Root Canal Therapy Recovery
If bacteria enter the pulp of a tooth, a dental abscess can develop. Once this happens, the only way to save the tooth from extraction is root canal therapy. During this procedure at Brooklyn Heights Dental, Drs. Eugene Stanislaus or Lisa Reid remove the infected tissues from inside the tooth, fill the canals with a special material, and seal the tooth to prevent reinfection.
In this blog post, our team, serving Brooklyn Heights, NY, Brooklyn, NY, and Fort Greene, NY, explains what patients can expect during root canal therapy recovery. We will also offer some tips to keep you comfortable during the healing phase.
The Day of Your Procedure
Immediately following root canal therapy, your mouth will remain numb for a few hours. If you opted for sedation, you will need to go home and rest for the remainder of the day. If you did not undergo sedation, you may be able to return to work and most regular activities immediately.
Be sure to avoid strenuous exercise for the first few days. An elevated heart rate can increase the risk of discomfort. All medications should be taken as prescribed.
The Next Few Days
In the days that follow, the treated tooth may feel sensitive. This is especially true if pain or infection was present before root canal therapy. This side effect is normal, and can typically be managed with over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Your dentist may decide to add a crown to the treated tooth to add strength and reinforcement. Often, this can be completed a week or two after the initial root canal therapy. During this time, patients should avoid chewing directly on the treated tooth until the crown is in place.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
The answer to this question will be different for every individual. While most patients feel back to normal in just a few days, some will have lingering sensitivity. In most cases, however, full root canal therapy recovery takes two weeks or less.
Tips for Maintaining Your Smile
Following root canal therapy, you will want to protect your investment. There are several things you can do to ensure that your smile stays healthy and beautiful for the long haul. Here are some tips from our team at Brooklyn Heights Dental:
- Practice excellent oral hygiene. To reduce plaque, tartar, and bacteria, brush at least twice a day and floss between the teeth daily.
- Choose the right products. Our team recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a nonabrasive fluoride toothpaste. It is also a good idea to purchase an antimicrobial mouth rinse to combat cavity-causing bacteria.
- Wear a mouthguard if necessary. Patients suffering from bruxism should talk to their dentist about a custom oral appliance. These guards can protect the teeth from further stress and damage.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Routine cleanings and examinations are imperative to long-term oral health. Ask your dentist how often you should have cleanings to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Contact Our Practice to Learn More
Have you recently undergone root canal therapy? Following these guidelines can help you alleviate discomfort and recover quickly. To learn more about this procedure, or any of the services offered at our Brooklyn practice, reach out to one of our team members. Contact us online or call us at (718) 857-6639.