Two simple words have the ability to strike fear into the heart of anyone, no matter how old they are — root canal. However, with the advancements in dental technology and the popularity of endodontists in recent years, root canals don’t have to be scary or painful, especially if you prepare yourself beforehand!
The first step to preparing for your root canal is knowledge, both about what causes a root canal in the first place and what a root canal really is.
Why Do I Need a Root Canal?
According to the American Association of Endodontists, there are typically four common causes that lead to a root canal procedure.
- Chips or cracks in your tooth
- Repeated procedures on a specific tooth
- Faulty crowns
No matter the reason for needing a root canal, identifying a trustworthy endodontist is an excellent way to get yourself on the road to recovery as quickly and painlessly as possible.
What is a Root Canal?
A root canal cleans out the infected pulp in the tooth, protecting it from becoming abscessed or requiring a total extraction. While it sounds incredibly invasive, a root canal can save you the pain and stress of having to have your tooth removed if dealt with at the first sign of trouble.
So, as hard as it might be, speak up at the first sign of pain so your dentist or endodontist can put an end to the problem before other issues come up!
How Do I Prepare for My Root Canal?
You shouldn’t have to worry too much about preparing for a root canal because if all goes well, you’ll be back to normal in a matter of a few days. However, there are three things you can do before your procedure to prepare!
- Brush and floss before your root canal
- Have over-the-counter pain medicine on hand, just in case
- Stock up on soft foods
- Brush and Floss Before Your Root Canal
Most endodontists don’t mind if you eat before your root canal procedure, but do ask that you brush and floss thoroughly afterward to prevent debris from getting inside your tooth. Since the endodontist will have your tooth cavity open during this procedure, you don’t want to introduce any other bacteria into your tooth, causing further infection.
- Have Over-The-Counter Pain Medicine on Hand, Just in Case
Root canals are relatively painless because of the numbing procedures endodontists use; however, it is common to feel some soreness or mild discomfort after the local anesthetic
wears off. In most cases, over-the-counter pain medication does the trick to limit any pain you might have. However, as with any procedure, if you find yourself in pain not managed with over-the-counter medicine, always contact your endodontist to rule out potential complications.
- Stock Up on Soft Foods
Your endodontist will likely remind you that after your procedure, your mouth may still be numb, so it’s best to wait on eating a meal until that feeling passes. Once you’re in the clear and no longer numb, try to stick with soft foods that aren’t hard on your teeth, like applesauce and yogurt. Any soft food that requires little chewing is best as you recover from your root canal and are awaiting your permanent crown.
If you need to make an appointment for a root canal, contact our office today and let us help you rediscover your beautiful, pain-free smile!