Minimizing Root Canal Pain

Occasionally, certain dental issues cannot be treated with fillings. When a patient has a deep cavity, a crown that has failed, or an injury, a root canal is necessary to save the tooth. Here are some signs of infection that may indicate you need a root canal:

  • Severe pain when eating or putting pressure on a particular area of the mouth.
  • Extra dental sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli (such as ice or a cold drink).
  • Bumps and dimples near a tooth that might indicate an abscess.
  • Darkening of the infected tooth.

Patients often report a minimum amount of pain during the procedure. There are, however, a few things you need to do before and after the treatment to minimize the pain.

Before Your Root Canal Treatment

When your dentist advises you that you need root canal treatment, you can probably get a treatment appointment within a few days or the next week. Before your treatment:

  • Notify your care provider of antibiotics before the session and take your medication as prescribed.
  • If your physician has advised you that it is okay, take ibuprofen before the treatment to help alleviate your pain.
  • Follow your dentist’s dietary advice for the meal that you eat before your root canal.

Post-Treatment Guidelines

After your treatment, you should avoid eating anything until the numbness from your anesthesia wears off. Avoid chewing with the treated tooth until the dentist has applied the full restoration–whether they are going to apply a bridge or a crown. Continue to brush and floss as you normally would. Switch to toothbrushes with soft bristles and use sensitive teeth products, especially toothpaste.