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Present and past tooth pain indicate an active infection. Depending on the patient’s dental health and the tooth itself, the infection will rapidly grow, or it will slowly grow and eat at the root until the entire tooth is damaged and destroyed.

The quicker you can schedule a root canal, the better.

What is a Root Canal?

A root canal is performed when the soft tissue, or pulp, becomes infected or inflamed due to trauma, chips, cracks, or decay. An untreated cavity also causes the nerves and connective tissue inside the root to become infected.

During a root canal, a patient is under local anesthetic while the dentist removes the inflamed pulp of the tooth. The roots are filled with a specific filing material. Once the tooth is settled (a few weeks after the procedure), the dentist places a crown on the tooth – this restores the function and strength of your tooth.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

Signs of pulp damage vary from pain and sensitivity to no physical symptoms at all. Some of the most common signs of an infection or damaged tooth include:

  •       Sensitivity to hot and cold drinks and food
  •       Pain when chewing or biting down
  •       Regular or spontaneous pain
  •       Discoloration in the structure of the tooth
  •       Loosening of the tooth
  •       Facial swelling
  •       Swelling or tenderness in the area surrounding the infected tooth
  •       Visible infection, such as pus around the tooth

Routine dental check-ups and x-rays are the best way to diagnose signs and symptoms of an infected tooth that needs root canal treatment.

Why You Should Never Delay a Root Canal

It’s not uncommon for patients to delay root canals. Root canals have a reputation for being painful. While this depends on the patient and condition of the situation, the procedure is often not as painful as it’s given credit. Due to the local anesthetic, there’s very little discomfort during the procedure.  

When you delay a root canal, you risk unnecessary bacteria growing around the nerve tissue. Left untreated, several complications are likely to occur.

Systemic inflammation – when an infected tooth causes inflammation to spread throughout the body. This condition leads to an increased risk of heart problems and a stroke.

Pressure and swelling – As infection spreads, more pain and pressure occur in the face, neck, and head. Depending on the area of the infection, that pressure and swelling can happen in various areas.

Abscess – this happens when the infection forms a pocket of pus at the end of the tooth’s root. An abscessed tooth leads to emergency dental care.

Drainage – when the bacteria overwhelm the tooth, a hole forms on the side of it. This allows the infection to move (or drain) into the gums, cheek, skin, and bloodstream – if not caught in time. If the infection moves into the bloodstream, a life-threatening condition known as sepsis occurs.

Tooth and bone loss – If an infection sits too long, bacteria settle in the root causing bone loss. Severe root decay occurs, and the tooth is lost.

Don’t Wait for A Root Canal

Whether you’re currently experiencing tooth pain or sporadically noticing problems, it’s time to schedule an exam for a root canal. Contact our team today to schedule an appointment at one of our six North Shore and Brookline area locations. Our skilled endodontic team offers state-of-the-art technology that ensures an efficient procedure.

Root canal therapy is a very routine procedure. With much skill, endodontists are able to save natural teeth that would have otherwise succumbed to decay. Unfortunately, many patients still have hesitation when it comes to root canals - but knowing what to expect can make the overall experience much more comfortable. 

What is Root Canal Therapy? 

In its early stages, tooth decay can be treated with a filling to keep it from spreading any further. Though without addressing it at this stage, the decay is left to continue to spread throughout the tooth until it reaches the innermost pulp area. 

This can cause the patient to experience many signs that signal a tooth may be in trouble, such as: 

  • Pain when chewing/biting (this can often be severe)
  • Swollen, sore, inflamed gums
  • Dark discoloration of the tooth 
  • Sensitivity to cold/hot foods or beverages - a pain that lingers
  • Cracked, chipped, or otherwise broken tooth
  • Small pimple-like bumps on the gums

Having any of these symptoms warrants a trip to the endodontist for root canal therapy that will save the tooth and offer relief from the pain. 

So, just how does root canal therapy work? 

Your endodontist will remove the inflamed pulp from the tooth. Then the root canals will be cleared out and the tooth will be disinfected. Sealing the tooth back up ensures that it is free from any additional bacteria getting in. 

Generally, your endodontist will recommend that you follow through with a dental crown. This will allow you to strengthen the tooth and restore its integrity. It also will provide you with a natural-appearing tooth that functions beautifully, too. 

