How to Prepare for a Root Canal Procedure

The oral cavity is home to an estimated 700 bacterial species. Unfortunately, many of them are harmful, giving rise to tooth decay and gum disease.

Worse, those harmful bacteria can invade the root canals of your teeth. They can then infect the canals’ dental pulp, causing pain, swelling, and abscesses.

Fortunately, a root canal procedure can still save your affected tooth. The treatment itself should be quick and painless, provided you prepare your body for it.

So, what exactly can you do to be ready for the procedure? We rounded up the top strategies below, so be sure to read on.

Avoid Drinking Alcohol

During a root canal procedure, a restorative dentist will create a tiny hole in the decayed tooth. The doctor will then use that opening to access the root canals. From there, the specialist can remove the infection and disinfect the area.

That sounds painful, but don’t worry, because your dentist will use local anesthesia. That will numb the area, so you shouldn’t feel pain during the procedure. However, the opposite may occur if you consume alcohol the day before the treatment.

That’s because alcohol in the body can impede the action of local anesthesia. In addition, it may reduce the pain medication’s efficacy.

So, to avoid those problems, avoid drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before the big day.

Avoid or Quit Smoking Altogether

Quitting smoking four weeks before surgery can lower one’s risks of complications. It can also reduce the odds of complications related to anesthesia use.

By contrast, smoking heightens one’s risks for post-surgery problems.

So, if you smoke and need to undergo root canal treatment, now may be the time to quit. Doing so not only helps you prepare for a root canal; it can also improve your general health and add years to your life.

Consider Taking Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that helps reduce pain and swelling. It’s available over-the-counter (OTC) in doses of 200, 300, or 400 milligrams.

In most cases, oral ibuprofen takes about half an hour to take effect. It then reaches maximum levels in the bloodstream after one to two hours.

As such, you might want to take one 30 minutes before your scheduled root canal procedure time. That way, it can help ease pain and swelling even after the local anesthesia’s effects wear off.

Get as Much Good Quality Sleep as You Can

Sleep woes can cause patients to feel anxious about undergoing treatments. Moreover, studies suggest that sleep disruptions before a procedure can increase postoperative pain. After all, it’s during sleep when the body undergoes recovery, preparing it for the next day.

So, even if root canal therapy isn’t major surgery, you should still rest as much as you can before the treatment. That way, you can feel refreshed and less anxious on the day itself.

Make sure you get quality ZZZs after the treatment, too, as it’s also a crucial root canal aftercare.

Follow These Tips for a Successful Root Canal Procedure

As you can see, abstaining from alcohol or tobacco is one of the best ways to prepare for a root canal procedure. Another is getting as much quality sleep before the big day. Lastly, don’t forget to consider taking ibuprofen on the treatment day itself.

So long as you follow those tips, you’re likely to breeze through the procedure with few side effects.

Ready for even more health and dental care tips? Then please feel free to look around our site for more informative guides like this!