After having a root canal procedure, you are likely to feel sensitivity and discomfort around the tooth that was operated on as well as that localized region of your mouth. Initially, you will most likely want to eat on one the other side of your mouth. This is why oral surgeons only schedule root canals on one side of your mouth at a time, even if you need root canals in teeth on both sides.
Eating soft foods, resting, avoiding intense exercise, and generally maintaining awareness that this area will continue to remain sensitive for a period of time post-surgery is recommended. If you are recovering from a root canal and have follow-up questions, feel free to reach out at 415.792.4771 to the professionals at Zeal Dentistry with any questions.
Tips for Recovering from a Root Canal
Pain management is not the primary focus as far as safe recovery from your procedure; however, it is an obvious top concern for patients. The discomfort after having a root canal procedure can be unpleasant.
An ideal way to manage pain is to take anti-inflammatory medication throughout the day. However, be sure to speak with your dentist before taking medication for the pain after a root canal. Opioids are not recommended or considered necessary for root canal recovery. Medications like ibuprofen and other NSAIDs are considered adequate sources of pain relief.
Examples of anti-inflammatory and other over-the-counter pain relief medications include:
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Naproxen sodium (Aleve)
Keeping pressure off of the affected mouth area and avoiding foods and drinks that are too hot or too cold can help reduce your experience of pain or discomfort. With proper care, the pain should start to improve within a few days following your root canal procedure.
Gentle Dental Care after Root Canal Oral Surgery
After you have undergone oral surgery for a root canal, you want to be extra careful brushing your teeth as they will remain sensitive. Brush gently around the recently treated tooth. When flossing, move slowly and cautiously with minimal force so that you don’t injure sensitive gum tissue.
Temporary and Permanent Crowns
It’s important that you return for a follow-up exam if your dentist has recommended doing so. This ensures everything has gone as smoothly as possible. After a root canal, you will typically be fitted for a temporary crown. A temporary crown covers your tooth so you can resume eating safely while a permanent crown is created.
A temporary crown is usually worn for one to three weeks during the time a permanent crown is prepared. Because temporary crowns are not usually a perfect fit, you may feel some sensitivity and discomfort in that area of your mouth. This could be because your tooth has recently undergone surgery, and so there has been trauma to the site. This could also be the result of your teeth being temporarily misaligned. If pain persists, you may want to return to your dentist’s office while waiting for a permanent crown. Your dentist is able to reshape a temporary crown so it better fits in your mouth. Your mouth was most likely numb after your root canal, and so it may have been difficult to determine if the temporary crown was an ideal fit.
The tooth that was worked on, the localized region of your mouth, and your bite, in general, are altered after you have a new crown in your mouth. It may take some time for your mouth to adjust to the new alignment. In the meantime, it is possible you will experience a certain amount of discomfort. This should not last more than a week or two. If discomfort or pain persists, it’s important that you follow up with your dentist to ensure there are no other essential dental procedures that might require urgent care, including:
- Cavity fillings
- Tooth extraction
- Dental crowns
Contact Zeal Dentistry About Your Dental Care Concerns
Root canals have become a standard procedure. You should not worry that you are undergoing an operation that puts you at serious risk. If you have concerns about root canals, crowns, or other questions about dental care, we encourage you to reach out to Zeal Dentistry with any questions at 415.792.4771 to speak with a trained professional who can help put your mind at ease.