection or inflammation. Brushing and flossing daily should do the trick, and adding a mild mouthwash can help to dislodge any food particles.
3. Monitor sensitivity
Discomfort after a root canal can usually be treated by an over-the-counter pain reliever. Many patients reach for ibuprofen, as this medication reduces inflammation and swelling as well. If any pain is felt in the days following the procedure, make sure to pay close attention to it and monitor all sensitivity. The minute you feel pain coming on, take a pain reliever to lessen the symptoms.
All pain should diminish within a few days to a week. If pain is felt for longer than this, contact the dentist right away as this could alert to an issue with the treated tooth.
4. Do not put pressure the tooth
Try to avoid using the tooth for the first few days after the procedure. Many patients try to self-soothe by clenching teeth when there is pain (much like a teething sensation). Avoid clenching and grinding teeth at all costs, as this can irritate the tooth. If a patient has bruxism (a condition characterized by the unconscious clenching and grinding of teeth), a nightly mouthguard may be prescribed as well to protect the treated tooth and all other teeth from damage.
Crunchy, hard, sticky or chewy foods should generally be avoided as well. Eat soft foods like mashed potatoes, soup and greek yogurt after a root canal.
5. Consider a dental crown
Most dentists will recommend placing a dental crown atop the newly treated tooth to protect it from future damage. Although the roots are filled with a supportive material to give it some strength, the tooth is still susceptible to damage. A crown will ensure the root canal lasts much longer, while improving the appearance as well. Sometimes, root canals can cause a tooth to take on a gray appearance – a crown covers this discoloration.
In need of a root canal?
Call our office to set up an appointment today if you have a toothache, as this could mean it is time for root canal therapy.
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