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What to Expect Before and After Your Root Canal Procedure

What to Expect Before and After Your Root Canal Procedure

A root canal is the name of a dental procedure that cleans out the pulp and decay in the root of your tooth. Read on to know the care for a root canal before and after.

Your teeth have a layer of enamel on the outside, the second layer of dentin, and a soft core on the inside that extends to the root of your jawbone. The core contains the dental pulp, which contains nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

When decay gets into the soft core, the pulp may become inflamed or infected, or even necrotic (dead). A root canal is needed to clear out the decay.

So, how will you know that you need a root canal treatment? Will there be any particular symptoms? Keep reading to learn more about the signs that may indicate you need a root canal.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal procedure is like a tiny roto-rooter, which cleans away decay and preserves the infected tooth.

During a root canal procedure, your dentist:

  • Remove bacteria and decay from the pulp, root, and nerve of the tooth
  • Disinfect the area with antibiotics
  • Fill empty roots
  • Seal the area to prevent new decay

A root canal can be performed by your general dentist or by a specialist known as an endodontist.

Treatment of root canal leaves your natural tooth in place and prevents decay anymore. But this makes the teeth even more fragile. That’s why a tooth with a root canal is often covered with a crown.

Root Canal Before and After

The only way to know for sure whether you need a root canal is to see your dentist. But there are many warning signs to be on the lookout for.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner your rash can be treated, the better the outcome.

Persistent Root Canal Pain

Persistent toothache is a sign that you may need a root canal. Your toothache may bother you all the time, or it may go away from time to time but always come back.

You may feel a deep pain in the bone of your tooth. Or you may feel referred pain in your face, jaw, or other teeth.

Toothache can have other causes besides root canals. Some other possibilities include:

  • Gum disease
  • a cavity
  • Sinus infection pain or other problem
  • a damaged filling
  • An impacted tooth that can become infected

Make no mistake, if you have any discomfort in your teeth, it’s always better to see your dentist, especially if the pain is constant. Early diagnosis and treatment for tooth problems usually lead to better results.

Tooth Sensitivity

Do your teeth ache when you eat hot food or drink a cup of coffee? Or maybe your tooth feels sensitive when you eat ice cream or drink icy cold water.

The sensitivity may feel like a dull ache or a sharp pain. If this pain persists for a long time, even after you stop eating or drinking, you may need a root canal.

If your tooth hurts when you eat or drink something hot or cold, it could be a sign that the blood vessels and nerves in your tooth are infected or damaged.

Loose Teeth

When your tooth is infected, it may feel loose. If more than one tooth feels loose, there is likely a cause other than a problem due to mobility which may require a root canal.

Tooth Discoloration

An infection in the pulp of your tooth can cause your teeth to become discolored.

Trauma to the tooth or rupture of the internal tissue can damage the roots and give the tooth a brownish-black appearance.

While teeth discoloration can also have other causes, it is always a good idea to see your dentist if you notice a change in tooth color.

Swollen Gums

Swollen gums near a painful tooth may be a sign of a problem that requires a root canal. Swelling may come and go. It may feel like a sharp sensation or pinch when you touch it, or it may not be painful to touch.

Does Your Tooth Hurt when you eat or touch it?

If you’re noticing pain in a tooth while eating or when you touch the tooth, it could be a sign of root exposure.  This is possible if the pain or sensitivity persists over time and won’t go away when you stop eating.

A Cracked or Broken Tooth

If you have chipped or broken your tooth in an accident, in a contact sport, or by chewing on something hard, bacteria can get in and cause inflammation and infection.

Even if you hurt a tooth but it doesn’t chip or crack, the injury can still damage the nerve of the tooth. After root exposure, the nerve can become sore and cause sensitivity and pain, which may require root canal treatment.

root canal before and after

Root Canal Before

Keep the following things in check while preparing for a root canal treatment.

Avoid alcohol and tobacco for full 24 hours before the procedure

During the procedure, the dentist will inject the gums with a local anesthetic, and this may have an adverse reaction to tobacco and alcohol.

Eat Before the Procedure

Since an anesthetic will be injected into the gums during the procedure, the patient’s mouth may feel numb for hours afterward, making it difficult to eat, so unless the patient is called by a dentist a few hours before the procedure First the food will be fine. recovery more comfortably.

Take a Painkiller Before the Root Canal Treatment

Most dentists recommend that their patients take ibuprofen a few hours before treatment begins. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory pain reliever that will help reduce any swelling.
root canal aftercare procedures

Your mouth is a sensitive area – quite susceptible to infection. Most of the bacteria that enter your body will do so through the mouth as you eat and drink.

There is very little discomfort from a root canal. This is not a procedure that will require a few days in bed, like getting your wisdom teeth removed.

Instead, your dentist may write you a prescription for ibuprofen. Take them as prescribed, even if you do not feel like you are in pain. The procedure does cause some swelling, so it’s not just about managing the pain, but also the swelling that occurs.

Also Read: Things To Do After Wisdom Tooth Extraction. Know Here

Root Canal Aftercare

Aftercare can be divided into three phases: immediately after the procedure, in the next few days, and the future. Here’s what you can expect immediately after.

Your mouth will still be numb for at least a few hours after you have the procedure. During this time you should not eat anything that needs to be chewed or drink anything hot. If you do this, you risk burning your mouth or biting down too hard on a tooth.

If you were able to fill your prescription or did so before the procedure, this is a good time to take your pain medicine.

For the rest of the day, just ride it. The pain and discomfort should be much less in a few days.
During the next few days, you will want to make sure that you are taking the following measures:

  • Continue taking your medications as prescribed
  • Eat soft foods
  • Take care not to chew the part of your mouth that has not gone through the procedure
  • Be careful while brushing your teeth
  • The pain should subside within a few days. In more severe cases, however, you may have to return at least once more to completely remove the infected pulp.

Also Read: Pineapple Juice For Wisdom Teeth Removal

How Long Does a Root Canal Take?

It depends on how much infection is in your tooth. Usually, root canal treatment may require one or two appointments. Root canal therapy takes an average of 30 to 60 minutes to complete. this can take up to an hour and a half if you are having treatment for a large tooth with multiple roots.

how long does a root canal take

Root Canal Recovery Time

Generally, root canal recovery only takes a few days. For one or two days, patients probably experience mild pain after the root canal treatment, but it can be managed by taking some over-the-counter painkillers or applying ice packs. Your dentist might prescribe you some painkillers after the procedure.

Root Canal Cost

The cost of a root canal treatment can be anywhere from $300 to $900 (or more if you see an endodontist). Your health insurance may cover all or none of it.


Although the term “root canal” instills fear in many people, the dental procedure does not involve any specific pain. Almost everyone feels better soon after treatment.

If you have persistent tooth pain or other symptoms, see your dentist as soon as possible to receive a diagnosis and treatment.