There are a number of dentist treatments that make people feel anxious, and a root canal is one of them. The thought of having a root canal treatment may seem like you're in for a lengthy, uncomfortable treatment, but really there's no reason to worry. Your dentist will make sure the area is properly numb before beginning, and you'll be much more comfortable than you expect.
Instead of focusing on your fears, it's a good idea to start thinking about what you need to do after your root canal to make sure you heal and recover well. Here are the things you should do to prepare for and get through your root canal recovery.
Get some pain medication
When the anaesthetic wears off after having your root canal treatment, it's normal to experience a little bit of pain. This won't normally be anything severe, but many people find it helpful to take some over-the-counter painkillers to relieve it. Ibuprofen is a good choice, as it will also help bring down any swelling that's present.
Eat soft foods
Immediately after the procedure, you should avoid eating anything at all until the anaesthetic has worn off. This is largely to prevent you accidentally hurting your mouth or biting your tongue. Once you can feel your mouth again, you can carefully eat soft foods, avoiding chewing with the affected tooth wherever possible. You should keep this up until the dentist says you can chew normally again, which will usually be after your new crown is fitted.
Monitor your healing
A few times a day, take a moment to carefully look in your mouth at the area where the root canal was performed. If there's swelling, it should start to go down quite quickly. Make sure your mouth looks as though it's healing and not getting any worse and go back to the dentist if it doesn't seem to be getting better.
Look out for signs of a problem
If your bite feels uneven after having a root canal, you need to see your dentist, as it can get worse and lead to headaches and other problems. Other things to watch out for are bleeding, increased swelling and excessive pain. If you notice any of these, contact your dentist for an urgent appointment.
Take any medication you're given
You may have been given medication by your dentist – commonly, antibiotics to deal with any infection that was present. It's highly important to take your medicine as directed and, in the case of antibiotics, take the whole course to ensure it works properly.