Recovery Timeline for Root Canal

Root canal treatment is used when a tooth is severely decayed, and the infection is present in its inner chambers. It can save the tooth from extraction and provide significant pain relief almost immediately after the procedure. In this article, we discuss the recovery timeline for the root canal.


What is Root Canal Treatment?

A general dentist or an endodontist can perform a root canal. The steps of the procedure include:

  • Removing the infected pulp from the chambers of the tooth
  • Cleaning the canals from infection and bacteria
  • Filling the canal with a biocompatible dental material and sealing the canals
  • Covering a significantly weakened tooth with a dental crown, if required


Signs You Need a Root Canal

Remember that only your dentist can give an accurate diagnosis and offer the best course of treatment. However, some symptoms that you need a root canal might include:

  • Severe and persistent toothache that gets stronger with time
  • Pain or tenderness in the tooth when touched
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Sensitivity to air
  • Discoloration or dark spots on the tooth 
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums around the tooth in question
  • Pus that oozes from the gums around the tooth
  • Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth that lingers even after brushing and flossing
  • Mobility of the tooth


Is Root Canal Therapy Painful?

Most patients do not feel any pain or discomfort during root canal treatment, as the procedure is typically performed using local anesthetic. The pain and discomfort you experience from tooth decay are most likely much more unpleasant than any sensations you might experience during the treatment process. Sedation dentistry might also be used in cases when a patient has severe dental anxiety. 

Once the procedure is completed and the anesthetic wears out, you might experience some pain or tenderness in the treated tooth for a couple of days. However, these symptoms can be easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers and go away completely within a week after the procedure. 


Recovery Timeline for Root Canal

Typically, one to two weeks are required for your tooth and other tissue in the mouth to completely recover after the root canal therapy. Some discomfort, pain, and swelling can be expected for a couple of days after the procedure. However, if the pain is intense and lasts for longer than a week, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to check for potential issues. 


Dos During Root Canal Recovery

  • If you experience swelling around the treated tooth after the root canal procedure, try applying ice packs to your face for 20 minutes at a time with 30-minute breaks. Also, try keeping your head lifted during the day and at night using a second pillow.
  • If the pain becomes too distracting, try over-the-counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen or ask your dentist for recommendations. Remember to always take the medication according to the instructions and never exceed the recommended dose. 
  • Keep your mouth clean to prevent infection and inflammation. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly, but be careful when brushing around the newly treated tooth. Use salt water rinses or the solution your doctor recommends to gargle your mouth during the day. 
  • Postpone doing sports or other strenuous activities until the swelling and tenderness go away completely.


Don’ts During Root Canal Recovery

  • Do not eat anything right away after the procedure until the anesthetic wears out entirely and the numbness in the mouth is gone. Otherwise, you can damage your new restoration by biting on it too hard.
  • Do not chew food on the procedure side of your mouth for a couple of days. Once the swelling and tenderness go away, you can return to your regular eating habits.
  • Do not use alcohol and tobacco products, as both of them significantly slow down healing processes. 
  • Do not eat sticky, hard, crunchy, very cold, or very hot foods until the recovery is complete.

Root canal treatment is an invasive procedure that can cause discomfort during the recovery period. To speed up the process and avoid complications, follow root canal recovery tips and your doctor’s recommendation.


Make an Appointment Today

If you need root canal treatment, do not postpone a visit to the dental office to save the tooth from extraction and avoid other complications. Contact us at OC Dental Specialist today and make an appointment with a dentist in Irvine. We look forward to welcoming you and your family to our clinic.

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