Root canal treatment is among one of the last things that most people want to think about, but fortunately, advances in endodontic technology have made root canals and related procedures far less problematic than they were in the past. Also, the alternative to not having a root canal is to live with constant tooth pain, eventual loss of teeth, and possible gum disease. This is because root canals are used to correct a situation in which the inner pulp of the tooth or teeth in question becomes infected and inflamed. Left untreated, infection also has the potential to enter the bloodstream and become systemic. Here’s what you need to know about having a root canal in Thornton, CO:
Preparing for a Root Canal Procedure
Patients who properly prepare for a root canal treatment tend to have an easier time during the procedure as well as enjoy shorter recovery times than their counterparts who didn’t prepare. There are several strategies designed to take some of the edge off of having a root canal. One of the first things you should do is fill any prescriptions for aftercare pain management that your dentist may provide you with so that you aren’t left having to go to the pharmacy after the root canal is performed. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics, so pick up that prescription as well. Keep in mind that it will be important to take the entire course of antibiotics — many people are tempted to stop taking them after they begin to feel better, but this often results in the infection returning.
Another thing you should do is be sure to follow healthy eating habits for as long as possible before the treatment to keep your immune system healthy. This is important because you won’t be able to eat normally for several days after the root canal. You should also freeze some ice before the treatment so that you’ll have it on hand if you need it to help manage pain or discomfort after the anesthesia wears off.
One of the most important things you can do prior to a root canal is to have an in-depth discussion with your dentist about what to expect during the procedure, how to care for yourself afterward, and any signs and symptoms that you should be aware of that may indicate a need for further treatment.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Root canals are performed for the purpose of removing the infected pulp on the interior of the tooth, cleaning the interior, and sealing it up so that bacteria cannot enter. The length of the procedure depends on its level of complexity. For instance, a simple root canal will probably only take between 30 minutes to an hour, but if it’s more complex, it may require 90 minutes of treatment time. Keep in mind that these are treatment times only and don’t take into account the necessary preparation prior to the procedure and aftercare once it’s finished.
Most root canal treatments are performed on an outpatient basis under a local anesthesia. You will need to arrange for transportation home after the procedure is over. Although many root canals can be done in one visit, patients with severely infected teeth who are experiencing higher levels of pain may be advised to have their root canal performed during the course of two separate visits. Some patients also prefer to break their root canal treatment up into two separate visits.
What to Do Afterwards
Even though root canals are performed in your dentist’s office on an outpatient basis, it’s best to schedule a full day off work instead of planning to return to your job once the procedure is over. Some people even opt to take the next day off if possible or schedule it for a Friday so they’ll have the weekend to partially recover. If your dentist has prescribed medication for pain, you need to check on whether the particular medication has the potential to interfere with your driving abilities. It’s also a good idea to do several days or a week’s worth of shopping so that you don’t find yourself in the position of having to run to the store because you’re out of something.
One thing you should stock up on for after your root canal is a good supply of soft foods to eat while you are recovering. Your dentist will be able to provide you with a list if you need inspiration. If a crown or temporary filling has been put into place, you need to be extra careful not to disturb it and to keep the area as clean as possible.
Please feel free to contact our office if you would like more information on root canals or other dental procedures in Thornton, CO, and surrounding areas.
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12880 Colorado Blvd, Suite 120, Thornton, CO 80241