Root canal treatment, or endodontic treatment as it is also referred to, is an essential procedure to save a tooth by removing infected tissue and meticulously filling the hole that is left behind, often by fitting a crown that mimics the rest of your natural teeth. This helps to prevent further infection whilst restoring your teeth to ensure they are fully-functional and that you can eat, talk and smile with complete confidence once again.
While it is an incredibly important procedure, it can make the affected area sore and tender in the days afterwards, which is completely normal. It is quite invasive relative to other dental treatments, so it is important that you are adequately prepared before you go for your root canal procedure. In this article, we will detail a few ways in which you can prepare for your upcoming root canal, together with what you should do by way of aftercare.
1. Ask questions & discuss the procedure with your dentist
The best thing to do before having your root canal treatment, especially if you are a nervous patient, is to discuss the procedure with your endodontist, a specialist dentist who is highly-trained and qualified to carry out root canal treatment. Here at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic, we have endodontists on hand who strive to deliver advanced and surgical root canal treatment that is highly-effective and will last for many decades to come. Make sure you ask as many questions as you want so as to give you some peace of mind on the day. Some of the questions you could ask your dentist before undergoing root canal treatment includes the following:
- How long does the procedure last?
- Should I arrive early to my appointment?
- How is pain relief administered?
- Are there any foods or drinks I should avoid prior to or after my treatment?
- What does the aftercare involve?
- Will the treatment require one or two appointments?
- How do you know that all of the infected tissue has been removed before putting a crown on the tooth?
2. Avoid alcohol & smoking at least 24 hours before your procedure
This might not sound like such a big deal, but it is important that you steer clear of both alcohol and tobacco at least 24 hours before your treatment. There are a number of reasons for this, but the most notable reason is that tobacco can alter how the blood flows through the veins, which can cause issues with bleeding both before, during and after your procedure.
If it flows too much, it can become difficult to control, but if it does not flow enough, then it is not flushing the wound as effectively, which is the body’s natural way of preventing further infection. Smoking, therefore, can inhibit your recovery time, meaning it will take you far longer to get back to normal.
Alcohol, on the other hand, can cause your mouth to become dry, result in increased heart rate, affect how your blood clots and even depresses the central nervous system. Much like with tobacco, alcohol can increase your recovery time significantly, so avoid it on the run up to, and after, your treatment.
3. Get a good night’s sleep
Getting enough rest before your treatment is essential as you will feel well rested and refreshed. This is the perfect start to root canal treatment as, not only will you feel more relaxed, but it also encourages a speedy recovery. Our bodies do most of their healing and repairs overnight, so not only should you get a great night’s sleep before your treatment, but after as well.
4. Take some pain relief beforehand
Root canal treatment is nowhere near as painful as it used to be decades ago, but that does not mean to say that you won’t feel sore afterwards. If you take painkillers before your treatment, they will get to work within half an hour or so, meaning that the pain relief will kick in as your anaesthetic wears off, helping to take the edge off of the pain post-root canal treatment. Where this is not essential, it will help to make the recovery process easier.
5. Eat before you turn up for your appointment
Root canal treatment can make it difficult for you to eat after your procedure. If you do decide to eat something, it will need to be soft and not too hot or cold. The easiest thing to do is to eat a hearty meal before you arrive at your appointment so as to ensure you won’t be hungry for at least a few hours after your treatment. This way, you won’t have to worry about what to eat and when.
6. Stock up on the right food as part of your aftercare
Touching slightly on the previous point, you should make sure that you have been shopping before your appointment. This means that your house will be fully-stocked with food and drink that you can eat easily and without experiencing any pain. Make sure you ask your dentist for some advice about what you can and can’t eat post-root canal treatment, although many endodontists will say that you can consume the following food and drink after a root canal procedure:
- Soft cereals, like Weetabix or porridge
- Ice cream, without any hard or crunchy bits in it
- Soups, but don’t make it too hot
- Pasta, that has been well-cooked
- Mashed potatoes
7. Arrange for someone to come & collect you afterwards
Root canal treatment involves administering anaesthetic directly into the area using a syringe. If you are having local anaesthetic, then driving home shouldn’t be a problem for you, but if you are undergoing sedation (which isn’t common, but it is something that is considered for extremely nervous patients), then you should ask someone to drive you home after your treatment has been completed. Even if you have undergone a local anaesthetic injection, it is still recommended that someone collects you after your procedure as you may become distracted as your pain relief wears off.
Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic is pleased to offer root canal treatment in Loughborough. We have a team of specialist, highly-qualified and fully-trained dentists and endodontists who are able to meticulously carry out your root canal procedure with exceptional results. From carrying out the treatment to restoring the tooth to seamlessly blend in with the rest of your natural teeth, look to us here at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic for sterling root canal treatment in Loughborough. For more information, get in touch with a member of our professional team today – we are always pleased to hear from you.