After a root canal treatment, your body needs time to rest and heal, but this shouldn’t interfere with your everyday activities. Most people can return to work the next day. To be sure you give your body enough time to recover, consult with your dentist regarding appropriate aftercare procedures.
How Does a Root Canal Procedure Work?
A root canal procedure is performed when the interior, soft portion of the tooth becomes severely damaged or infected. During the procedure, your dentist removes all the infected tissue, then cleans and sanitizes the tooth’s interior. The inside of the tooth is then filled with a sterile resin. A crown is placed on the tooth to help it stand up to regular chewing pressures.
Your dentist or endodontist uses special tools called files to remove the infected tissue. He will drill a hole in your tooth to provide access for these files. After the procedure, all the nerve tissue will have been removed from your tooth, so it will no longer be able to sense temperature or pressure. However, the tooth will still be usable. After the procedure, you may experience some discomfort and sensitivity in the surrounding tissues, even though the tooth itself is no longer served by any nerves.
Root Canal Aftercare
After your root canal, you will need to take care of yourself to be sure your tooth heals properly and to avoid any new infection building up inside the tooth. Your dentist will probably recommend taking some time to rest. During that time, you can use cold packs to reduce any swelling. Be sure to take any medication your dentist has prescribed, including painkillers or antibiotics. Usually, you should be able to go back to work the next day.
If you notice any unusual symptoms, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. These symptoms could indicate that your tooth is not healing properly or that new infection has set in. Some symptoms to look for include:
- Swelling or redness near the tooth
- Pus around the tooth
- An overall flu-like feeling
Be sure to call your dentist as soon as possible if you experience any unusual symptoms or have any questions about your recovery.
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