How to Prepare for a Root Canal

You may have heard things about root canals – mostly that they can be painful. However, with modern anaesthesia the procedure can usually be performed mostly free of pain and hassle. To ensure a smooth procedure, it’s important to prepare correctly – reading up a little about what a root canal is will help set your mind at ease, and there are also certain physical steps that can be taken to reduce pain and complications during the procedure. These tips will help you prepare for your root canal so it can go off without a hitch, read on to find out more

1. Know what to expect

If you know what the procedure will look like, you won’t be surprised by it, which will mitigate stress. One of the most important things to know is that it won’t be over in one sitting – on the first visit, your dentist will drill into your tooth to remove the infected tissue underneath and put a temporary crown on. In about a week, you’ll have to come back so they can fill the hole with Gutta Percha rubber. You’ll probably also need to book another appointment to follow up – root canals are usually a precursor treatment for getting a dental crown, which will help protect your tooth in the long term.

2. Get good information from your dentist

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your dentist about the procedure. A root canal can be needed when a filling is left untreated and an infection occurs inside the tooth, so you can first ask about the severity of the infection and its likeliness to spread. Left untreated, spreading infections can threaten other parts of your body. You could also ask about the relative merits of the alternative, which is getting the tooth removed and having an implant put in. It’s important to know as much as you can about your unique situation in order to make the best possible decisions.

3. Get antibiotics and painkillers

When you need a root canal, you’ll need to get antibiotics. These are important to help stop the infection spread while you wait for your appointment, since untreated tooth infections can cause serious complications to other bodily systems. Another benefit in reducing the size of the infection before the procedure is that it will make the whole experience less painful, especially during the drilling. You may also be able to get some over the counter painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen, and you can take these before the procedure, and during recovery.

4. Prepare physically for your appointment

A bit of planning around the appointment can help immensely. First, get a good night’s sleep beforehand. This is recommended for any medical procedure – whenever you are going to put your body through any level of surgery, having the energy of an adequate night’s sleep behind you goes much further than many think. You should also eat healthy in the days leading up to your root canal, since your body will need a lot of nutrients to repair the damage. It’s a good idea to eat a couple hours before going in, since your mouth will be numb afterwards and it will be hard to eat anything. Finally, avoid alcohol before the procedure – it dries out your mouth, and can lead to complications.

Have you planned for a problem-free procedure?

If you follow these steps, you’re unlikely to have anything go wrong during your root canal. Of course, we’ll tell you all of this and more as we guide you through the whole process. For a dentist in Wellington who is focussed on making sure you feel comfortable and secure, look no further. Contact us to book your appointment today.