According to the American Association of Endodontists, more than 15 million root canal treatments are performed each year in the United States. Contrary to what you may have heard, getting a root canal today is relatively painless and extremely effective.
What is a root canal?
A root canal is a dental procedure that’s performed when the pulp of a tooth (the internal nerves, blood vessels and other tissues) becomes inflamed or infected. The most common cause of inflammation or infection is tooth decay that has been left untreated, defective fillings or injury. The procedure involves removing the pulp or soft center of the tooth and replacing it with a biocompatible material. This is all completed while you’re under local anesthesia.
A root canal treatment is intended to eliminate any infection and protect the affected tooth from future decay. This procedure allows dentists to save the affected tooth and avoid unnecessary extractions.
Now that you know what a root canal is, would you know how to prepare for one if needed? Keep reading for handy tips to help you feel better faster during recovery.
How to prepare for a root canal treatment
Here are a few things you can do to prepare for your procedure that will make post-treatment care easier and more comfortable:
- Pick up prescriptions
Talk to your dentist ahead of time to find out whether you will need post-treatment antibiotics, medications or pain relievers. If so, be sure to pick them up from your local pharmacy beforehand so you don’t have to worry about it on the day of your procedure.
- Get a good night of rest
If you are well-rested and feeling well, your immune system will be better able to help you recover quickly and successfully.
- Fuel your body
It’s important to remember that you may not be able to eat regularly for up to a week following treatment. Be sure to fuel your body with plenty of healthy food, vitamins and nutrients before the procedure.
- Understand after-care treatment
Discuss after-care treatment with your dentist to learn how to properly care for your teeth. That way, you won’t have to worry about learning any new information on the day of your procedure.
- Prep ice packets
Freeze ice or prepare plenty of ice packets ahead of your procedure. Not only will they help alleviate any swelling that may occur after you return home, but they’ll also give you quick and easy access to pain relief.
- Take any prescribed antibiotics
You may receive a course of antibiotics prior to your root canal. This will help remove any bacteria that may remain in your mouth. Always administer the full prescription even if you feel like you don’t need it. This may help prevent future complications.
Now that you know how to prepare for a root canal treatment, getting a root canal will be even easier. Contact Alpine Dental Health if you have more questions or would like to schedule an appointment. Visit our contact us page to find a location near you.