Root canal therapy is a painless procedure performed when decay has caused enough damage to a tooth that the tooth is dying or has already died. During treatment, your dentist or endodontist removes the diseased or damaged pulp from the tooth and then refills the tooth cavity. To ensure a successful and pleasant treatment, here are some basic do’s and don’ts to follow:
- Do take any medication your dentist has prescribed for you to take prior to root canal therapy.
- Don’t anticipate pain; be calm and relaxed during your treatment.
- Do expect mild discomfort for 2-3 days following the procedure. Apply an ice pack and sleep with your head elevated to minimize swelling.
- Don’t skip on taking prescribed pain medications, even if you are not experiencing extreme pain.
- Do avoid biting on hard foods or meddling with the affected tooth during the course of treatment.
- Don’t drink excessively hot or cold beverages until the completion of treatment.
- Do continue normal brushing on the root canal treated tooth.
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol within 24 hours of root canal therapy.
- Do eat a soft diet for several days and avoid chewing on the treated tooth until a permanent restoration is placed.
- Don’t delay having the treated tooth capped with a crown or other restoration to avoid fracture or additional damage, causing failure of your root canal therapy.
- Do contact your dental professional immediately should you have any complications or questions during your recovery, and make sure to keep any follow-up appointments scheduled by your dentist or endodontist.
Root canal therapy has a 95% success rate. By following these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure a positive result from your root canal therapy and enjoy many more years of a healthy smile.