When your dentist informs you that you have to get a root canal the first thing that probably comes to mind is a painful procedure followed by a few days of uncomfortable recovery. These thoughts would have been accurate years ago, but with dozens of advancements in techniques, devices and anesthesia over the past few years, root canal procedures have improved tremendously and are now fairly gentle and comfortable procedures. Here are a few helpful tips and tricks that you can take advantage of when preparing for your root canal in order to make your experience as pleasant as possible!
Dentists suggest to take an anti-inflammatory medication the day of and/or right before your procedure takes place. The anti-inflammatory medication will ease any swelling that may be occurring, and will also help soothe any soreness or discomfort after the procedure. However one thing you should be sure to steer clear of for a few days before your procedure is aspirin. Aspirin is a blood thinner which could cause unwanted side effects such as increased bleeding. You should inform your dentist if you take aspirin on a regular basis so they can instruct you to stop taking it an appropriate time before your procedure.
2. Eat a Good Meal
Eating a substantial meal before a root canal is something a lot of patients do not remember to do. On average a root canal takes about 90 minutes, and after the procedure your dentist will instruct you to not eat until the anesthesia wears off which could take anywhere from one to three hours, and even then you will still be restricted on what you can and cannot eat. So before your procedure you want to be sure to eat a meal that will hopefully hold you over for a while.
3. Talk to Your Dentist About Antibiotics
If you are taking antibiotics before your root canal it is crucial that you let your dentist know beforehand. Some antibiotics can be problematic before a root canal, so it is important that your dentist knows so they can either instruct you to stop taking them a few days beforehand, or reschedule your appointment to a later date be sure that the antibiotics are out of your system. On the other hand, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to you post root canal. Antibiotics after a root canal is only necessary for a certain type of tooth infection, so do not be surprised if your dentist does not prescribe you.
4. Do Not Drink or Smoke Before Root Canal
Drinking or using tobacco products before any procedure is never recommended. For root canal procedures specifically, dentists recommend not smoking or drinking for at least 12 hours before procedure, preferably 24 hours before if possible. Drinking and using tobacco products while recovering from the procedure can also hinder the healing process and cause complications.
5. Talk to Your Dentist
If you are anxious or nervous about your root canal procedure, the absolute best way you can prepare is by talking to your dentist! Sometimes the best way to ease your nerves is to know exactly what is going to happen during the procedure, and your dentist is very used to having anxious patients and can answer all of your questions and concerns.
If you would like to learn more about how to prepare for a root canal, or have any general dental questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us here at Broadway Family Dental at (781) 592-5919!