The Root Canal Recovery Process

WE LOVE SAVING our patients’ teeth through endodontic therapy, but only the actual procedure...

WE LOVE SAVING our patients’ teeth through endodontic therapy, but only the actual procedure takes place at our practice. The recovery happens at home, where your actions can significantly impact the healing process for better or worse. We want to give our patients everything they need to ensure a great recovery.

What Comes Next After Treatment?

After the anesthesia wears off, some discomfort in the early recovery stages is normal, particularly if treatment was preceded by swelling or inflammation or if there was an abscess. The discomfort after treatment is usually much milder than the tooth pain of a tooth that hasn’t been treated. It’s mild enough that over-the-counter medication is effective to treat it in most cases.

Another way to minimize tenderness and shorten the recovery time is to swish warm salt water a few times a day. This helps to stimulate healing and fight harmful oral bacteria. We also recommend avoiding chewing with the untreated tooth until the tenderness is gone.

Why Are Temporary Fillings and Crowns Sometimes Involved?

Many teeth that undergo root canal treatment require temporary fillings or crowns to protect them while the permanent restoration is made and delivered. This can take a few weeks, and the temporary restoration doesn’t always match the surrounding teeth in color like the permanent restoration will. However, they do function the same as normal teeth, so you can speak and eat normally with them.

Proper Care of a Temporary Restoration

The cement holding a temporary restoration in place is designed to be easy to remove when the permanent restoration is ready, so it’s important to be gentle with it. Avoid brushing too hard around the treated tooth and be careful not to snag floss on it. Just like with post-treatment tenderness, be careful not to chew on the side of the mouth with the temporary restoration if you can.

Signs You Should Call the Endodontist After Treatment

Even though root canal treatment has a very high success rate compared to other types of surgery, it is possible to have a complication. In those rare cases, the sooner we can address the problem, the better the outcome for both the patient and the tooth. Be sure to contact us if you experience any of the following in the first few weeks after your treatment:

  • Temperature change sensitivity in the treated tooth
  • Pain while chewing
  • The initial discomfort after the anesthesia wears off persists after the first week
  • The temporary restoration becomes loose

You’re On the Road Back to Good Dental Health!

Getting the treatment your tooth needs to save it is a critical step on the road back to the level of oral health you deserve. Staying on that road means keeping up with good daily oral health habits and regular dental appointments. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled brush, floss gently once a day, and avoid consuming too much sugar. Also, bring us any remaining questions you may have about your recovery process!

We’re so happy to give our patients the best chance for smile success!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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