A lot of patients experience worry and fear before going in for an appointment for a root canal. Root canals have a bad reputation of being highly unpleasant and even painful procedures.
However, patients can make the root canal procedure much easier for themselves by preparing properly. The following are six things a patient should do to prepare for a root canal to make the procedure as comfortable and problem-free as possible.
Ask the dentist any questions you have about what's going to happen
The better you understand the procedure, the more educated you'll be on what you should and shouldn't do before, during, or afterwards.
Don't hesitate to ask any questions that come up about having a root canal performed. Being well informed can help provide you with peace of mind and take some of the stress out of your root canal.
Make sure you're well rested
Getting adequate rest both before and after the procedure helps. If you're well rested beforehand, your body will have the energy to help you follow instructions and deal with any discomfort that the procedure involves.
It's important to understand that your body heals best while you're sleeping. Therefore, getting enough rest after the procedure is especially important to healing as quickly as possible.
Discuss the value of taking painkillers before the procedure with your dentist
Some dentists will recommend that patients take a painkiller before the procedure. Painkillers can help to prevent inflammation around the affected tooth that can lead to pain and discomfort.
You should ask for your dentist's opinion on whether or not you should take over-the-counter painkillers to prepare. Don't take any medication—over-the-counter or prescription—before the procedure unless you've discussed it with your dentist.
Abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages during the day before the procedure
Alcohol consumption is not good before a root canal or before any dental procedure. This is because alcohol has a tendency to dry out the mouth and to leave a patient generally dehydrated.
Drinking alcohol before the procedure or while you're recovering can slow down your recovery time. Do your best to abstain from alcohol for a day or so before the procedure is performed.
Cut back on smoking as much as you can
Smoking can slow down the body's healing response by hindering proper circulation. It's a good idea to stop smoking before the procedure and to not smoke at all until you're fully healed. If you can't seem to stop smoking completely, you should at least minimize your smoking as much as possible before your root canal.
Have a meal a few hours before your appointment
You're probably not going to be able to eat for a while after the procedure. This means that you should try to have a good meal a few hours before your root canal so you don't get too hungry while you're waiting for your mouth to feel comfortable with eating again.
For more information on root canal treatment, talk to your dentist.