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How Much Discomfort Is Expected After Root Canal Therapy?

March 4, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dryoungblood @ 1:13 pm
a woman speaking to her dentist after root canal therapy

One of the most common myths about root canal therapy is that it is painful! Contrary to what movies and media portray, the procedure is comfortable due to topical anesthesia. The major discomfort you felt from your infected tooth before the procedure is much worse than the actual treatment! However, you will have slight soreness in the treated area for several days after root canal therapy. But how much is considered normal? Here’s what to know about root canal therapy, recovery expectations, and when you should visit your dentist for help.

What is Root Canal Therapy?

When a tooth has a severe infection deep inside of it, it will require root canal therapy. The goal is to get rid of the infection, and then clean and restore the tooth. Your dentist will completely numb your mouth with a local anesthetic. Once you’re completely comfortable, they’ll make a tiny hole in your enamel to remove all the damaged and infected tissues from within your tooth. Then they will clean and sanitize the area to get rid of any harmful bacteria. Last, your tooth will be filled with a biocompatible material to restore your smile. 

What Is Recovery from Root Canal Therapy Like?

There are three main stages you can expect after your treatment:

  • Initial sensitivity – You may have mild sensitivity and soreness in your mouth following your procedure since it is beginning to heal from the minor surgery. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions on how to manage the discomfort. This can include taking OTC pain medication (like ibuprofen) to minimize pain and swelling. It’s best to eat very soft foods and avoid biting down too hard.
  • Intermediary recovery – Your tooth will either be sealed with a temporary or permanent filling after your treatment. If temporary, you should avoid chewing on that side of your mouth until after your dentist has permanently restored your tooth. While most swelling should go away after a few days, be sure to call your dentist if it doesn’t.
  • Permanent restoration – Sometimes a crown or other restoration over the tooth will be necessary to help restore its maximum strength and function in the long term. With regular visits to the dentist, you will ensure it stays healthy for many years to come.

How Much Discomfort Is Too Much?

While minor discomfort might be expected, you should not be experiencing severe pain that disrupts your everyday life. If you do, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. In rare cases, complications can develop after a root canal procedure that can worsen if left untreated. If you have any excessive swelling, fever, an uneven bite, or just feel overall unwell, be sure to give your dentist a call so that they can get to the “root” of the issue.

Root canal therapy helps you return to a healthy and comfortable smile!  If you experience significant discomfort after your treatment, reach out to your dentist so you can get the relief you deserve.

About the Practice

Our talented team of dental professionals at the Family Dental Center of East Texas is eager to help you return to a healthy and happy smile! We offer high-quality dental care with a focus on compassion and comfort. We use state-of-the-art dental technology and soothing sedation dentistry to successfully treat your infected tooth. To schedule an appointment, contact us through our website or call (936) 427-9070.

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