First Step of Root Canal Therapy

Now that you know the signs that a root canal may be needed as well as an overview of the procedure, it is important to understand the first step of root canal therapy - and that is getting a proper diagnosis. Without it, your tooth decay can lead to more complex oral health issues.

There is a good chance that the pain and discomfort associated with a decayed tooth will lead you straight to the dental chair. Often, it may be evident that a root canal is necessary based on the symptoms you are having and by performing an oral evaluation. 

Because digital imaging allows for confirmation, your endodontist will take x-rays to look for signs that a root canal may be needed. This involves looking at the shape of the root canals and whether or not there is any sign of infection - including infection in the bone. 

Once it can be confirmed, you will move forward with prepping for the root canal therapy and with the procedure itself. 

Root Canal Therapy at North Shore & Brookline Endodontics

The endodontic team at North Shore & Brookline Endodontics specializes in saving natural teeth using root canal therapy. And, thanks to our advanced technology, we can properly diagnose and treat your ailing teeth. 

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms we have mentioned, it is important to make an appointment to be seen as soon as possible. Remember, tooth decay does not disappear on its own and will continue to spread in your tooth and into the bone. 

For your convenience, we have multiple locations. Contact us today.

The phrase root canal can make many patients uneasy. For years this treatment has carried a bad reputation even though it has become one of the most routine dental procedures today. Generally, local anesthesia is used for the procedure to keep the patient awake and comfortable for the duration. Yet, still many people have a great amount of apprehension when it comes to root canal treatment - and those with dental anxiety may require more to get through the procedure. Sedation endodontics can help. 

What is Dental Anxiety? 

Dental anxiety is a very real threat to oral health. It halts patients from seeking dental treatment - sometimes until their condition becomes unbearable. Dental anxiety can stem from many different things, including:

  • Previous dental trauma
  • Previous trauma to the head, neck, or face
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Claustrophobia
  • Agoraphobia
  • Unknown sources

When it comes to procedures like a root canal treatment, having dental anxiety can make getting through the appointment can be tough. So, even though it is not routine for patients to be put to sleep for it, sedation endodontics makes it possible. 

Sedation Endodontics

While some patients may not find it necessary, others will find there to be many benefits to sedation endodontics. Varying levels of sedation methods can offer patients the opportunity to relax so that they can obtain the treatment they need. Options such as nitrous oxide, conscious oral sedation, or IV sedation are often offered to patients. It is important to discuss your concerns with your endodontist to determine the best course of action for you. The level of anxiety, medical history, and prior sedation history will be taken into consideration. 

Sleep or no sleep? It depends on the sedation method. 

Nitrous oxide (a.k.a. Laughing gas) is a commonly used method of sedation. It works quickly as you breathe through a small mask that covers your nose. You will remain awake and conscious throughout the root canal but will feel very relaxed. 

Another common option, conscious oral sedation, is a prescribed sedative pill that you will take before your appointment. It will help you to greatly relax during your procedure. This does not put you to sleep, but it is not uncommon for patients to feel so relaxed that they actually sleep straight through the treatment. 

IV sedation is a much less common option that requires sedatives to be administered through an IV. This greatly reduces anxiety and often puts patients in a twilight sleep. Keep in mind that each endodontist will have a list of sedation options they offer that may or may not include this type. 

Benefits of Sedation for Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is not often a long procedure, but it does take time. There are very intricate canals that your endodontist must go through carefully to ensure that all the infection is removed before sealing up the tooth. Leaving anything behind can result in the need for endodontic retreatment. 

With a patient who is uneasy and nervous sitting still for the procedure, the root canal can take longer than normal and become more complicated for the endodontist. By using the best-chosen sedation method, everything can go smoothly - and you have the greatest chance of a successful outcome. 

At North Shore & Brookline Endodontics, we are sensitive to the dental fears and anxiety of our patients so we take steps to create an environment in which they will feel comfortable and at ease. We offer many different sedation options. 

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact us at one of our five convenient locations.

If you’re experiencing tooth discomfort and pain, you may need root canal treatment. Your dentist will refer you to our practice and our endodontic team can determine if a root canal is necessary rather than a simple filling or a crown.  We will provide all of the information you need about the root canal treatment as well as the recovery process.

When is a Root Canal Needed?

Let’s take a look at why a root canal treatment may be necessary. Any severe, persistent tooth pain might indicate the need for a root canal. 

