How to Live Through a Root Canal

How to Live Through a Root Canal

how to live through a root canal

Root canals aren’t known for being pleasant, but lingering tooth pain isn’t a party either. According to American Association of Endodontists, 63 percent of Americans want to avoid a root canal, but 69 percent of Americans want to avoid losing a permanent tooth even more.

And WebMD reports that root canal procedures have a 95 percent success rate.

Root canals are performed by general dentists and endodontists. According to American Association of Endodontists, an estimated 15 million root canals are performed every year, with 72 percent of them performed by general dentists and 28 percent performed by specialized endodontists.

Root canals preserve a dead tooth. To put it simply, the root canal process is scraping out the dead tissue inside the tooth so that you can preserve the outer portion or enamel. The removal process is when the dentist removes infected pulp and cleans out the inside of the tooth. Then the dentist will fill the tooth and seal it so that bacteria can’t get inside. Then a temporary crown will be placed until you come back at a later appointment to receive the permanent crown.

Here are some helpful tips that will make your experience more pleasant.

  • Root canals usually involve full anesthesia, which means you will be completely unconscious. If you have a sensitivity to anesthesia, be sure to discuss that with your dentist.
  • Most root canal patients find that pain will peak within 24 hours after the procedure, which is why it is important to stay on top of pain medication. Record what time you take each pill and take them as needed for discomfort. Over the counter pain relievers can also be used, but make sure not to use two drugs that have an interaction. This website is a great resource for checking to see if medications have interactions.
  • An antibiotic will likely be prescribed to you to either treat the infection in your tooth or to prevent a new one. Take this as recommended by your dentist to keep your mouth healthy and infection-free.
  • Eat soft foods like smoothies, yogurt, ice cream, soup, mashed potatoes, etc. Avoid eating until the numbness wears off. You might chew on your cheek and not even know it.
  • Root canals can take several hours. It’s a good idea bring a book on tape or music to help the time go by more quickly.
  • A sore jaw is often accompanied by a root canal because of the way your jaw is cranked open for an extended period of time during the procedure.
  • If you have worsening or lingering pain in the weeks after the procedure, talk to your dentist.
  • If you experience excessive swelling or an allergic reaction, contact your dentist immediately.
  • A tooth that has undergone a root canal procedure can still get a cavity, so it’s important to maintain good dental habits.

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