Are you dreading an upcoming root canal treatment? With so many myths prevalent about the horrors of root canal therapy, it would be no surprise if you are not looking forward to the procedure. First of all, you should know that the goal of root canal therapy is to relieve you of pain, not to cause it. There are also several tips you can follow to make the experience easier and more successful:
- Find out from your dentist if an antibiotic prescription will be necessary. Treating the infection around the tooth with an antibiotic can help rid the tissue of infection, which will also reduce potential swelling and improve healing after the procedure. Make sure you notify your dentist if you are allergic to any medications.
- With your dentist’s consent, start taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen several days prior to your root canal therapy. Continue the medication in the days following the procedure to help reduce pain and swelling.
- If you are experiencing mild to severe anxiety, consult with your dentist about options for sedation during your root canal therapy. While mild anxiety is easily addressed with nitrous oxide, more severe cases may be helped by conscious or IV sedation.
- Eat a healthy meal at least one hour prior to your root canal procedure. Treatment can take as long as three hours, followed by numbness that makes eating difficult, so eating a good meal prior to the procedure will make you feel more comfortable both during and after your root canal.
- Follow-up with your dentist to schedule necessary restorative dental work in a timely manner. Your root canal treated tooth will require a crown or filling to ensure the treated tooth does not fracture.
Fortunately, with today’s dental technology, diseased and damaged teeth can be saved with root canal therapy. Following these simple tips will help you get through your root canal successfully and with minimal discomfort.