Sometimes, dental decay can affect the pulp inside of a tooth. That pulp is made of connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves, and other tissues, all of which help your teeth stay healthy. If the pulp becomes inflamed or gets infected, it can be serious, as an infection can even spread to surrounding teeth, affecting your overall health as well as your oral health. 

To prevent that, root canal treatment is an excellent solution, especially if you have a tooth that’s decayed and the decay has reached the pulp, causing an infection, so that a filling is no longer an option. 

What Does a Root Canal Involve?

During your root canal treatment, one of our endodontists will carefully remove the affected pulp. Once the inside chamber of the tooth is emptied, your dentist will thoroughly sterilize the cavity to remove any debris that’s left over. Then the tooth is sealed with a special material to prevent infection, and create a crown to place over the tooth, if necessary to protect the tooth from any further damage. 

How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Root Canal?

Before your root canal treatment is scheduled, during your consultation, our endodontic team will give you helpful guidelines and instructions for aftercare, so that you can make sure the area heals properly after treatment.

Healing after a root canal is surprisingly quick. You may experience some slight swelling and sensitivity while chewing, but as long as you follow the aftercare instructions, you should start feeling back to normal in a couple of days. Most post-treatment symptoms are mild and require over-the-counter analgesics.

And, while you need time for proper healing following root canal treatment, you don’t need to let it change your usual activities. Most people can go back to work following the procedure. 

Tips for Faster Healing

Additionally, you can help to facilitate the healing process by following some simple tips, such as:

  • Do not chew or drink and hot liquids until the anesthetic has completely worn off 
  • Take the pain medication your dentist prescribes or recommends
  • Favor the side of your mouth that had the root canal treatment for a few days
  • Return to your general dentist for a permanent restoration to avoid re-infection
  • Avoid anything that can cause inflammation, such as spicy foods or alcohol
  • Don’t hesitate to call our office if you have any questions or concerns

Learn more about Root Canals 

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, or to schedule an exam or consultation, reach out to us today and schedule an appointment at one of our six North Shore and Brookline-area locations. We’ll discuss the best treatment plan for you. And if a root canal is necessary, the procedure is simple and efficient, and healing is quick with our state-of-the art technology and skilled endodontic team. 

If you've never had endodontic treatment before, you may not know what to expect after your procedure is complete. While root canal therapy recovery time is less than that of a tooth extraction, it may take a few days before you feel "normal" again. We've answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding what to expect after a root canal treatment below.

How long will I be numb?

Your tooth and the tissue surrounding it will be numbed with local anesthetic during your root canal procedure. This anesthetic can take several hours to wear off completely. Avoid chewing and drinking hot liquids until the numbness has subsided.

How soon can I eat and/or drink following the root canal procedure?

Avoid hot liquids and foods that require chewing until the anesthetic has worn off. Then, you are free to eat anything as long as you avoid sticky foods and don’t bite or chew directly on the treated tooth. 

Is it okay to eat on the tooth with the root canal?

Chewing on the tooth with the root canal should be avoided. You will need to chew on the opposite side of your mouth until your dentist has placed your final restoration. 

Will I be able to go back to work after the root canal?

Most people choose to return to work following endodontic treatment, but if you have a job where you work with the public or do a lot of speaking, you may wish to take the rest of the day off because of the numbness caused by the anesthetic, which can impact your ability to smile and speak. In such cases, we can provide you with a doctor’s note, if needed.

Can I drive myself?

Yes, most of our patients drive themselves home from our office after endodontic treatment, as deep sedation is not required. If sedation is required, you will need to make arrangements for transportation.

Is it okay to brush and floss my teeth?

Yes, you can resume your normal oral hygiene routine following your root canal treatment, though you should wait at least 30 to 40 minutes after your procedure to ensure that the temporary filling is hardened before brushing your teeth.

Can I exercise after root canal treatment?

There is no need for downtime after a root canal treatment, but you should wait until the local anesthetic has worn off completely before exercising.

Will my tooth be sensitive after treatment?

For a few days after your root canal procedure, your tooth may be sensitive or have a dull aching sensation, but this is temporary. Strong prescription pain medications are not usually required after endodontic treatment. Instead, over-the-counter analgesics such as aspirin, Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) are usually sufficient. We recommend taking an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen. 

Is my tooth open after treatment?

No, your tooth is not open after treatment. Although you will need to go to your dentist for a filling or crown, your tooth will have a temporary filling in the meantime to protect it from reinfection and damage.

Do I need any other treatment after a root canal?

