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What to Expect After a Root Canal

Root canals are common dental procedures designed to preserve natural teeth that have suffered infection or damage. They have a bad reputation as being painful, but the truth is that they’re no more painful than a dental filling, and they can actually stop toothaches.

Beatriz Parra, DDS, and our team at Millennium Dental specialize in painless root canals. When your tooth is compromised by damage or infection, a root canal can save it and eliminate the need for an extraction.

If you’re scheduled for a root canal, prepare yourself by learning more about what happens to your tooth and what recovery looks like after the procedure. 

A root canal saves your tooth

The main goal of a root canal is to eliminate infection and damaged tooth pulp to stop deterioration. During your root canal, Dr. Parra thoroughly cleans the inside of the affected tooth and removes decay, infection, and damaged portions of the tooth.

She sterilizes the inside of your tooth and seals it up with a special substance called gutta-percha. Once your root canal is complete, your tooth is protected and won’t further deteriorate.

With infection and damage removed, your tooth likely won’t need to be extracted. Most patients report a significant reduction in tooth pain after a root canal, especially if the tissue was severely infected. 

Depending on your needs, you might need additional restoration to stabilize your tooth. Dr. Parra often recommends dental crowns to strengthen teeth that have been damaged or infected to reduce the risk of future complications.

Recovering from a root canal

Root canals are no more uncomfortable than getting a dental filling. Modern dental technology and our expertise in root canals mean that some people don’t experience any lingering pain once their root canal is complete.

Mild pain isn’t uncommon, however. The cleaning process during your root canal may irritate surrounding tissue or nerves. If you do have pain, expect it to last no more than 2-3 days after your root canal. 

Talk to Dr. Parra about ways to minimize pain after your root canal. In most cases, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen are sufficient. Check with your doctor before taking any type of medication to ensure it’s safe for you.

It’s a good idea to avoid hard or chewy foods until your tooth isn’t sensitive anymore. If you need a dental crown or a permanent filling after your root canal, you should minimize chewing on the tooth until the restoration is complete.

Once your mouth has healed, your tooth doesn’t need any special care. Simply brush and floss twice a day, and make sure you continue getting regular dental cleanings to maintain optimal oral health.

Are you suffering from tooth pain? Call our Millennium Dental office in Redwood City, California, at 650-204-3548 or book an appointment online today. You can also send a message to Dr. Parra and the team here on our website.

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