How to Prepare for a Root Canal Procedure

How to Prepare for a Root Canal Procedure

Many patients experience fear and anxiety leading up to their root canal, but the truth is that having a root canal is no longer a monumental occurrence. In fact, from the patient’s perspective, a root canal doesn’t feel much different from getting a filling or a crown – and that includes the recovery after the procedure itself. There is little you need to do to prepare for your appointment, but there are some steps you can take to ease your worries and expedite your healing. Here’s everything you need to know. 

Ask Questions Ahead of Time

The single most important thing you can do to ease any worries or fears you have about the procedure is to ask your dentist any questions you have ahead of time. Write down questions as they arise and either ask at an appointment leading up to your root canal or simply call the office with your questions and we’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible. This can help prevent misconceptions from leading to anxiety about your appointment or recovery.

Abstain From Smoking

We understand how difficult it can be to quit smoking, but smoking in the weeks leading up to your root canal and while healing from your root canal can interfere with blood flow, inhibit healing, and increase your risk of dry mouth, infection, cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. Quitting smoking one to two weeks prior to your appointment and for one to two weeks after your procedure will dramatically improve your recovery and outcome (and it might just be the jump start you need to quit for good). 

Eat a Good Meal Before Your Root Canal

It’s a good idea to eat before your root canal because what you can eat is limited to soft meals that require little chewing (applesauce and yogurt, for example) after your procedure. While you’re still numb, you shouldn’t eat at all as it’s common to bite and injure your cheeks during this time.

Take Ibuprofen Before Your Appointment

Most dentists will recommend that you take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication like ibuprofen a couple of hours before your procedure to help with any aching or inflammation after the procedure. During your appointment, the dentist will let you know if you should continue treatment at home.

Get Plenty of Rest

The majority of healing and recovery in your body occurs during rest. That is, when you sleep, your body heals and repairs itself. Getting plenty of rest after any procedure improves your body’s capacity to fully heal and recover so you experience the best possible outcome and reduce the likelihood of additional procedures, tooth loss, or other unwanted complications. While most patients won’t need time off of work, having time to rest and recuperate is important. 

In summary, preparing for a root canal doesn’t require much more than preparing for any other dental appointment. Asking questions to ease your fears, abstaining from smoking, eating ahead of time since you won’t be able to eat for a few hours afterward, taking an anti-inflammatory, and getting plenty of rest will help you ensure the best possible outcome after your procedure. Find your local Ideal Dental office today to get started.