WE LOVE WHAT WE DO: saving our patients’ teeth through root canal treatment. However, only part of that happens at our practice. Once a patient goes home, their actions can have a significant effect on the healing process, so we want to make sure our patients know everything they need to for a great recovery!
What Happens After Treatment?
Once the anesthesia wears off, it’s normal to experience some discomfort in the early recovery stages, especially if there was previously swelling or inflammation or if the tooth we treated was abscessed. Post-treatment discomfort is generally far milder than the tooth pain of an untreated tooth, and over-the-counter medication is sufficient to treat it.
Another thing you can do to help with tenderness and ensuring a short treatment time is to swish warm salt water. This will stimulate healing and fight harmful oral bacteria. Until the tenderness is gone, we recommend avoiding chewing with the treated tooth.
Straight out of our practice, though, you might want to have a camera:
The Purpose of Temporary Fillings and Crowns
A large number of teeth that undergo root canal treatment will need temporary fillings or crowns to protect them until the permanent restoration can be made and delivered, which can take as long as a few weeks. Temporary restorations won’t always match the surrounding teeth in color, but they do function like normal teeth, so you’ll be able to speak and eat normally.
How to Properly Care for Temporary Restorations
The cement that holds a temporary restoration in place is specifically designed for easy removal when it’s time for the permanent restoration, which means it’s important to be gentle with it. Don’t brush too hard around that tooth and be careful not to snag floss on it. As in the case of post-treatment tenderness, avoid chewing on the side of the mouth with the temporary restoration when possible.
Signs It’s Time to Call the Endodontist
Though the success rate of root canal treatment is very high compared to other types of surgery, complications are still possible. The more quickly we can address them, the better it will be for patient and tooth alike. Make sure to contact us if you experience any of the following in the weeks after your treatment:
- Sensitivity to temperature changes in the treated tooth
- Pain from chewing
- The initial post-treatment discomfort persists beyond the first week
- The temporary restoration coming loose
You’re on Your Way Back to Oral Health!
Getting your tooth the treatment it needs to save it is the first step on the road back to great oral health. How can you stay on that road? By keeping up with good daily oral health habits. Make sure to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush, gently floss once a day, and keep up with your twice-yearly dental appointments. Also make sure to ask us any questions you have about what to do to ensure you have a great recovery period!