Yes, you will need to go to your dentist for a permanent restoration. This should be completed within 1-2 weeks after treatment. Our office will mail or email a full report of your endodontic treatment to your general dentist. 

Learn More About Root Canal Treatment

If you’d like to learn more about what to expect from a root canal treatment, or to make an appointment at one of our six North Shore and Boston-area locations, please contact us today.

Endodontic treatment is needed when the pulp tissue inside a tooth becomes inflamed or infected. The pulp is removed, then the tooth chamber and roots are cleaned, disinfected, and filled with a material called gutta percha. Commonly referred to as root canal treatment, endodontic treatment preserves your natural tooth, preventing the need for extraction. Here are some of the most common reasons people need root canal treatment.

Deep Decay

When identified early, tooth decay can be treated with a dental filling by a general dentist. If a cavity progresses and compromises more of the tooth structure, it may require a dental crown, inlay, or onlay. When the decay has reached the pulp of your tooth, endodontic treatment is needed.

As a result of deep decay, the pulp inside the tooth becomes infected or inflamed. You're likely to experience discomfort when you chew or bite down on foods, as well as painful sensitivity to hot and cold. Swollen or discolored gums, as well as a small white pimple-like bump on the gum tissue near your painful tooth, are additional symptoms to be aware of. All of these symptoms suggest that your tooth is infected and that it needs endodontic treatment to be saved.

Faulty Crown

Dental crowns are typically used to replace tooth structure that has been removed due to tooth decay or to secure a dental bridge. When a crown doesn't fit properly or becomes damaged, bacteria can seep inside and cause decay to the remaining tooth structure. Root canal treatment will be required to treat this decay if it is deep and reaches the pulp.

The crown on your tooth will be removed, and the remaining tooth structure underneath will be opened to gain access to the pulp. Because your original crown was faulty, you will likely require a new crown, which will be fabricated and placed by your general dentist or a prosthodontist, a dental specialist who focuses on restorative dentistry.

Dental Trauma

Some dental trauma is obvious—for example, if you fall and break a tooth or if you are involved in a car accident and a tooth is knocked out. Other times, you may bite down on something hard and not realize you've fractured a tooth for several weeks. Because cracks aren't always visible to the naked eye, they can go undetected until the pulp becomes irritated or infected, causing pain.

There are many different types of dental injuries, but all of them require root canal treatment or extraction if they reach the pulp. Because endodontic treatment allows us to save your natural tooth, it is the preferred treatment option. There are situations, however, when a fracture extends below the gum line and extraction is the only treatment option.

If you have a choice between an extraction and root canal treatment, we strongly advise you to save your natural tooth and pursue root canal therapy. After an extraction, you'll need to replace your lost tooth, which can be expensive, time-consuming, and risk complications. Bridges can break, and dental implants might fail, but your natural tooth is more likely to last a lifetime.

Repeated Dental Procedures

If you've had to have multiple dental treatments on a single tooth, the pulp could become irritated and inflamed. When this happens, the tooth will either need to be extracted or root canal treatment will be required to save it.

Learn More About Root Canal Treatment

Do you have questions about getting a root canal? Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment with one of our endodontists.

It’s common for patients to feel nervous about their upcoming root canals. Unfortunately, root canals have a reputation for being unpleasant, but you’ll be relieved to find out that most patients find the experience of having root canal treatment to be easier than anticipated. In fact, root canals are commonly used to relieve dental and facial pain, so our patients often leave our office feeling better than when they came in. If you’re uncertain about what to expect from root canal therapy, we explain the process in detail below.

How Much Pain to Expect During a Root Canal

We perform root canal treatment to address infected or inflamed pulp tissue, which can cause severe toothaches. This pain can be alleviated with endodontic therapy. For many patients, getting a root canal is no more painful than getting a cavity filled thanks to the use of local anesthetic and modern endodontic techniques. Most people report feeling comfortable throughout their procedure, feeling pressure and movement at times, but not pain.

Endodontic treatment starts by using local anesthetic to numb the affected tooth and the tissue surrounding it. Then, the tooth is opened so one of our doctors can access the pulp in order to remove it. The chamber and roots of the tooth are cleaned, shaped, and disinfected, then filled with a rubber-like material to seal the tooth and prevent infection. Your general dentist will restore the treated tooth using a dental filling or crown.

