In addition to wondering how painful a root canal is, patients also worry about root canal recovery time. It's probably the second most asked question when we talk with our patients about having a root canal done. Recovery time is another area where the myth and reality of root canals differ greatly. As one of the top root canal dentists in Staten Island, we know that this procedure is better done sooner than later, so we want our patients to have all the information they can about both this procedure.
When there is tooth decay on the exterior of the tooth - better known as a cavity - the simple fix is to clear away the damaged portion of the tooth and fill it with a hard material to protect the tooth from further decay now and in the future. However, if that decay isn't addressed immediately, it can cause an infection in the pulp, the inner part of the tooth.
Whether the infection is caused by an unresolved cavity, an injury, or an infection in the mouth tissue that spread to the tooth, when the pulp of a tooth becomes infected, patients can either have a root canal or have their tooth extracted. While both methods will remove the infection and the pain, only the root canal will preserve the tooth.
A root canal is a procedure in which the pulp of the chamber of the tooth and the roots is removed, the cavity is cleaned and debrided with a drill, and then filled with material. After the tooth has been cleaned and filled it is capped with a crown, and the tooth repair is complete. This procedure removes the infections, prevents further infection and allows the tooth to remain intact.
Root canal recovery time is surprisingly fast. Long recovery times and intense pain are both prevalent myths surrounding root canals. In reality, root canals are as simple and as painless as getting a filling, and recovery time is generally just a few days. In fact, most of our patients return to work the next day.
In the first days after the procedure, you may experience some light swelling and sensitivity in the area, but if you follow your aftercare instructions, it will resolve in a couple of days. Most symptoms following a root canal are mild and rarely require any pain medication. Usually, patients are told to take over-the-counter NSAIDs to reduce swelling and sensitivity need be.
To insure your post-procedure discomfort resolves quickly, follow these tips. They'll help your tooth and the surrounding tissues recover as quickly as possible, limiting your discomfort and reducing your recovery time. The biggest tip for recovery actually has nothing to do with the tooth itself. It's this: don't chew and avoid hot liquids until the anesthetic has worn off. This avoids accidental injury to the inner cheek. Follow these other tips to help with root canal recovery time.
If you're experiencing tooth pain or swelling, you might have a tooth infection and that infection might require a root canal. However, you won't know until you consult a dentist. We're one of the top root canal dentists in Staten Island, and we're always happy to help eliminate tooth pain for our patients. Schedule a consultation with us, and let us help you eliminate your pain and save your tooth.