One of the more specialized procedures we routinely perform at Artistic Expressions Dentistry in Philadelphia, PA, is root canal treatment. It is an important form of dental therapy that allows us to save an infected tooth we would otherwise have to extract. It is comfortably accomplished after the tooth has been numbed with local anesthesia and is typically completed in one or two appointments.
But what can you expect after root canal therapy is complete? Here, we share a few facts about root canal therapy recovery.
After the Root Canal
Most patients find that the aftermath of root canal therapy is quite comfortable. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of complications and ensure that your recovery is as smooth as possible.
- You can resume most normal activities immediately after your appointment but remember that your mouth will remain numb for a while. It is a good idea to avoid eating, rigorous exercise, and other strenuous activities until complete feeling has returned. This will lessen the chance of accidentally injuring yourself.
- After the feeling returns, the treated tooth may be tender for a day or two. Additionally, your jaw muscles may be stiff from holding your mouth open. Take your pain medication as needed but only for as long as necessary. However, if you were prescribed an antibiotic, take it as directed for the entire regimen.
- Your affected tooth will be initially restored with a temporary restoration that does not hit or occlude with the opposing teeth. Be careful not to chew on it any more than is necessary to avoid damaging it or the tooth.
- Resume daily brushing and flossing right away. It is important to keep the tooth and the surrounding gums plaque-free.
- Return for all your follow-up appointments. Even though the root canal treatment is finished, the tooth still needs a final restoration. Sometimes, a strong tooth-colored filling will suffice, but in most cases, the tooth will need a crown to maximize its strength and restore it to full function. Once this is complete, you can expect many years of service from the tooth.
When to Call for Help
Complications can occasionally occur during recovery from root canal therapy. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact our office as soon as you can, so we can address the issue.
- Severe pain, fever, or swelling: This could indicate an infection that should be treated right away.
- Itching, hives, or rash: This might indicate an allergic reaction to one of the medications you are taking.
- You are hitting too hard on the tooth when biting: You should not notice the tooth at all while biting down, so it may need a minor adjustment.
- The temporary restoration on the tooth breaks or comes out: This is not cause for alarm but should be corrected as soon as possible.
If you are experiencing the signs of a dental infection or are having problems with a tooth that has received root canal therapy, give us a call. You can reach us at (215) 631-3085, or contact us online.