A root canal is one of the few things that we do not wish on our worst enemies. After all, how often do you hear, “I’d rather get a root canal than do that.” The pain is enough to force you to flee the dental office. In addition, the amount of time that it takes to endure the pain exacerbates the rampant anxiety.
How to prepare for root canal treatment involves a few simple steps.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Dentists perform root canals to repair the damage caused by decayed teeth. During the procedure, the dentist and/or dental assistant remove hard to extract pulp from the center of a tooth’s cavity. The removal of pulp significantly lowers the chance of the tooth incurring a painful infection that spreads to other teeth adjacent to the damaged tooth. Root canals mitigate teeth pain, prevent infections, and encourage healthy teeth and gums. Despite the long lasting health benefits, most people abhor root canal treatments.
4 Tips on How to Prepare for a Root Canal Treatment
You should never expect the root canal pain to disappear, but you can do some things to make your root canal procedure easier to take.
Do You Need an Antibiotic Before the Procedure?
Antibiotics expunge some of the chemicals that build up to infect damaged teeth. By taking an antibiotic, you lessen the pain and length of treatment. Ask your dentist about taking an antibiotic to reduce swelling and speed up the often-slow healing process after surgery. Make sure you know which antibiotics do not cause severe allergic reactions.
Plenty of Rest Helps
Yes, it is normal for root canal patients to toss and turn the night before the procedure. However, a solid night of sleep reduces the fear and anxiety that many root canal patients feel as they approach the dental office. You can also ask for sedation during a root canal treatment to lower your blood pressure. However, dentists prefer that you remain coherent during root canals, so they have the capability to monitor you accurately.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs to Alleviate Pain
Depending on your pain tolerance, simply taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) pills according to recommended time intervals should ease your teeth pain. NSAIDs also do a great job of reducing the swelling that commonly develops after root canal surgeries. If you have a low threshold for pain tolerance, ask your dentist about prescribing pain medication, such as Percocet or Vicodin.
A Full Stomach Boosts Your Pain Resistance
A full stomach gives you enough energy to make it through the lengthy dental procedure. Average root canal treatments take between two and three hours to complete. Consuming a generous meal before your root canal treatment ensures you do not succumb to hunger pains during the procedure. A full stomach also may make you drowsy, which heightens the relaxed mental state required to endure a root canal.
The typical response after a root canal is for someone to go, “Whew, I’m glad that’s over.” Well, it’s not completely over, as perhaps the best tip on how to prepare for a root canal involves following up with your dentist for the restorative work necessary to reinvigorate your bright smile. Restorative work that follows a root canal can include teeth crowns and a little more pulp extraction from severely damaged teeth. Dental follow-ups also keep your dentist informed of your condition.
If you have a painful cavity and believe that a root canal may be in order contact us at Pearland Family Dentistry today. Our friendly professionals will make sure that your procedure as as pain-free as possible. If you are concerned about discomfort during procedure such as this consider sedation dentistry which is also a service offered by Pearland Family Dentistry.