Root Canal Therapy Recovery

By Rafael Mercado, DDS on September 01, 2018

Castle Hills, TX dentist Dr. Rafael Mercado offers many different dental procedures that improve health, wellness, and smile aesthetics. We can help all members of your family with their needs. For infected teeth, root canal therapy (endodontic treatment) is ideal. The process will involve the removal of diseased dental pulp within the tooth to prevent spread of infection.

We at Castle Hills Family Dental would like to consider the recovery process after a root canal has been performed. This will help you understand the common side effects and how they can be properly managed.

Will I Need to Take Time Off from Work?

Most root canal patients will not need to take time off from work, though it can vary from patient to patient. Some patients may want to take a day or even two days off just so the initial side effects have time to pass. The nature of your job and your job duties can also have an impact on this decision.

During the consultation process, we will be more than happy to go over the need to take some time off and other matters related to healing.

Pain and Discomfort

Pain is common after undergoing a root canal. The removal of the dental pulp from within the tooth can lead to serious discomfort. The pain is generally worst in the first day or so after the root canal has been performed, with improvements therafter.

To manage the pain, patients are given prescription pain killers. Be sure to use these as directed. As the pain abates, patients can switch to over-the-counter pain relievers which they can take as needed.


Swelling occurs along the gumline where the root canal was performed and around the cheeks. As with pain, the swelling is most pronounced in the first day or so, gradually becoming less of an issue each subsequent day.

To manage swelling, apply a cold compress to the affected area of the face. Leave the compress on for roughly 10-15 minutes, and then leave the compress off the face for an equivalent amount of time. Repeat as necessary to help bring the swelling down.

Eating and Drinking as You Heal

Because of the pain, swelling, and sensitivity in your mouth, you’ll need to make adjustments to your diet out of necessity. It’s best to eat soft foods that do not require a lot of chewing. Avoid foods that are hot or cold in temperature as these can trigger sensitivity. When possible, chew only with the opposite/untreated side of your mouth.

Patients will want to avoid using drinking straws while recovering. The suction generated by the use of a drinking straw can affect the tooth as it is healing.

Attend Follow-Up Visits as Scheduled

Follow-up visits will be planned after the initial treatment. One will be to place the permanent crown/restoration on the treated tooth. Other visits may be needed just to make sure treatment has gone as planned.

Be sure to attend these visits as scheduled, and feel free to contact the practice if you have any questions or concerns between these dental checkups.

Long-Term Results of Root Canal Therapy

Thanks to root canal treatments, patients will be able to bite and chew again without experiencing serious pain. The diseased tissue will be totally removed, meaning no worries of more serious dental health issues related to the root canal infection.

Contact Castle Hills Family Dental

For more information about root canal recovery and how we can help you have a health smile, be sure to contact the team at Castle Hills Family Dental. We look forward to your visit and discussing these matters in greater detail. You can also reach us by phone at (210) 405-1257.

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