Smiles For Life

What to Expect during Root Canal Therapy Recovery

By Joe McIntyre, DDS on December 14, 2018

An illustration of the root canalRoot canal therapy can help alleviate tooth pain caused by root canal infections while also restoring oral health.

When root canal therapy is recommended, it's helpful to understand what to expect during recovery. At Smiles for Life Dental Care, our team of dentists explain what to expect during and after root canal therapy to help patients prepare for root canal therapy recovery.

If you live in or around Harrisonburg, VA and would like more information, please schedule a consultation with one of our dentists today.

Is Recovery Painful?

One of the biggest concerns about recovery after root canal therapy is whether or not there will be any pain. The good news is that patients should expect to find some immediate relief from the pain their root canal infection caused.

Although some patients may feel discomfort after root canal therapy, it is usually mild. The surrounding tissues and ligaments may be sore from the root canal infection. Inflammation and tissue tenderness from the root canal infection will take a couple of days to resolve once the infection is treated.

Managing Pain during Recovery

For those who experience some discomfort after root canal therapy, dentist recommended over-the-counter pain medication to manage discomfort.

Placing an ice pack wrapped in a cloth or towel on the side cheek or jaw near the area where root canal therapy was performed can also help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.

Keeping pressure off of the treated tooth by avoiding chewing can further help reduce pain and give the surrounding tissues time to recover.

Most Patients Recover Quickly

Most patients are fully recovered within a week of root canal therapy, while some may feel fully healed within a few days.

Although some may need a full week to feel fully recovered, patients can return to their normal routine as soon as they feel ready. For most, this is after the anesthetic used during root canal therapy wears off.

Antibiotics May Be Necessary

During root canal therapy, infected tissues within the tooth are removed. When the infection is isolated to the tissues within the root canal, root canal therapy alone may be enough to treat the infection. Sometimes the infection may spread beyond the tissues within the tooth, infecting surrounding tissues, like the gums and jawbone.

Depending on the severity of the infection, some patients will be prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotics are more likely to be necessary when the root canal infection spreads to the surrounding tissue, especially when an abscess has developed.

Antibiotics should be taken as directed and the full prescription should be used to treat the infection and reduce the risk of the infection returning.

Brushing and Flossing during Recovery

Patients should continue to brush and floss as normal during recovery. This means brushing the teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, for a full two minutes. In addition, patients should floss between each tooth at least once a day.

Regularly practicing good oral hygiene on a daily basis can help prevent tooth decay and future root canal infections. Those who have developed root canal infections from tooth decay should make oral hygiene a priority to protect their oral health.

Schedule a Consultation

For answers to your questions about root canal therapy recovery, or to find out which treatments are right for your needs, please call (540) 828-2312 to schedule a consultation.

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