So your endodontist has told you it’s time to get a root canal. You might not know where to begin with the preparation for the procedure, so the experience is as pleasant as possible. With preparation comes confidence in the procedure, and our team at David G. Johnson, DDS., wants you to know exactly how to prepare for a root canal so you’ll feel confident heading into the procedure.
1. Ask Plenty Of Questions
If this is your first time getting a root canal, you might feel nervous about it. This feeling of anxiety is completely normal. You may experience a bit of anxiety surrounding bigger procedures. But a lot of this anxiety can be alleviated by talking to your dentist or endodontist. Make sure to ask plenty of questions before you go in for your procedure. It makes the procedure more straightforward, so you can go into it feeling confident.
2. Avoid Tobacco And Alcohol
Smoking and drinking before your procedure can impact blood flow and slow down your healing. It may also slow down your immune system. Avoiding tobacco and alcohol before a root canal can protect you from infection and slower healing, making the overall experience more pleasant. Tobacco and alcohol should be avoided before the procedure. You should continue avoiding both until you’re fully healed and are no longer taking your prescribed antibiotics and pain medication.
3. Eat A Few Hours Before You Go
Because a root canal involves numbing the mouth and gums, you might want to eat before you go in for the procedure. Eating afterward may be difficult or uncomfortable, and your dentist or endodontist may suggest you avoid eating until the anesthetic or numbing medications have worn off. By eating beforehand, you’ll make the recovery immediately following the procedure a little more comfortable. If you choose to eat, pick foods that are gentle on the stomach, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water as well.
4. Get Plenty Of Rest Before And After
You’ll want to head into a root canal feeling your best. To do this, make sure you get a full night’s sleep before going in. Once your root canal is complete, plan for another full, restful night of sleep. Your body does the most healing while you are at rest. By getting a good night of sleep following the procedure, you’ll allow your body to care for your teeth and prevent prolonged healing periods.
5. Take Painkillers Before You Go
Your dentist or endodontist may suggest taking a painkiller before your procedure. Taking medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen, which are anti-inflammatories, can help your body handle any potential swelling before it happens. You may want to continue a course of painkillers for a couple of days following the procedure to fight the swelling and discomfort that may follow.
6. Ask About Antibiotics
While antibiotics aren’t 100% necessary following a root canal, you may want to talk to your dentist or endodontist about them prior to the procedure. Some endodontists will prescribe antibiotics to ensure you have the greatest chance for a successful and comfortable recovery following the procedure. Discussing antibiotics before the root canal will also allow you to inform your practitioner of any allergies you experience from medications or whether they think it is necessary for you.
7. Make Sure You Have A Ride To Get Home
Not every root canal requires anesthesia. You can drive home if you’re just receiving local anesthesia to numb the area. However, if your dentist or endodontist recommends going under anesthesia, you will need a ride home following your root canal. Talk to your dentist or endodontist prior to the procedure to know what to expect.
8. Prepare Your Home For Recovery
The easiest part of a root canal will be the portion done at the office. But from there, you’ll want your home prepared for your recovery. Ensure your bed is prepped with your favorite pillows and blankets and that your kitchen is full of soft foods, like soup, yogurt, pasta, or sushi, to aid your recovery. Preparing your home before your root canal guarantees you can come home and rest without errands looming over your head.
Prepare For Your Root Canal With David G. Johnson DDS
If you’re about to get your first root canal, we hope our advice has given you peace of mind. Root canals are standard procedures, and you should trust that your endodontist will make the process as smooth for you as possible. If you have any questions about the root canal process or would like to schedule an endodontic service with our team, reach out to us at our Layton or Centerville office today.