How to Prepare for Root Canal Treatment
A root canal is recommended when the pulp inside of the tooth becomes infected usually due to a deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or issues from a filling. In general, patients will need a root canal when they notice prolonged tooth sensitivity to cold and hot or chewing, or when an infection is detected on an x-ray.
If your dentist has recommended a root canal treatment, you may feel nervous as to how the procedure will go. To help you prepare, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Ask your dentist about antibiotics. If the tooth is infected, it may make dental procedures more painful than it needs to be. If an infection develops, ask your dentist about antibiotics to clear the infection and shorten the recovery time. Additionally, your dentist may also recommend over-the-counter pain killers to help reduce inflammation before the procedure.
- Avoid consuming alcohol and smoking. Avoid drinking alcohol for at least 24 hours before the treatment. Alcohol can dry out the mouth and lead to complications, so it’s best to avoid drinking after the procedure as well. You should also avoid smoking before and after the procedure, as it can affect the healing process.
- Before getting a root canal, make sure to get a good night’s rest to prepare for the procedure. Make sure you eat before your procedure since the effects of the local anesthesia may last several hours after the procedure.
- After the procedure, take some time off to rest and recuperate to shorten the recovery time and avoid complications.
- Discuss with your dentist whether you will have sedation for this treatment. The before and after care protocol may change in case of sedation.
- Ask your dentist questions. If you have concerns about the procedure, you can always ask your dentist. He or she can address your concerns and help you better understand what the procedure entails and other ways you can facilitate a smooth recovery.