How Long Is the Recovery Process From Root Canal Treatment?

Root Canal Therapy Charlotte, NC

If a tooth is extensively damaged or decayed, root canal therapy may be able to save it. A root canal is a common dental procedure that millions of people have every year. It involves drilling a hole in the tooth and using a special tool to remove the infected pulp and decayed tissue. Though it has a reputation as an intimidating procedure, it should not be painful.

What do patients experience after root canal therapy?

Thanks to modern dental techniques, the root canal itself should be virtually painless. However, some people experience discomfort following the procedure. This is usually mild and comparable to what a patient can expect after a filling. Whatever discomfort occurs usually goes away within a day or two following the procedure.

The pain of a damaged tooth is usually much worse than what patients experience following the procedure. If discomfort following the root canal is troublesome, patients can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. An anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen may be especially helpful. If these are not sufficient to take care of the pain, a dentist can prescribe something stronger, but this is rarely necessary.

Occasionally, people experience complications of root canal therapy that can cause pain that lasts more than a few days or is severe or swelling inside the mouth that is visible. Patients should contact the dentist's office right away for symptoms such as these, as well as if pre-treatment symptoms come back or there are signs of itching or hives that indicate an allergic reaction to the medication.

While the symptoms related to a root canal typically only last a few days, some patients require more than one treatment to clean out the tooth completely and may experience mild symptoms following each procedure.

What is involved in root canal aftercare?

One of the most important aspects of root canal aftercare is to keep up with daily dental hygiene, e.g., brushing and flossing. This helps to prevent inflammation of the gums and keep the other teeth healthy, avoiding the need for further root canal therapy and extensive dental work. Avoid food and drink that is sugary or acidic.

Following a root canal, the treated tooth may be more sensitive and fragile. In many cases, the tooth is capped with a crown to protect it. To avoid further damage to the tooth, avoid eating anything that is too hard. Try to chew on the opposite side of the mouth that the root canal took place to avoid pain and sensitivity in the treated tooth. Maintain a regular schedule for dental examinations and cleanings.


For most patients, recovery from root canal therapy takes place within a few days and does not involve more than minor discomfort. Patients who do have more severe pain or complications from root canals should contact the dentist's office for treatment options. Chewing on the opposite side and keeping up with regular dental hygiene can prevent further damage to the tooth and maintain oral health.

Request an appointment here: or call ART Dentistry at (704) 405-1523 for an appointment in our Charlotte office.

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