Root canal therapy is a long-lasting, safe, and effective treatment for infected teeth. The treatment process allows patients to leave our office with a strong, healthy tooth that can be permanently maintained with good dental hygiene.
After a root canal procedure, we will provide you with post-treatment guidelines for your newly restored tooth; it is important to follow these instructions to successfully recovery from the procedure.
Proper aftercare will protect your tooth from further inflammation or infection. Here, Dr. Thomas Tang discusses root canal recovery so our Brookfield, WI patients know what to expect.
Understanding Root Canal Treatment
What happens during treatment?
- First, the patient is numbed before treatment begins. Patients may also be given optional sedation medications to help them relax during the procedure.
- The dentist creates an opening on the top of the tooth.
- The nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissues inside the tooth are removed.
- Each hollow canal, extending through the root of the tooth, is smoothed and shaped.
- The dentist then fills the inner chambers of the tooth with gutta percha, a flexible dental material.
- A temporary restoration is placed on the tooth while a protective crown is created. In some cases, the final porcelain crown is fitted and placed that day.
With a simple root canal procedure, patients can be in and out of our practice in less than two hours. If the restored tooth is properly cared for, the healed tooth can last a lifetime.
What to Expect after the Procedure
Right after your procedure, you may experience some slight sensitivity or pain as the anesthesia wears off. This is most likely due to the process of removing the tooth’s pulp. Pain and sensitivity should decrease and wear off in the first few days. If they do not, contact our practice immediately for further treatment.
Over-the-counter medications should be all you need to treat pain after a root canal. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen should be taken as directed for pain, and always be sure to check with your dentist or pharmacist to ensure these over-the-counter medications will not negatively interact with any existing prescriptions you may be taking.
Take care to avoid hard, chewy, or crunchy foods until your tooth settles. Choose soft foods and drink plenty of water during the first couple of days post-procedure to help speed healing.
Brush and chew carefully if you are wearing a temporary crown. Made of a composite material, this crown is weaker than your permanent crown, and can come loose more easily.
The good news is that your restored tooth can be treated much like a natural tooth. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day will prevent tooth decay underneath the crown. Eliminating most sugary foods and drinks will also help reduce your risk of tooth decay and infection.
With proper oral hygiene and regular dental examinations, your natural tooth could last forever and your dental crown could only need replacement after 15 to 20 years.
Contact Our Practice
Do you have questions about your root canal treatment or restorative dentistry? We have experience helping patients recover quickly and without discomfort. Contact our practice online or call us at (262) 821-1000; one of our staff members will be happy to assist you.