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5 Tips to Prevent Infection After a Root Canal

5 Tips to Prevent Infection After a Root Canal

A root canal is usually necessary if the pulp inside your tooth has become infected and you need it removed. It isn’t a pleasant process, but it will allow you to save the formation of your natural tooth and avoid spreading infection. 

But what happens afterward? Certain recovery steps are recommended, but you’ll need to be vigilant about one thing in particular: post-procedure infection. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this and to keep your mouth healthy. 

Downtown Dental Studio offers necessary procedures like root canals, cosmetic services, and more. Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD, all seek to provide you with the best oral care to keep having a reason to smile.  

What a root canal entails 

The procedure happens in our office in an hour when you come in for a root canal. Most patients don’t need more than a numbing anesthesia, so they don’t need someone to drive them home afterward. The procedure is pretty simple, but many patients get nervous about it. If this is you, we also offer sedation dentistry.

After the anesthesia is administered, your provider will drill a small hole in the top of your tooth and then begin to remove the infected pulp. The area is then disinfected with different solutions to kill bacteria. A biocompatible material is used to fill the tooth, and the hole in the top is sealed. You may or may not need a crown after the procedure.  

Five ways to prevent a post-root canal infection

Once you’ve finished the procedure, it’s common to feel some discomfort and pain, but you shouldn’t experience it for long. The concern after a root canal is infection of the tooth root, which is called an abscess. 

Avoiding an abscess is fairly simple. Follow these tips and take it easy while you’re recovering from your procedure. 

1. Know the signs

If you know the signs of an infection post-root canal, you can catch one early if it does form. These include pain beyond the first few days after the procedure, tooth discoloration, fever, fatigue, and bad breath. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your provider immediately. 

2. Practice good oral healthcare 

Staying on top of your oral health routine is paramount after your root canal. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and use an antiseptic mouthwash (preferably a gentle one) to keep your mouth healthy and prevent unwanted bacteria from setting up shop. 

3. Eat soft foods 

Some people worry about chewing on one side of their mouth, but this is never as safe as avoiding hard, chewy, or solid foods for a few days. You’ll still need to be careful when you bite down on the side of your mouth where your root canal was located, but if you’re eating softer foods, you’ll be much safer. 

4. Don’t smoke

It’s highly recommended that you avoid smoking after your root canal procedure, especially because smokers are twice as likely to need a root canal as non-smokers. This can increase your chances of needing another procedure, so we recommend avoiding it, especially 24 hours post-procedure (or whatever your provider recommends).  

5. Treat the tooth gently 

After the procedure, you’ll need to be a bit careful with the tooth for a few days. Be very gentle when flossing around it, and chew slowly and carefully. This is especially true if you’re waiting to have a crown placed on the tooth. 

You can feel better with a root canal

It can be a bit nerve-wracking to ensure that the aftercare process of a root canal goes smoothly. But if you’re careful and follow all the steps your provider gives you, you’ll be fine. 

Visit us at our New York City office; just call 212-964-3337 to make an appointment or make one online today.

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