Managing Numbness and Discomfort
Your mouth, cheeks, lips, and tongue will be numb after your procedure so avoid biting or eating food until the anesthetic wears off. You should also avoid chewing with the treated tooth in order to help it heal faster – it may be more sensitive and tender as it heals.
If you had pain in the treated tooth before your appointment, it may still take time for it to subside (as much as one week). This is especially true if you had an abscess or deep cavity.
You should be able to manage any pain and discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen. It can be helpful to take these before your anesthetic wears off and continue taking them for 2-3 days according to directions on the bottle.
Your dentist may prescribe painkilling medications that contain narcotic ingredients. Make sure to take these exactly according to instructions. Never take narcotic medications at the same time as alcohol, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, or tranquilizers. When taking narcotic medications, do not drive.
If you have any pain or discomfort that is unmanageable or does not go away within a week, make sure to contact us.
It’s normal to have some swelling for a few days after your appointment. You can use a protected ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables to reduce swelling. Apply it for 20 minutes at a time and then leave it off for 20 minutes at a time. If you continue to have swelling after a few days or if it increases, contact our office.
In some cases, you may need to take antibiotics after your procedure. Make sure to complete your regimen and take them exactly according to instructions. This helps prevent infection and damage to the teeth.
When and What to Eat
You can resume eating right away, but make sure to avoid chewing with the treated tooth for a few days. It’s important to avoid sticky or chewy foods that can remove the temporary filling. This includes candy and gum.
Returning for Your Restoration
After a root canal, you’ll need to return for a permanent restoration. During your procedure, you’ll be given a temporary restoration until a permanent one can be placed. Temporary restorations should not be used long-term since bacteria can get in and reinfect the tooth, requiring another procedure. Your dentist will make sure you understand when to return for a restoration and to assess the health of your treated tooth.
We’re available to answer your questions about your root canal procedure. To contact us, call our office at (415) 523-9178 or fill out our online contact form.