It’s common for patients to experience immediate relief upon leaving our office, especially if they have been suffering with dental or facial pain in the days or weeks prior to their appointment. Despite the myths about root canal treatment, this procedure is a relatively quick, comfortable way to save natural teeth from needing to be extracted and replaced. 

Pain After a Root Canal Procedure

As the local anesthetic wears off in the hours after your root canal treatment, you may begin to experience some sensitivity and tenderness. This is especially true if the tooth in question was infected or painful prior to your root canal treatment.

This sensitivity is typically minor and can be managed with over-the-counter analgesics, including aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium. We suggest eating soft foods and avoiding chewing with the treated tooth until the discomfort has resolved, but you should be able to continue with work, school, and your other activities as you normally would.

In most cases, sensitivity only lasts for a few days after root canal therapy. If you continue to experience pain beyond this time, call our office and we can determine whether you should come in for an evaluation.

Learn More About Root Canal Procedures

Have you been told by your dentist that you need root canal treatment? Do you have questions about the root canal process and what you can expect from endodontic therapy? Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation with an endodontist at one of our six North Shore and Boston-area locations.

When the pulp of a tooth becomes infected or inflamed, root canal treatment may be able to prevent it from needing to be removed. An endodontist can save your natural tooth, potentially preserving it for years, decades, or even a lifetime, by removing the pulp and cleaning, shaping, and disinfecting the root canals. While the tooth no longer contains living pulp tissue, it is secured in place by the periodontal ligament, which ensures it can continue to function like your other teeth after the pulp has been removed. While root canals may last a lifetime, there are some circumstances in which your tooth could need to be re-treated. The following blog post answers the question, "How long does a root canal last?" and explains some of the factors that influence its lifespan.

Root Canal Treatment Success Rate


The success rate of endodontic treatment is very high. This is something we see firsthand with our practice’s patients, and scientific research backs up our observations. One of the most detailed studies on the subject examined the long-term effectiveness of 487,476 root canal treatments. According to this report, 98 percent of root canals last one year, 92 percent last five years, and 86 percent last ten years or longer. Molars treated by endodontists had a 10 year survival rate, significantly higher than that of molars treated by general dentists.

These figures are helpful in giving patients a general understanding of how long root canals last and why they're a procedure worth considering, but it's important to understand how your specific circumstances can affect the treatment's longevity.

Factors That Impact the Lifespan of Root Canals


What distinguishes a root canal that lasts a lifetime from one that needs to be retreated after a few years? What steps should a patient take to increase the chances of a good outcome? Here are some points to consider.

Timing of Treatment


Timely treatment provides better results than treatment that is postponed. Complications are more common when a tooth's condition worsens before it is treated, especially when the root canal infection spreads into the jaw.

Timing and Quality of Restoration


You'll need a permanent dental filling or crown to restore the tooth after root canal therapy. The quality of this restoration, as well as its timing, is critical. The earlier you see your dentist to get your tooth restored, the better. If you wait longer than the recommended period between your root canal and your restoration, your tooth will be at a higher risk of complications.

Location of Tooth


Endodontic care for a front tooth is less complicated since it only has one root canal. Furthermore, since these teeth are used for biting and cutting instead of grinding, they are subjected to less force and stress. Since the back teeth have two or three roots, they are more complicated to treat, and they sustain more bite force while eating. This makes them more vulnerable to problems caused by restorations that have been damaged by fracture.

Patient Age


Our teeth become brittle and more susceptible to breakage as we get older. This, too, will affect how long a root canal will last. When it comes to restoring molars, dental crowns will help protect the tooth from stress, so they are often preferred over dental fillings in these circumstances.

The Bottom Line


We can't say how long your root canal will last because there are so many variables involved. However, we do know that a root canal is an effective treatment option that allows you to save a compromised tooth, and when performed by a board-certified endodontist, it’s very likely that it will last a decade or more.

Schedule a Consultation


If you need a root canal treatment, contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation at one of our six North Shore and Boston-area locations.

If you’ve never had endodontic treatment before, you may be wondering what to expect from the recovery. Generally speaking, the recovery from a root canal procedure is less uncomfortable than that of a tooth extraction, but you may still wish to stock up on soft foods for the days after your treatment to minimize stress on the treated tooth.


Eating Guidelines After Root Canal Treatment


Local anesthetic is used to numb the treated area during your root canal procedure. This can take up to two hours to wear off, so we ask that you avoid hot liquids and chewing food until the area is no longer numb. Chewing while your mouth is numb can cause soft tissue injury.

