Root Canal Treatment

Recovering From A Root Canal

When a tooth is infected or inflamed, it may require root canal treatment. This involves the dentist removing the affected part of the tooth by drilling out the root and nerve, then cleaning, filling, and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection while maintaining the structure of the tooth as much as possible. A crown may be necessary in many cases.

This is a common procedure that can reduce pain and bacterial issues, improve comfort, and preserve the longevity of the tooth.

The recovery from a root canal procedure is usually straight forward but care must be taken to facilitate suitable healing, reduction of pain, and avoidance of infection. At Boroondara Family Dentist, we can support you through the process.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Recovery after root canal treatment does not involve caring for an open wound like a procedure such as tooth removal does. This can make healing simpler and quicker, but success is reliant on your overall health and how you look after yourself after the root canal treatment.

Most people can return to work or school about two to four hours after the appointment, though taking a day or two off can be beneficial. The original pain that was associated with the affected tooth should improve but the area can be tender or sore for up to a week after the procedure.

If symptoms or pain continue or increase, you may require a review or a referral to a specialist. This may result from issues such as infection, tooth fractures, or missed canals that require action.

What You Should Do During Recovery

Your care will involve information regarding the procedure and education for recovery. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Steps that you should take during recovery can include the following:

Wait Until It Is Safe to Eat

The local anaesthetic given during the procedure to numb the area can last for approximately two to three hours. Holding off from eating until this has dissipated can make sure you do not accidently cause damage to the area or the rest of your mouth.

Eat Soft Foods

Hard, crunchy foods can put excess pressure on the area, increasing pain and the chance of breaking or fracturing the tooth. Eat foods such as soup, pasta, smoothies, yogurt, and well-cooked vegetables.

Chew on The Unaffected Area

It is best to avoid eating on the side of your mouth that is healing for a few days. This reduces the chance of pressure, damage, and irritation to the sensitive area, and can prevent further pain and infection. Try to chew on the other side of your mouth as much as possible.

Take Suitable Pain Relief Medication

Your dentist will discuss with you the appropriate medicine to take after your procedure to help reduce your pain and inflammation so you can return to your normal activities and eating in comfort as soon as possible.

Ice the Area

Applying an ice pack can help to reduce the swelling that can follow root canal treatment.

Elevate Your Head While Sleeping

Sleeping with your head raised on pillows can help to reduce inflammation.


Resting is an important step in recovering from all sorts of procedures. Being gentle on yourself, listening to your body’s needs, and sleeping well can help to improve the healing process and reduce the overall recovery time.

Avoid Exercise For A Few Days

Exercising too soon or too heavily can cause bleeding and increased pain. After a few days, return to gentle movement that does not put a large amount of strain on your body, such as walking.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

Carefully brush and floss your teeth twice a day to reduce the chance of food or bacteria building up and causing further issues.

Avoid Smoking or Vaping

Reducing the amount of chemicals and particles that come into contact with the healing area will assist with a quicker recovery.

Contact Us for Help

If you notice rashes, hives, or persistent or increasing pain or swelling, it is important you get in touch for advice and to book a follow-up or urgent appointment.

Recover Well From Root Canal Treatment

This procedure can seem daunting, but it is frequently performed and full recovery can be achieved if adequate post-procedural care is taken.

At Boroondara Family Dentist, we will provide you with the necessary guidance to help you heal afterwards and are happy to provide assistance if you have concerns or further queries.



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