A root canal is a common procedure, with over 15 million performed in the US each year. During the procedure, the dentist removes diseased pulp from the interior of the tooth so it can be strengthened and protected from further damage. Often a temporary filling or crown is placed over the tooth as part of the root canal process and a permanent crown placed at a later time.

After a root canal, it is important to protect that tooth to help it heal and avoid infection. The best ways to care for your tooth are:

• Take the prescribed medication. If you were given an antibiotic or other medication after the procedure, be sure to take it as directed.
• Keep the tooth clean. Gently brush and floss the tooth on a regular basis and lightly rinse your mouth each time.
• Be careful about what you eat. Avoid hard or sticky food that may damage the temporary crown or pull it out of the tooth.
• Pay attention to how you eat. During the first few days after the procedure, try to bite and chew on the opposite side of the mouth as the healing tooth.
• Keep all follow-up appointments. After a root canal, your dentist may have you return to the office a few days or a week later. This appointment is important because it allows the dentist to evaluate the tooth and look for signs of infection or other problems.
• Know when to contact your dentist. After a root canal, some discomfort is normal. However, if the temporary filling falls out or you have swelling or severe pain, contact your dentist immediately.

At Petrone Family Dentistry, our dentists have extensive experience in performing root canals and strive to achieve the best outcomes for our patients. Our goal is to preserve the tooth, hopefully for a lifetime, to keep your smile bright and your mouth healthy. Please contact us to learn more about root canals or to schedule an appointment for any of our general or cosmetic dentistry services.