Root canals treat teeth in cases where cracks or decay have reached the pulp of the tooth. This treatment helps ease pain and maintain the integrity of your tooth. With experience performing crown restorations and root canals in Fairfax and Reston, and a strong referral network of endodontic experts, the team at Optimal Dental can guide you towards the right treatment solution for your tooth.
Here’s what to know about caring for your tooth after a root canal.
1. Expect more than one visit – and more than one doctor.
Once a root canal has been performed, a restorative crown is recommended to add strength and protection to the dead tooth. In some cases the crown might be added during the same visit. More often this step occurs during a subsequent visit. This is particularly the case when the root canal is being performed by an endodontist, and the crown by a general or family dentist. Endodontists are root canal experts who handle complex or retreat root canals. Your dentist will refer you to an endodontist if required.
2. Continue your regular dental hygiene routine.
Brushing and flossing are critical components of good dental health, and that remains true after a root canal. Continue to brush and floss, but be gentle around the recently treated area. Brush gently and in a circular motion, and avoid pulling floss up toward the crown area, especially if you have a temporary crown in place.
3. Stick with soft, easy-to-chew foods.
Your tooth might be tender as you heal, so avoid hard, chewy or sugary items that can place pressure on the tooth. If you’re waiting on your permanent crown, avoid chewing on the tooth being treated until this is in place. This will help prevent damage to your temporary crown.
4. Use pain medication as recommended.
Mild soreness and discomfort is normal after a root canal. Depending on your situation, your dentist or endodontist might recommend OTC pain medication or prescribe pain medication. These will help manage pain and discomfort while your mouth heals. Always follow the dosage and instructions for use on any medications, and know that some medications may cause drowsiness.
5. Monitor for any unusual symptoms.
Your new tooth might feel a little strange as it heals, but severe pain, pressure, swelling or allergic reactions such as rashes or hives are not normal. Call your dentist or endodontist if you experience any of these symptoms. If your bite does not feel right, or the temporary crown comes out, contact your dentist to have a replacement crown made.
Contact us about a root canal in Northern Virginia
If you are experiencing symptoms that you suspect that you might require a root canal, talk to the team at Optimal Dental Center today. As experts in crown restoration and root canal management, our expert team of doctors can talk to you about your tooth restoration options after the root canal treatment and perform the root canal or refer you to an endodontist in complex or retreat root canal situations.