Each year, dental specialists perform approximately 15 million root canals. This common procedure treats the pulp of teeth that have become infected or inflamed as a result of decay. The American Association of Endodontists reports that approximately 15% of people avoid dental treatment because they are scared, but you don't have to worry if your dentist recommends a root canal. Recovery is fairly quick, especially if a skilled practitioner performs the procedure.

Recovery Timeline

If you received general anesthesia prior to your root canal, you might not feel pain immediately after the procedure. Here is a timeline that briefly details your potential recovery process:

  • Day One: Use over-the-counter pain-relief medications or prescription drugs to alleviate pain, if you feel any.
  • Day Two: Many patients return to regular commitments, such as work or school.
  • Day Three: You may feel some minor discomfort, but the pain should not be severe.

Your dentist can provide a detailed recovery estimate based on your unique medical situation, but typically, you can expect a quick recovery timeline similar to the one referenced above. 

Post-Treatment Guidelines

Following the instructions issued by your dental specialist helps ensure that your root canal recovery goes smoothly. As you recover from your procedure, your dentist may suggest that:

  • You avoid chewing ice or other hard, crunchy foods that may damage your dental work.
  • You brush regularly on a schedule established by your dentist. 
  • You change or limit lifestyle habits that contributed to your need for a root canal, such as a love for sugary drinks or a nicotine dependency.

Your dental-care provider may have other restrictions or recommendations.  

Potential Issues

More than 95% of root canals effectively address the concerns they were administered to treat, so there's a good chance that you won't experience any issues from the procedure. Some patients notice swelling in the mouth or hives on the body after receiving a root canal.

If you suspect something is wrong, contact the medical expert who performed the procedure for personalized advice regarding your issues. 

Long-Term Care

After receiving a root canal, it's important to maintain great dental health by visiting your dentist at least twice a year so that you do not need additional root canals. Your dentist may also recommend that you schedule an appointment shortly after the procedure so he or she can verify that your infection is gone.

A root canal can protect your teeth by preventing harmful bacteria from spreading or damaging the nerves in your teeth. Visit a dentist, such as those found at Pinon Hills Dental, soon if you suspect you may need a root canal.