Before your Appointment
Root canal treatment is usually not a complicated procedure. Most patients will only need a local anesthetic to numb the tooth for a pain-free procedure. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is available if you desire extra relaxation, and no special precautions are necessary with the gas. However, if you desire to have IV sedation (sleep dentistry), then you will need to go without food or drink for 6 hours before the procedure, and you will need to have someone with you to drive you home. More information will be given to you during your consultation visit if IV sedation is requested.
If you take an antibiotic premedication prior to your regular dental visits because of a recent joint replacement surgery or certain other conditions, then you will need to take this one hour prior to your root canal appointment. Please call us before your appointment if you need an antibiotic for this purpose.
After your Appointment
Most people experience little pain after a root canal treatment. Generally, the tooth that has been treated will be tender for 2-3 days after the procedure. We recommend 600-800 mg of ibuprofen (unless you are unable to take ibuprofen because of medical issues) to relieve any discomfort you might have after a root canal. In some cases, the soreness may last up to 10 days. If there is any swelling, or more pain than ibuprofen will relieve, then we will prescribe you antibiotics and/or stronger pain medication as needed.
Most people can return immediately to their normal activities. If IV sedation is used, then you will need a ride home after the procedure and will need to rest the remainder of the day. A full list of after-care instructions and precautions will be given to you following your procedure to take home with you