When a tooth root becomes infected by bacteria, a root canal treatment may be recommended to remove the infected tooth tissue. While some may fear this procedure, the truth is there is more to worry about in the consequences of not receiving a necessary root canal than of getting one in the first place. Failing…
How to Care for a Tooth After Root Canal Treatment
Dentists recommend root canal treatment for many reasons. These include an abscessed tooth, severe tooth decay, or a cracked tooth. This is a common treatment; the American Association of Endodontists estimates that millions of root canals are done each year. After the procedure, patients need to know how to care for a root-canaled tooth so it will last for many years. There are numerous benefits to saving a tooth with a root canal, including better chewing function and a decrease in dental pain.
Care instructions after root canal treatment
During root canal treatment, a dentist removes the infected nerve from a diseased tooth. The canals are thoroughly cleaned, and a filling material called gutta percha is placed inside the tooth. The dentist places a temporary filling in the tooth until a crown can be placed. There are a few important steps to follow after this procedure to have a favorable outcome. Patients should treat the tooth with care until a permanent restoration is placed.
Eat soft foods
Patients usually experience some soreness around the treated tooth after the appointment. Dentists recommend eating soft foods for a few days. The patient's jaw may be sore from opening wide, and a soft diet gives the jaw time to rest. Because a temporary filling is used until a crown can be placed, dentists may advise patients to avoid eating sticky foods. These could dislodge the filling. To be extra cautious, patients can eat on the opposite side of the mouth for a few days after the procedure.
Avoid strenuous activity
After any dental treatment, it is important to rest. For 24 hours after the appointment, patients should not exert themselves too much. Patients should avoid getting overheated by not taking part in strenuous exercise. The dentist may advise the patient to take a day off work for recovery. The length of recovery will depend on how infected the tooth was and the difficulty of clearing the canals. Patients should ask the dentist if there are any special recovery instructions after the appointment. The dentist may recommend using palliative measures such as an ice pack to reduce postoperative swelling.
Schedule future dental appointments
After root canal treatment, a tooth can become brittle. The tooth's nerve has been removed, so there is no blood supply to it. To protect the tooth, a dental crown is placed over it. Without this extra protection, the root-canaled tooth may break. Even if the patient is no longer experiencing dental pain, dental visits should not be neglected. Regular dental cleanings and restorative treatments are essential for maintaining a healthy smile.
When patients understand the process and aftercare for a root canal, they can look forward to a better treatment outcome. For those who need root canal treatment, a consultation with a dentist is recommended. When the benefits of this type of treatment are understood, the patient can make an informed decision about their oral health.
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