Avoid sticky foods like jelly beans or gum after your endodontic treatment; these can loosen or remove the temporary filling in your tooth. It’s best to eat soft foods that require little chewing; your tooth is likely to be sensitive in the days after your treatment, and hard or hot foods can cause irritation. When eating, favor the side of the mouth opposite your treated tooth.

You should brush and floss as you regularly would to keep the treated tooth free of food particles and bacteria. 


Foods to Eat After a Root Canal Procedure


Most patients can eat soft foods comfortably after a root canal treatment as long as they avoid chewing or biting down with the treated tooth. Use this list of soft foods to build your meals after your root canal procedure:

Dairy

  • Yogurt
  • Soft cheeses
  • Cottage cheese

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Pureed soup
  • Applesauce
  • Smoothies
  • Bananas
  • Mangos
  • Ripe pears
  • Peaches
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Pureed winter squash
  • Avocado

Proteins

  • Eggs
  • Canned tuna or chicken
  • Hummus
  • Tofu
  • Meatloaf
  • Nut butters
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, split peas)

Grains

  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Pasta
  • Oatmeal
  • Polenta
  • Cream of Wheat

After your appointment, your doctor will provide you with detailed aftercare instructions and answer any questions you might have.


Foods to Avoid After a Root Canal Procedure


There are also some categories of food that should be avoided after a root canal treatment, either because they can aggravate any sensitivity you’re experiencing or because they may compromise your temporary filling. As time passes, you can carefully reintroduce them into your diet.

We recommend avoiding:

  • Very hot and very cold foods and beverages, which can irritate sensitive teeth
  • Sticky foods like gum, caramels, and other candies
  • Chewy foods like steak and crusty bread
  • Hard foods like nuts
  • Crunchy foods like pretzels and tortilla chips

Once your permanent restoration is placed, you can return to your normal diet, but use your best judgment—if you find that your treated tooth feels tender when eating a particular food, stop eating it and try again another day.

If you continue to experience sensitivity and soreness after a week or more has passed, call our office.


Learn More About What to Do After a Root Canal


Do you have questions about root canal aftercare? Contact us today to get answers from our team of endodontic specialists.

When a patient is referred to North Shore & Brookline Endodontics for a root canal treatment, they usually come to their consultation with a number of questions about the procedure. Many of these questions have to do with the logistics of root canal treatment. How long does a root canal procedure take? How many appointments are needed? What is recovery like? Below, we answer some common questions we hear from our patients.


How many appointments are needed for a root canal?


For most patients, endodontic treatment requires one to two visits to our office. Although endodontists are often able to complete a root canal treatment in a single visit, there are times when anatomy, infections, or calcifications may complicate the procedure, making two appointments necessary.

Your dentist will need to place a permanent restoration, this will also require one to two visits to their office, depending on the type of restoration.


How long does a root canal take?


Each visit to our office for endodontic treatment typically lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. The exact amount of time depends on the difficulty of the treatment, extent of infection, and your unique needs.


What is recovery from root canal treatment like?


Most patients find that the recovery from their root canal treatment is faster and more comfortable than expected. In fact, most patients are able to return to work following endodontic treatment. Post-operative symptoms are mild and usually relieved with over-the-counter pain medications. You can expect to have some tenderness and swelling at the treatment site, but this rarely lasts more than a few days after your root canal procedure.


Can I eat after a root canal?


Immediately after your root canal procedure, the treated area will be numb from local anesthetic injections. This numbness can last for a few hours following the treatment. It’s generally advised that you not eat during this time, as it can cause soft tissue injury.

Once any numbness has subsided, you may eat, but avoid biting or chewing directly on the treated tooth to promote healing and avoid harming the tooth. You should also avoid sticky foods that have the potential to loosen or remove your temporary filling.


Can I drive myself home after a root canal?


Yes, if you had no sedation for your root canal treatment or only nitrous oxide, you will be able to drive yourself home in most cases. Patients who have conscious oral sedation will need to have someone drive them to and from their appointment.


When do I go to my dentist for my permanent restoration?


We recommend that you contact your dentist to set up an appointment one to two weeks after your endodontic treatment is complete. This is important, as your tooth may become reinfected or otherwise compromised without a timely restoration. We will send a full report on your root canal procedure to your general dentist.


Learn More About Root Canal Treatment


If you have questions about root canal treatment, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of the specialists at North Shore & Brookline Endodontics.