Care After Root Canal

Woman at the dentistry

Our patients often tell us that the phrase root canal causes feelings of fear. While it is true that no one enjoys dental procedures, the root canal has a reputation for being a painful and painful treatment.

In the past, much of the fear surrounding a root canal had merit. At this time numbing the area around the root canal was difficult. If a root canal is necessary, it is because the tooth and surrounding space contain dead nerves and blood vessels. The lack of nerves and blood vessels leaves nothing to transport the medication beyond the immediate site. Fortunately, dental advancements make preparing the root canal site more straightforward and the pain relief more efficient.

The root canal procedure is not complicated. We begin with anesthetic injections and once your mouth is numb, our dentist drills into the afflicted tooth and removes decaying pulp and any infected tissues. After cleaning your tooth, the empty area inside of your tooth receives a spongy substance called gutta–percha. The dentist permanently seals your tooth and may opt to put a crown on the tooth for protection.

Once your root canal is complete, you can focus on your recovery. Our Northridge dentist recommends that root canal patients plan to have some downtime following the procedure. The bare minimum our office suggests is to schedule the whole day off from work and other responsibilities. If you are able to have more time to rest and recuperate, it would be to your advantage.

In addition to resting, we suggest that our root canal patients use ice packs to help minimize facial swelling and to help relieve any pain. You will likely want to have over-the-counter pain medication on hand, but you may receive a prescription for stronger pain relief medication. Often, this is not necessary because many patients report a great deal of pain relief because the decaying and infected tissues and abscesses are gone. We also suggest that you have a supply of soft foods to eat for a day or two after your root canal. Additionally, avoid anything sticky or chewy while recovering from your root canal procedure.

While complications are infrequent after a root canal, please contact our office right away if you have excessive bleeding, fever, or extreme pain.

Root Canal Aftercare

Woman at the dentistry

After getting a root canal procedure, there are some steps you can take to make yourself more comfortable. While root canals are routine, there can be a discomfort stage. That discomfort may or may not include swelling. Each case is different, but about 40 percent of root canal patients report some level of discomfort immediately after. That discomfort typically subsides within 12 to 24 hours.

Pain management starts with over-the-counter pain reliever—particularly ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin, since this can increase chances of bleeding.

Deceptive symptoms may arise, such as the affected tooth feeling loose. This is only because of increased sensitivity in the nerves just past the treated area. You should also expect increased sensitivity to biting pressure, so it’s best to tread lightly in the affected area at first.

Something called endodontic flare-up occurs in about 8 percent of cases. This may mean you need retreatment. It happens in the first 48 hours after treatment, and involves an unusual amount of pain or swelling. You should contact your East Los Angeles dentist if you experience any of the following:

Rash, hives or itching
Perceptible unevenness in your bite
Pain or pressure lasting longer than 24 hours

In an event called overinstrumentation, the dentist or endodontist may accidentally extend the treatment area to healthy tissue. This can cause a ligament to be nicked, for example. Leakage may also occur, either of solutions or medications. This is not a malpractice issue, but lies within the normal margin of surgical risk.

Most pain or discomfort is due to simple post-op inflammation. It is far less likely that the act of root canal therapy itself triggers a new infection.

It’s best to customize your intake of food and drink for the first few days, maintaining special awareness of the root canal site. Our expert in East LA root canal can answer any other questions you may have.

Reasons for Root Canal Treatment

Happy patient

Our teeth are built with several layers, including enamel and dentin. Decay left untreated can penetrate these layers and reach the pulp of the tooth. This is where the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues live. A root canal must be performed in order to remove decayed tissue and restore the tooth back to health.

Our teeth are built with several layers, including enamel and dentin. Decay left untreated can penetrate these layers and reach the pulp of the tooth. This is where the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues live. A root canal must be performed in order to remove decayed tissue and restore the tooth back to health.

Here are some other situations in while a root canal is needed:

• Abscess

• Multiple severe toothaches

• Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures

• Physical damage, such as a broken tooth

• Gum infections

This procedure may require two separate appointments. The process will likely begin with taking dental x-rays in order to help our dentist in Torrance to determine the troublesome areas. The tooth will then be prepared and protected from salvia. Special dental tools are then used to carefully remove the affected pulp tissue. In some cases, retreatment may be necessary if symptoms persist.

Many believe that this process is painful, but in fact, they are meant to eliminate any pain felt due to infection. The reasons listed above are considered either serious or emergencies, so if you are experiencing symptoms, be sure to contact root canal dentist in Torrance today.

Endodontists and What They Do

Dental assistant smiling at camera

An endodontist is a dental care specialist who handles problems with the soft tissues within the teeth, as well as the roots and surrounding structures outside the teeth. An endodontist first receives all of the education and training to become a dentist, and then has additional training to specialize in the field of endodontics.

Endodontists can help to save teeth that are too decayed or damaged to be fixed through basic dental treatments, such as with dental fillings. An endodontist will be the one who handles root canal treatments, or retreatments if additional damage occurs following a root canal procedure. An endodontist can perform surgery that repairs or removes part of the tooth root, or to repair cracks in the jaw bone that surrounds a root. Most commonly, an endodontist will deal with infections that occur within the tooth, or damage to the pulp inside.

This specialist may remove infected tissue, then seal and fill the tooth. A crown may also be used for increased function. An endodontist may also handle dental implants to replace missing teeth. The implant is secured into the bone and allowed to heal before a natural-looking crown is installed to provide realistic look and function.

Cavity Preventing Tips

teeth brushing

The only way to prevent the need for a root canal treatment is to avoid decay and cavities. There are several steps to take and incorporate into your daily life to ensure your teeth are healthy and free of infection.

Patients must always be sure to brush their teeth every day. Our Los Angeles endodontist can recommend which tools and materials are right for you and your oral care needs. Soft bristled toothbrushes are often best, but you may benefit from toothpaste made specifically for fluoride or teeth whitening. Everyday oral care habits must also include flossing, which will eliminate left over debris from food, a considerable contributor in tooth infections.

While some foods are bad for the teeth, others are beneficial. Be sure to include cheese, almonds, and leafy greens in your diet. These will help brush debris and plaque from the surfaces of the teeth and clean the dental enamel.

Many dentists recommend dental sealants, especially for younger patients. This is a thin plastic layer that protects the teeth from cavity-causing substances. The benefits of dental sealants can last for years, eliminating the chances of tooth infections and root canal therapy. Ask your dentist about this possibility and other cavity prevention advice today.

Purpose of Root Canal Treatment


A root canal treatment is a procedure in which the inner chambers of a tooth are cleaned and shaped. It is typically needed when a tooth has been infected, abscessed, or badly damaged to the point that the nerve of the tooth is affected. Our dentist in West Hollywood can help you decide if a root canal treatment is right for you.

The purpose of a root canal is to preserve the function of a tooth. Teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted to save your dental health can instead be treated, which maintains the structural integrity of the tooth. After an extraction, the tooth is lost, which can lead to malocclusion, lost bone tissue, and a gap in the smile. After a root canal, the tooth remains in the mouth and can be used just like any other.

Root canal treatments are usually completed in a single appointment, and the permanent restoration can be completed at a later date. Once the diseased soft tissues have been removed from the inner chambers of the tooth, any pain you were experiencing should be significantly reduced or even eliminated. Call our office today to schedule your appointment with our root canal dentist in West Hollywood.