Nobody likes having a root canal done.
There is, though, a first for everything.
If you’re about to get your very first root canal done, there are some things you need to know about the preparation, procedure, and even the post-canal you’d be happy to know.
There’s not a whole lot of preparation before having a root canal done, however, this is something that you should ask your dentist. If you suffer from dental anxiety, talk to your dentist, or ask whether or not you’re allowed to take any specific medications for your dental anxiety before the procedure.
Drinking a calming tea or taking over-the-counter, homeopathic medications may be helpful and may not interfere at all with the procedure. Blood-thinning medications may, though, be dangerous taking before the procedure, so always discuss this with a dentist.
However, there are a few things (which your dentist will tell you) that you shouldn’t do directly before the procedure:
- Smoking within 12 hours of the procedure and even afterwards (until advised)
- Drinking alcohol within 12 hours of the procedure and even afterwards (until advised)
- Eating before the procedure
Right before the procedure, your dentist may give you pain medication or numb the area to reduce pain during the canal. Patients are not put to sleep with general anesthesia, however, you may qualify to have a sedation treatment if you ask your dentist and if, that is, none of your medications and such interfere.
During the actual root canal, you dentist will drill an opening into the affected tooth, then remove the infected pulp. Then, the dentist will clean and fill the inside of the tooth with a pink material known as “gutta-percha.”
To complete the procedure, the tooth will then be sealed on top with a tooth-colored filling or crown. After that, the tooth is healthy and is back to normal.
As advised earlier, don’t smoke, drink alcohol, eat, or drink anything until your dentist lets you know when it’s okay. As for the healing tooth, it’s not uncommon to feel pain, sensitivity, or tenderness for a few days in the area of which the root canal was done.
However, if you notice signs of infection, swelling, allergic reaction or rash, itching, an uneven bite, fever, excessive pain, bleeding, or worsening of symptoms, talk to your dentist as soon as possible.
Your dentist will let you know which pain-relief medications or substances will work best for you, won’t give you an allergic reaction, and won’t interfere with any other medications you are taking.
Please be aware that even after the root canal is completed, brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes and flossing twice a day are still very important, especially after a root canal. Neglecting your oral health is riskier than ever before after the procedure.
If you have any questions about the root canal procedure, have concerns, or still aren’t sure how the process is completed, the best person to contact is your dentist or another dental professional you trust.