What Happens After a Root Canal Procedure?

A root canal is a dental treatment in which an infected or broken tooth is repaired and saved. This is done by removing the pulp and nerve inside the tooth, cleaning it and then sealing it. This is important to treat any infection that is present and to prevent any future or recurrent infections. While the procedure is easy and rarely has any complications, it is important to know how the tooth feels and what kind of aftercare is needed.

How does a tooth feel after a root canal?

Immediately after the procedure and for the first few days afterward, the tooth will normally have some sensitivity and discomfort due to inflammation in the tissue. This is especially likely if there was already an active infection prior to the root canal. The soreness is usually mild and very rarely bothersome, and over-the-counter pain medications are usually sufficient to relieve any tenderness. Patients can resume their normal activities immediately afterward, but they may still feel numb for a few hours due to the anesthesia used. It may be best to abstain from eating and drinking until the numbness subsides to avoid biting the tongue or cheeks.

What kind of aftercare is required?

It is best for patients to take extra precautions after having a root canal. Until a permanent filling or crown is put in place, patients should minimize chewing with the tooth to avoid any possible damage or contamination. Follow-up care includes a proper oral hygiene routine, including brushing the teeth two to three times a day, flossing and using antiseptic mouthwash daily. Regularly scheduled check-ups to get cleanings are also an important part of dental care and are a good preventive method to avoid future problems.

How successful is the treatment?

A root canal is typically successful, and any complications from the procedure are unlikely to occur. However, it is important for patients to contact their dentist or endodontist if they have symptoms such as an uneven bite, swelling, an allergic reaction and severe pain or pressure after the first few days. It is also essential to call as soon as possible if the symptoms from before the procedure return or if the temporary filling falls out. As long as it is properly taken care of, a tooth that has had a root canal can last for a patient’s lifetime, and no one can tell that it has even been treated.


A root canal is a simple dental procedure that treats infection and helps relieve pain. It rarely has any complications, and the aftercare is easy. There is a mild amount of sensitivity and discomfort immediately after treatment that usually only lasts for a few days and can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain relievers. Patients need to be mindful of chewing and using the tooth during the time period that a temporary filling is in place to avoid damaging it. Once a permanent crown or filling is established, the tooth will function normally without any issues to worry about.

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