Root Canal Therapy Recovery
When you have a painful, infected tooth, root canal therapy can sound intimidating. But this restorative procedure alleviates pain and can save a natural tooth from possible extraction.
At the practice of Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S. in Fountain Valley, CA, we offer this procedure to patients. Root canal therapy is safe and effective, and it can restore your dental health.
To heal faster, learn more about root canal therapy recovery, including the timeline of healing as well as recovery guidelines and tips.
Root Canal Therapy to Restore Teeth
If you are about to receive a root canal, here are common treatment steps to expect during the procedure:
- To start, Dr. Mortensen numbs the tooth with local anesthesia. For patients anxious about the procedure, our office offers optional sedation medications such as nitrous oxide. This will help reduce stress and allow patients to relax during the length of the procedure.
- An opening is created on the top of the tooth.
- The pulp, or soft tissues found in the middle of the tooth structure, is removed. Additional soft tissues found in the canals that extend through to the roots are also removed.
- The hollow canals are smoothed and prepared.
- Your dentist then places material inside each of the hollow canals.
- After the procedure, a temporary crown could be placed while a permanent porcelain crown is fabricated. Sometimes, the final crown is immediately placed. Your dentist shapes and files the crown to provide a seamless smile and comfortable bite.
After Your Procedure
Following the root canal procedure, Dr. Mortensen will give you specific instructions regarding care for your restored tooth; be sure to follow his guidelines to promote a healthy, fast healing process.
Your tooth may feel different for a couple days following the procedure. If your bite does not feel even, or the crown feels too high, contact our office to have the crown further shaped for a better fit.
Additionally, if you experience any of the issues below, schedule an appointment for further treatment:
- Discomfort or pain for more than four days
- Swelling in the cheeks or gum tissue that does not subside
- A detached crown
In most cases, a porcelain crown is bonded to the restored tooth to protect it from biting pressure or destructive bacteria. If your dentist placed a temporary crown, further treatment will be required once the final porcelain crown is fabricated and ready to be fitted.
Afterwards, if you no longer have symptoms, your newly restored tooth is finished. Take care of it just as you would a natural tooth, through twice daily brushings and daily flossing, as well as regular dental cleanings.
What Not to Do
Caring for your temporary or permanent crown will protect your natural tooth from additional infection and inflammation.
Guidelines for your recently-restored tooth:
- Take any prescriptions or over-the-counter pain relief medication when necessary: Though post-procedure discomfort should diminish during the first day or two, sensitivity may continue for a few days as the tooth settles. Take any pain-relief medications as needed, and contact our office if you experience any lingering discomfort or sensitivity.
- Eat a soft diet: A temporary crown is weaker than a permanent crown. Avoid foods that are overly crunchy or chewy, which could break the temporary bonding or crack and loosen the composite crown.
- Clean carefully: Maintaining good oral hygiene is important, but be careful when flossing and brushing around the newly-restored tooth. Brush lightly around the gum line, and when flossing, pull it directly out from the side, rather than up or down.
Questions? Contact Your Dentist
We are here to answer questions and help you heal completely after a root canal procedure. If you have questions about restorative dentistry, or would like more information on our services, contact our office at (714) 964-4183.