Root Canal Post Treatment Care
If you are among the thousands of patients who will experience, or have already had a root canal this year, you need to make sure that you know what to do to take the best care of your tooth as possible. While you might be hoping that the work is done following the root canal, there are important steps still to take in order to heal your tooth properly.
A tooth that has undergone a root canal will have had its nerve removed, which was also the blood supply to the tooth. Because of this, you need to take extra special care of the tooth following the procedure.
This is what you need to do after you have had a root canal
1. Take the stress off:
The first thing to remember is that you need to go easy on the tooth with root canal. Even if you already have it crowned, your tooth is going to be sensitive for a few days following the root canal. Remember it just went through a major procedure and it is going to be a little bit sore.
2. Opt for softer foods:
Just as you should chew gently or avoid chewing on the root canal tooth, you should stick with softer foods after you have had the procedure. This is especially important if you have a temporary crown or filling in place. Temporary restorations are not made to last and if you chew on them with something hard, they are likely to break the restoration. Worse, hard food can damage the root canal itself. Remember, a root canal tooth no longer has its blood supply, which will make it more brittle with a bigger chance of breaking your other teeth.
3. Brush carefully
You should not stop brushing after a root canal, but you also do not need to be intense about it. Brush the root canal tooth and any gums around it as you normally would, but just carefully. If you have a temporary filling or crown, your dentist at Yaletown Dental & Cosmetic Dentistry may advise you to not floss in that place until the permanent restoration has been placed. This is in case the floss pops the temporary filling off.
4. Take medication if you need to
Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen or pain relief, like acetaminophen can help reduce the amount of discomfort that you are suffering after the procedure. You can take these medications as directed when you need to after the procedure. If your pain is increasing rather than decreasing, you should check back in with your doctor to see what you should do next. Even though extreme pain is often what drives a patient to needing a root canal, once the procedure is done, the intense pain should be eradicated, leaving you with more of a bruised feeling that can easily be handled by over the counter medication.
5. Follow up
If you have a temporary restoration, you need to get your permanent crown or filling placed as soon as you are able to. The crown will protect your now vulnerable tooth from breaking, increasing its longevity while allowing your tooth to be as functional as you need it to be. If your pain and discomfort is not subsiding within days after treatment, be sure to let your dentist know in case there is a reason that you might still be in pain.