Root Canal Treatment Aftercare: How to Speed Up Recovery

Root canal treatment is a comprehensive dental procedure for treating a tooth’s pulp infection. It can save a damaged or infected tooth, but it doesn’t end there! Following proper aftercare ensures a worry-free recovery after a root canal. 

This post will review the basics of root canal treatment aftercare. These include tips for maintaining the treated area and the importance of follow-up appointments.

Manage Pain During Initial Recovery

Root canal treatment can cause severe discomfort during the initial recovery period. Patients can manage this by taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, as your dentist instructed. 

But as expected, discomfort is during recovery — severe pain or swelling is another thing. They may be a sign of a complication, and from here, you should report to your dentist immediately.

Rest and Take Time Off

After root canal treatment, taking it easy and resting for a few days is essential. Avoid participating in strenuous activities, such as exercise or heavy lifting, for at least a day after the root canal procedure. 

Don’t hesitate to take time off work or set aside your obligations to rest and recover fully.

Eat Soft Foods 

After root canal treatment, avoid eating or drinking for at least one hour to let the anesthesia wear off. Once you can eat, stick to soft and easy-to-chew foods, such as soup or smoothies, to prevent damaging the surgical site. 

Maintain the Area Around the Treated Tooth

Proper cleaning and maintenance of the area around the treated tooth are essential to ensure a speedy recovery after root canal treatment. So, stick to your oral hygiene habits and keep the surgical site and the rest of your teeth clean.

Brush and Floss As Usual 

Continue to brush and floss your teeth regularly after root canal treatment, and avoid putting too much pressure on the treated tooth. Avoid vigorous brushing or flossing to prevent irritation or damage to the treated tooth and surrounding tissues.

Rinse with Saltwater

Rinsing with saltwater can ease inflammation — preventing infection in the treated area. Combine 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water and gently rinse at least two to three times a day for half a minute.

Avoid or Stop Smoking

Smoking cigars, cigarettes, and other tobacco-laced items can delay healing and increase the risk of infection around the treated tooth. So, avoid using tobacco products at this time to speed up your recovery and ensure smooth healing. 

Go to Follow-Up Appointments

Follow-up appointments are crucial to ensure smooth healing after root canal treatment. Follow your dentist’s instructions for scheduling appointments, often including follow-up checkups, X-rays, or additional treatments.

During a follow-up appointment, your dentist will evaluate your progress and check for complications like a bacterial infection or swelling. Aside from that, they may also recommend follow-up treatments, like dental crowns, to protect the treated tooth.

Watch Out for Possible Complications

As safe as root canal treatment is, complications can still occur. So, you must be aware of the signs of complications, such as:

  • severe and persistent pain
  • swelling
  • fever

Report any unusual symptoms to your dentist ASAP to avoid hindering your recovery. 

In rare instances, debilitating complications like infection or damage to surrounding tissues may require additional treatments or complete removal of the treated tooth.

Hence, be diligent, follow your dentist’s instructions carefully, and promptly report any complications or symptoms you may experience. 


You can guarantee proper healing after root canal treatment by following these tips for managing pain, cleaning and maintaining the treated area, and scheduling follow-up appointments. 

It’s important to remember that while some discomfort is expected during recovery, severe pain or swelling may be a sign of a complication, and you must report to your dentist ASAP.

At Samaritan Dental, we understand the importance of proper root canal treatment aftercare. Our team of experienced dentists is dedicated to providing top-quality care and support to our patients throughout treatment, from initial consultation to follow-up appointments — we’re here to assist!

If you’re experiencing tooth pain or assume you need root canal treatment, don’t hesitate to contact Samaritan Dental today at (619) 344-0475.

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