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Preparing for a Root Canal: What You Need to Know!

If you’ve recently found out you need a root canal, you’re probably thinking, “ouch!” But root canal procedures have improved over the last few years and are now mostly painless! 

Still, getting a root canal isn’t the most pleasant activity, but it’s extremely important for the health of your teeth. If you’ve got a root canal coming up, keep reading to learn all you need to know about preparing for your procedure.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal and What Does It Do?

To be fully prepared for your appointment, knowing why you need a root canal is essential. Inside every tooth lies the pulp, which holds connective tissue, blood vessels, and the tooth’s nerve. If you crack or chip your tooth, or decay settles in, it could lead to inflammation or infection in the pulp. When this happens, you need a root canal.

When you visit your dentist, they will x-ray your teeth to determine if you need a root canal. If you do, the x-ray also helps the dentist determine the damage to your teeth, the pulp, and the surrounding bone.

Once it’s time for the root canal procedure, your dentist will give you local anesthesia to stop the pain and then work to remove the pulp. In its place, your dentist will fill the inside of your tooth with a rubber-like material called gutta-percha. Then, to protect and restore the functionality of your tooth, your dentist will place a filling or crown over the tooth. 

9 Steps to Prepare for a Root Canal Procedure

While a root canal may be virtually painless for most people, you can take certain steps to improve your experience during and after the procedure! 

  • Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco — Alcohol and tobacco can keep the anesthesia from completely numbing your gums. For best results, avoid it for 24 hours before the procedure. 
  • Get a Good Night’s Rest — Rest is your body’s way to recover, so plan to get a good night’s rest before and after your appointment. 
  • Eat a Healthy Meal — Since your mouth will be numb after the procedure, you may not feel like eating. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, keep your stomach happy by enjoying a healthy meal before visiting your dentist’s office.
  • Take a Pain Reliever — You can expect some discomfort and swelling after a root canal, but you can fight it with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Plan to take one a few hours before your appointment.
  • Take a Prescribed Antibiotic — If your root canal is for an infected pulp, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to stop the infection from spreading.
  • Keep Teeth-Friendly Foods on Hand — After a root canal, you don’t want to eat or drink anything that further irritates your gums and teeth. Choose soft and cool foods like yogurt, soft cereal, or pudding rather than hot and crunchy foods.
  • Set Up a Comfortable Space — Before leaving home for your appointment, get your favorite movie, book, pajamas, blanket, and pillow so you can relax right after your root canal.  
  • Take It Easy — Your body needs time to heal, so avoid exercise for 48 hours after the procedure. 
  • Ask Questions — When in doubt, ask! If you have any questions about the procedure itself recovery, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist! 

Find Your Root Canal Answers at WhiteWing Dental!

If you need a root canal but have been putting it off, now’s the time to get it fixed! Even if you’re not experiencing any pain or swelling now, an infected or inflamed pulp will only get worse. 

Root canals can sound scary, but any questions can be answered by our knowledgeable and experienced McAllen general dentists. From anesthesia to antibiotics, find your answers to healthy teeth with WhiteWing Dental by your side! 

Do you need a root canal? Reach out to our compassionate team at WhiteWing Dental to restore your healthy and beautiful smile! 

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