How Much Time Does It Take for a Root Canal to Heal?

If you’re planning a root canal in Fairfax, VA, you might be wondering what to expect from the healing process and how much time you need to take off work or school. Here’s what to know about the typical root canal healing timeline.

Root Canals are a Multi-Step Process

A factor in how long your root canal treatment takes to heal is whether the procedure is completed in a single appointment or over multiple appointments. This will depend on the complexity of your treatment. In some cases, the root canal only requires one single visit and a post and crown can be done in the same session, while in others the root canal treatment itself might take 2 visits before a post and crown can be started. The dentist or endodontist providing your root canal in Fairfax will be able to advise how long to expect the initial treatment process will take.

Initial Healing Takes a Few Days

Once your root canal has been completed, you can expect a few days of healing. The numbness from the anesthetic takes a few hours to subside, and some minor discomfort might be present after this. This soreness is usually caused by the cleaning process, the newly applied crown, or even some mild muscle stiffness from holding an open-mouthed position while in the chair. 

Over-the-counter pain medication can minimize any discomfort, and avoiding chewing on the affected side of your mouth can help reduce this further.

You Can Promptly Resume Your Regular Routine 

The side effects of routine root canals are generally minor, and many Fairfax VA root canal patients can return to work or their regular daily routine right after their appointment. You may experience minor swelling or discomfort, but in general you won’t need to adjust your typical schedule. If you have a temporary crown, take care of it so that it doesn’t get damaged while you’re waiting for your next appointment, and avoid chewing gum or hard or sticky foods. For best results, maintain good dental hygiene practices.

In Rare Cases Recovery May Take a Week or Two

While the majority of root canal cases heal in just a couple of days, some patients may experience complications such as infection. The extent of your treatment, overall health, dental hygiene habits, and the presence of any conditions that might affect healing can extend the root canal recovery period. Talk to your root canal dentist or endodontist about what kind of recovery timeframe to expect, and follow their advice. 

Signs of Root Canal Healing Problems

If you experience continued swelling or pain in your tooth, gums or jaw, your bite feels uncomfortable, or your temporary crown comes out, contact your dentist or our team at Optimal Dental Center. As experienced providers of root canals in Fairfax, we can assess your situation to recommend a course of treatment – or refer you to a trusted endodontist.  

For more information about root canals or general dentistry visit the services section of our website for more information.