Have you ever had a root canal or know someone who has? This would not be surprising since over 15 million people have root canals every year. The American Association of Endodontists goes on to report that each day, more than 41,000 people undergo this procedure.
If your dentist recommends a root canal, you may have many questions. One of the top questions is, “When can I return to work after a root canal?”
Why Is a Root Canal Needed?
Let’s review the anatomy of the tooth. All teeth have a soft core known as the dental pulp. The pulp goes from the top (crown) of the tooth down to the bottom of the tooth’s root in the jawbone. Nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels make up the pulp.
If a tooth becomes cracked or develops a cavity, bacteria can get into the pulp. When this isn’t treated, the bacteria and other decaying material create an infection. This can become very serious and lead to a tooth abscess.
How Is a Root Canal Performed?
Most people have heard of a root canal. Do you know how it’s accomplished?
First, you will receive some anesthesia or numbing medicine. The dentist then creates an opening in the crown of the tooth.
This allows the dentist to remove the pulp from the tooth. Then any infection or damaged tissue is cleaned out of the root canal. You will need to have a crown put on your tooth at some point after your root canal.
The root canal procedure has a high rate of success. Many of the teeth that undergo this procedure have no problems in the future.
When Can I Return to Work After a Root Canal?
It’s important to ask your dentist when you can return to work after a root canal. The answer may be a little different for each individual. Several factors affect this decision.
The type of anesthesia or numbing medication used for your procedure may impact when you are able to return to work. Your type of work is also important. If you had anesthesia, you may be asked to avoid making important decisions or operating machinery for 24 hours.
You can also expect some discomfort when the numbing medication wears off. Although your nerve was removed, there are still exposed nerve endings that cause pain.
You can take over-the-counter medications per your dentist’s instructions to relieve the pain. If the pain is severe or lasts more than 3 days, contact your dentist.
Your pain level may impact when you feel like returning to work. Some people may be able to return to normal activities on that same day.
Do You Think You Need to See a Dentist?
Are you having problems with your teeth or gums?
Our site can help answer your dental questions. We offer more articles to help you understand about dental care. Did this article about when you can return to work after a root canal answer your questions?
Our practice values patient education. When you understand what to expect and the purpose of dental procedures, you often feel calmer. Knowledgeable patients help us provide expert dental care in a comfortable, trusting environment.
Contact us today to ask questions and make an appointment.