A root canal treatment may sound intimidating; however, it’s a perfectly safe, straightforward, and common procedure. Furthermore, it’s the only way to remove an infection inside the tooth without the need for an extraction. Having a root canal puts an end to your pain while preserving your natural tooth. The procedure itself is painless.
Preparing for your root canal treatment helps ensure a successful operation and comfortable recovery. The professionals at Bristol Dental Clinic in Mississauga recommend the following 10 tips for your preparation:
1. Avoid alcohol and tobacco for 24 hours before your procedure.
It is extremely important that you avoid all alcohol and tobacco for the full 24 hours before your root canal treatment. These substances have an adverse effect on anesthetics, your recovery time, and the success of the procedure.
The nicotine in tobacco products can cause bleeding problems during and after your root canal. Alcohol can dry out your mouth, quicken your heartbeat, affect blood clotting, and depress your central nervous system. Smoking slows down your recovery time.
A local anesthetic can also have an adverse reaction to tobacco and alcohol. Consuming alcohol or tobacco before any dental surgery that requires anesthetics is risky. You must avoid these substances prior to your root canal and, ideally, throughout your treatment period.
2. Get a full night’s sleep.
Your body performs essential repairs as you sleep. Since you want to be in the best condition for your root canal, it’s crucial to get a good night’s sleep before the operation. Try to get a full eight to nine hours of sleep.
If you’re well rested, your body will be better equipped to handle the surgery. Sleep will also help to make your recovery faster and smoother.
3. Eat a healthy meal before your root canal treatment.
During the procedure, your dentist injects a local anesthetic into your gums that takes 2-3 hours to wear off completely. Until that happens, your mouth will be numb, and eating will be very difficult. Moreover, you can accidentally bite, burn, or injure the sedated part of your mouth by eating too soon. You could even damage the treated tooth by biting down on it.
Consequently, you should not eat anything for several hours following your root canal. To avoid feeling hungry immediately after the procedure, ensure you eat a good, healthy, and filling meal beforehand.
4. Take a painkiller before your appointment.
Root canals are not painful procedures; however, you should still expect to feel some soreness afterwards. As a result, we recommend taking a painkiller (like ibuprofen) a few hours before your treatment at Bristol Dental Clinic. This can help to alleviate some discomfort during and after the operation.
Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, so it can help to ease swelling and soreness. However, some patients prefer to take acetaminophen instead. Ask your dentists at Bristol Dental Clinic to see what medication is best for your personal needs.
5. Arrange for a ride home, if necessary.
If you receive a local anesthetic prior to your root canal, you should be able to drive yourself home. Your mouth will be numb, but that won’t prevent you from driving.
Still, some patients need sedation medicine or general anesthesia in order to feel calm and comfortable for their root canal treatment. In these instances, we recommend arranging for a ride home.
It’s not uncommon to feel nervous about your upcoming root canal treatment. Although root canals are safe and straightforward procedures, you can always ask for a sedative or general anesthetic if that will help you feel more at ease.
At Bristol Dental Clinic, our team is here to support you in whatever way we can. We want you to feel comfortable and calm whenever you visit our clinic in Mississauga.
6. Stock up on the right food.
You have to follow a specific diet in the days following your root canal treatment. After all, your mouth will be swollen and sensitive. You need to be careful not to irritate or injure your mouth as it begins to heal.
Before your root canal, fill your cabinets and fridge with food that will be easy to consume during those first critical days. Focus on soft, cool foods that are easy to chew or require no chewing at all. Avoid hot, crunchy, chewy, sticky, spicy, and hard foods. Your gums will be extra sensitive to extreme temperatures. Chew on the side of your mouth that’s opposite the affected area.
Immediately after your root canal procedure, stick to the following foods:
- Soft cereal
Once the inflammation starts to subside, you can try eating these foods:
- Scrambled eggs
- Yogurt or smoothies
- Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat
- Soft fruit (canned or cooked)
- Mashed vegetables
- Pasta and noodles
- Lukewarm vegetable soup
- Ice cream or sorbet
7. Plan to take it easy for a few days.
Your body needs time to heal. Rest is absolutely essential! You should avoid all strenuous activity (such as working, heavy lifting, and exercise) for at least 48 hours after your root canal. Overdoing it can cause the surgery site to bleed.
It’s a good idea to set up a “comfort zone” for your recovery. This is a comfortable place where you can rest after your root canal treatment. Grab some blankets, pillows, beverages, a tray for snacks, and some form of entertainment like a tablet, laptop, or TV remote
8. Freeze some ice.
The night before your root canal, place some ice or ice packs in the freezer. You can use these as cold compresses after your treatment. They will provide pain relief once the anesthetic starts to wear off.
9. Ask questions.
Many patients experience some nerves prior to their root canal treatment. Knowing what to expect can help. Our dentists at Bristol Dental Clinic will explain the entire procedure and answer any questions you may have. There is no such thing as too many questions!
10. Discuss aftercare with your dentist.
Proper aftercare is essential to your recovery. Therefore, it’s vital that you understand how to take care of your mouth as it heals. This involves eating the right things, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, taking it easy for a few days, and taking your medications as prescribed. Your dentist at Bristol Dental Clinic will explain appropriate aftercare procedures so you can have a quick recovery.
Root Canal Treatment by Bristol Dental Clinic in Mississauga
Root canal treatments remove painful infections from within the teeth. These procedures are safe, common, and provide immediate pain relief. Furthermore, root canals preserve the natural tooth so there is no need for a tooth extraction.
If you’re experiencing tooth pain, contact your dentist at Bristol Dental Clinic.