Your First Root Canal: 3 Things to Expect

December 15 2020 by Mills Haven Dental

Your First Root Canal: 3 Things to Expect - Mills Haven Dental

So, your dentist told you that it’s time for a root canal. That can seem scary. We’re here to tell you that root canals may have a bad reputation, but they’re actually very safe and painless when done right!

Why a Root Canal?

A root canal is meant to preserve a tooth that is infected, injured, or even dead. Unfortunately, once a tooth has died, there's no bringing it back. Root canals are a method to preserve teeth without pulling them, so you can avoid a gap in your smile! Usually, a root canal is your last option to keep a tooth that is past the point of healing.

Here are 3 things to expect from your root canal.

#1 Minimal Prep Work Required

We often get asked, “how can I prepare for my root canal?” It’s a great question, and the good news is that you don’t need to do much to prepare for your procedure.

Here is some general advice to get ready:

  1. Don’t lose sleep worrying—make sure to rest before and after your procedure. Sleeping is your body’s way to heal and recover, so get a full night’s rest and do your best to go in well-rested for your appointment.
  2. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other substances for a few days. Some substances don’t react well to local anesthetic (pain prevention medicine), so you’ll want to avoid using any drugs or alcohol for a full 24 hours before. Ask your dentist if you have questions about what’s safe. 
  3. Eat before your procedure (unless told otherwise). Having a nice, full stomach is a good idea before a root canal. Your mouth will be frozen for a few hours afterwards, making eating after your procedure a little difficult. However, your dentist may advise you to avoid food, depending on whether you’ll be sedated for the procedure.
  4. Follow your dentist’s instructions to a T. Your dentist may have prescribed you antibiotics prior to your procedure; it’s very important you complete the full round of prescriptions in preparation for your root canal.

#2 An Easy Procedure

Easy Procedure

Most root canals are extremely routine, and your dentist can have it completed within an hour.

Your dentist’s goal is to remove the inflamed or infected “pulp” that is on the inside of your tooth. Pulp is the connective tissue, blood vessels, and cells that make up the innermost layer of a tooth. Once all the bad stuff is cleared out, they’ll seal or fill the space so that it can’t be refilled with any bacteria.

Read this article if you want to learn more about a root canal treatment!

#3 Quick Recovery

Your root canal won’t put you out for long! Many people go back to work or school right after this procedure.

It’s not uncommon to have a little bit of discomfort, pain, or sensitivity for a few days. However, most people report feeling better almost immediately after a root canal. This is because all the dead or infected pulp has been removed, which was probably causing discomfort before your trip to the dentist. If your pain is extreme or persistent, it’s best to reach out to your dentist immediately.

Once totally healed up, you’ll be able to use your tooth the way it was intended! Biting and chewing should be no problem for you.

You can get a root canal right here in Sherwood Park! Get in touch with the Mills Haven Dental team; we want to help.