After Root Canal Surgery: What To Do

The idea of a root canal may not be very pleasant, but it's not as bad as most seem to think. This procedure is an important tool the dentist or endodontist uses to help save a tooth that is decayed. Read on to find out more about the procedure and what needs to be done afterwards to ensure a good recovery.

What Is a Root Canal?

This treatment involves removing the damaged pulp from the inside of a tooth and replacing with a substance. In most cases, the inside of the tooth is filled with a rubbery substance called gutta-percha. Once done, the tooth performs just as a brand-new tooth would ā€“ you can bite, chew, and anything else you normally do.

After the Root Canal

While the gutta-percha does the preliminary job of filling the empty space left by the drilling, a more permanent solution is needed to ensure the integrity of the tooth. Your dentist or endodontist will need to use restoration techniques like bonding and filling to complete the root canal procedure. This work takes place in a separate procedure after the inflammation from the root canal has decreased. In most cases, your follow-up appointment takes place a few weeks after the root canal surgery.

Pain After the Procedure

You will be anesthetized during the root canal surgery and won't feel any pain. For minor pain and inflammation after the anesthesia wears off, your dental practitioner might suggest some over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like naproxen or ibuprofen. Pain after the surgery is usually mild and manageable. You can expect the pain to go away within a few days of the surgery.

More Follow-up Appointments

Depending on the extent of the surgery, your practitioner may ask you to return for a check-up. Your restoration will be checked to ensure that it is in good condition. Even if you are not asked to return, be sure to see your dentist for your regularly scheduled check-ups and cleanings.

Root Canal Complications

Root canal surgery has been performed successfully for many years, and most cases are entirely satisfactory. In some instances, a root canal surgery holds the potential for some issues and has to be redone. When problems occur, they usually consist of:

  1.  A crack develops in the tooth, which has to be repaired.
  2. The filling loosens and falls out, which calls for a new filling.
  3. An opening in the tooth allows bacteria to enter, causing a new cavity. The root canal must be performed again.

Tips for a Faster Recovery

Avoid eating for a few hours after the surgery. Follow the practitioner's orders about what to eat and when. You may damage a new restoration if you eat, even if you are feeling no pain. Avoid eating hard or tough foods while the gum area around the restoration is still inflamed. To learn more about root canal procedures and the recovery, speak to a dental professional like Webster John B DDS.