Many people have the wrong impression about what having root canal surgery is: it is commonly mentioned in association with something giving extreme pain, such as, “I’d rather have a root canal than do that.” The truth is, a root canal procedure cleans out the infected canal of a tooth’s root and it actually stops the pain. Any fear or problems can be avoided by creating a to-do list for your endodontic appointments:
°For your first appointment, you may be referred by a general dentist, since this is a therapy that should be done by a specialist, an endodontist. But if you are unsure about the diagnosis, check out the symptoms of an infected root canal https://www.nycendodontics.com/root-canal/, which can include sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, a severe toothache, pain on the tooth when chewing, discoloration of the tooth, or tenderness in the gums around the tooth. Surgery might also be needed if a tooth has been fractured or the root’s nerve is dead. Be sure to bring an x-ray of the area from your dentist, otherwise we will have one when you arrive (digital x-rays involve very little radiation.
°Once the treatment appointment is made, consider whether to take the day off. Since only a local anesthetic is used and you will have pain-reducing medication (or just a double-dose of ibuprofen) prescribed afterwards, you do not need to have someone drive you or take public transportation. You can even go to work. However, you will need to bite down on gauze for at least an hour and use a cold compress (or bag of ice, frozen veggies, or cold washcloth) for five minutes every 15 minutes for at least an hour to reduce swelling. You should plan to eat just soft foods and avoid chewing on the side where the root canal was done for a couple of days (and do not smoke or use your mouth vigorously).
°If you have certain types of systematic health issues, your may need to take antibiotics in advance to avoid having oral bacteria enter the bloodstream. Discuss your full medical history at your diagnostic appointment. Do not take any pain medication in advance of treatment. Do keep taking your normal medications, such as for high blood pressure, thyroid, and diabetes.
°Be sure to eat a full, healthy breakfast or lunch in advance, as appropriate. Do not fast. You need the protein and complex carbohydrates to heal and these may help offset any negative effects of surgery.
Most important, be prepared to be pain-free again!