What Is the Recovery Process for a Root Canal Procedure?

Most invasive medical procedures require some time for recovery and healing, and root canal therapy is no exception. So, what is the recovery process for a root canal procedure? Please read our article to learn about the process and tips for faster recovery.

What Is Root Canal Therapy?

A root canal to maintain dental health is performed when a significant part of the tooth is affected by infection and decay. During the procedure, your doctor will remove the infected pulp from the chambers of the tooth and clean the canals. Then, the canals will be filled with a dental material and sealed to protect the tooth from reinfection. Sometimes, the dental crown is placed after the procedure if the tooth needs additional support.

Does Root Canal Therapy Hurt?

In most cases, patients do not feel any pain during the procedure at all because it is performed under local anesthetic, and the tooth and surrounding tissues are entirely numb. Some patients report feeling slight pain or discomfort. However, your dentist can adjust the strength of the anesthetic if you still feel pain during root canal therapy.

In fact, the pain you most likely experience due to tooth decay is worse than any discomfort you might feel during or after the procedure. Studies show that the pre-treatment pain decreases moderately on the first day after the procedure and goes away completely within several days.

What Is the Recovery Process for a Root Canal Procedure?

On average, the recovery period after a root canal procedure is less than seven days. Any discomfort or pain you might experience after the procedure can be easily remedied with over-the-counter painkillers, such as Ibuprofen. 

If the pain persists for more than a week after the root canal procedure, make an appointment with your dentist. In some cases, the root canal seal might break, causing reinfection of the tooth, especially if the canals were not cleaned sufficiently. 

Dos and Don’ts After a Root Canal Procedure

Recovery time after a root canal procedure might vary depending on the patient’s general health, the body’s regenerative capacity, and other factors. Please read our guide to ensure your recovery goes smoothly.

Dos After a Root Canal

  • If you experience swelling in the mouth or face after the procedure, it is normal and not a cause for concern. To reduce the swelling, you can apply an ice pack to the face on the side of the procedure. Apply the ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes with at least 30-minute breaks. Use an additional pillow to keep your head lifted during the day and at night. 
  • Ask your dentist for recommendations on over-the-counter pain medication. Never exceed the prescribed dose of painkillers, and take the medication according to the instructions. 
  • If your dentist prescribed antibiotics, complete the entire course as directed.
  • After the procedure, you should disinfect your mouth with a saltwater rinse to prevent inflammation. Your doctor might suggest other disinfecting solutions. 
  • Avoid doing sports or other strenuous activities for a couple of days after root canal treatment. Make sure that the swelling is gone and your tooth is fully recovered before returning to your regular daily routine.  
  • Abstain from drinking alcohol and smoking for a couple of days after the procedure because alcohol and nicotine significantly slow down the healing processes. 

Don’ts after a Root Canal

  • Root canal treatment is usually done using a local anesthetic that numbs your mouth. The numbness can last for a couple of hours after the procedure. We advise you to avoid eating until it is completely gone to prevent biting yourself or applying too much pressure to the newly treated tooth, which can damage it. 
  • Do not chew on the procedure side of your mouth for several days after the treatment. You can start eating normally after the tenderness is entirely gone and the tooth is healed. 
  • Do not eat sticky, chewy, or hard foods until the tooth is recovered to avoid damaging it.
  • Do not use a straw when drinking because it creates suction in the mouth and can disrupt healing. 

Make an Appointment Today

Do not hesitate to contact Tropic Dental today and make an appointment with a highly qualified Riverside dentist. Remember that root canal treatment should be performed in a timely manner to avoid complications and save the tooth from extraction. We look forward to welcoming you to our office and providing top-quality root canal therapy services. 





7201 Arlington Ave # A
Riverside, CA 92503

Monday : 9 am to 6 pm
Tuesday : 9 am to 6 pm
Wednesday : 9 am to 6 pm
Thursday : By Appointment Only
Friday : 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday : By Appointment Only

Additional Hours Available by Request