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What to do after having a root canal procedure?

Root Canals

A Root Canal is a dental procedure that eliminates infection from the nerve of your tooth. It is often needed when your tooth has been severely damaged by decay, injury or other factors and the nerve cannot heal on its own. The nerve tissue is located in the center of your tooth – the pulp – and it is what allows your tooth to sense heat, cold, food and other stimuli in your mouth.

The pain caused by an infected or injured tooth usually begins as a localized ache. It can also radiate to your jaw, face or other teeth. It may cause swelling and tenderness of the gums.

Infection of the pulp in the root of your tooth can lead to serious oral health problems if left untreated. Your dentist will recommend a root canal treatment if you are experiencing toothache or other symptoms that indicate the pulp is damaged.

Your dentist will make an appointment for your procedure at our office. They will first examine your tooth and take X-rays to check for infection. Visit for further details.

They will then remove the infected tissue and clean out the pulp chamber to ensure that there is no bacteria remaining. They will then fill the canal with biocompatible material, typically a rubber compound called gutta-percha.

You will be numb for several hours following the procedure, but your teeth and gums should feel better in a day or two. Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) can help relieve any discomfort.

After the root canal is finished, you will be given an antibiotic to help prevent infection from spreading to the other parts of your body. You should return to our office in a couple of weeks to have the treated tooth capped with a crown or other restoration.

A crowned tooth will be more resistant to breakage and fracturing than an uncapped tooth. The crown will also help to restore the appearance of your tooth.

If you have an infected or severely damaged tooth, you should call our office immediately. The sooner you seek care, the more likely the treatment will be successful.

When the root canal is completed, your tooth will appear whiter and more healthy. A crowned tooth will also help to protect your tooth from further damage and breakage during normal chewing.

Your tooth will also be less sensitive to heat and cold than an uncapped tooth. A crowned tooth will not be as prone to cracking and breaking as an uncapped tooth, which can cause long-term pain in your tooth.

What to Expect from a Root Canal:

The root canal is a relatively simple and safe procedure that can help save a painful or damaged tooth. It is performed by a dentist or endodontist, who has special training in diagnosing and treating infected teeth.

Most dental insurance providers cover at least part of the cost of a root canal to keep your tooth alive. However, it is important to check your plan and talk to your dental insurance provider before you begin treatment. Some plans cap yearly coverage amounts at $1,500 or less, and you will be responsible for a larger percentage of the bill if you exceed this amount.

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