how to prepare for a root canal

How to Prepare for a Root Canal Procedure

The more you know about how to prepare for a root canal procedure and what to expect during your visit, the less you will have to worry about. Many people feel intimidated by the idea of getting a root canal, but the process should be painless and stress-free. At Lifetime Family Dental, we’re happy to answer all your root canal questions and help you feel as comfortable as possible with the procedure. 

How to Prepare for a Root Canal

Eat a Healthy Meal

Since a root canal typically involves a local anesthetic, you may be able to eat before the procedure, but it’s important to check with your dentist to make sure. If they allow it, make sure to eat a healthy meal a few hours before your appointment. It may take a while for the anesthesia to wear off, so eating before your appointment can make you more comfortable in the meantime. Eating a nutrient-rich diet in the days leading up to your appointment will also boost your immune system and help your mouth heal faster. 

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Getting plenty of rest the night before your root canal is another way to ensure your body is in good shape for recovery. Go to bed early if you can, and use your favorite sleep aid like listening to soothing sounds or taking a supplement like melatonin to ensure you sleep soundly. Combining a good night’s sleep, a healthy diet, and good oral hygiene will help your mouth fight off infection and experience a quick recovery.

Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Use

Alcohol can make your blood thinner and interfere with certain medications, which makes it more difficult for your mouth to recover from oral surgery. Smoking cigarettes, cigars, and using other tobacco products too soon before or after surgery can also increase your risk of infection. It’s best to avoid alcohol and tobacco use for at least 48 hours before and after a root canal procedure.

Pick Up Your Prescriptions

Talk with your dentist ahead of time to find out if they will be prescribing any medications for you to take after your root canal procedure. If you can, fill your prescriptions before the procedure so you won’t have to worry about picking them after your appointment. Remember, it’s best to avoid taking any medications before your root canal unless your dentist tells you otherwise.

Have Some Ice Ready

It’s also a good idea to freeze some ice cubes or ice packs the night before your procedure. You’ll be able to use the ice to reduce swelling and ease your discomfort as soon as the anesthesia wears off. After your procedure, make sure to wrap the ice cubes or ice packs in a towel to protect your skin. Ice the swollen area for 15 minutes at a time, with at least 15-minute breaks between applications.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

In order to fully prepare for your root canal procedure, you should have a discussion with your dentist. Don’t be afraid to ask them to explain more about the risks, time duration, anesthesia, insurance coverage, or any other details about the procedure. You should also discuss the post-care treatment details to ensure you will have everything you need to take care of yourself afterward.

Root Canal Procedure in Gilbert

Do you need a root canal? At Lifetime Family Dental in Gilbert, Arizona, we are experienced in performing gentle, painless root canals. Don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions—we’d be happy to help you understand how to properly prepare for a root canal procedure. Give us a call at 480-558-4331 today.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/12/2021). Photo by Evelina Zhu from Pexels