Many people will experience tooth decay at some point in their lives. When the problem becomes extreme, sometimes a simple filling is not enough. Instead, your dentist may recommend you undergo a root canal procedure. This is where they drill into the pulp to remove the infection and prevent you from developing an abscess.
Naturally, you may not relish the thought of a dentist drilling deep into your tooth. There are a few ways you can work with your dentist to make the procedure more comfortable, though.
Avoid Alcohol 24 Hours Before
A drink to calm your nerves the night before your root canal may feel perfectly reasonable. However, alcohol thins your blood, which means you're more likely to bleed during the procedure. Additionally, thinner blood can slow the healing process, which may result in more pain. If you need something to calm your nerves, try meditation and a good night's sleep instead.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
On the note of sleep, do what you can to get a good night's sleep before the procedure. Or, take a nap if necessary. When you feel tired, your pain threshold is a little lower than normal. You're also more likely to experience anxiety, which naturally makes a root canal uncomfortable. Alongside trying techniques such as yoga, try burning energy during the day and take an hour away from screens before attempting to sleep.
Try Taking a Painkiller
Although your dentist will use a local anesthetic, you can help matters along by taking a painkiller, too. Before choosing a painkiller, though, speak to your dentist about what's most appropriate. Painkillers such as ibuprofen may slow the healing process down slightly and are best avoided in the first 48 hours. Similarly, aspirin can thin your blood. Instead, try something such as paracetamol.
Maintain Your Nutrition
Maintaining your nutrition ahead of your root canal can make the healing process easier. You may find it difficult to eat your usual range of foods in the few days following a root canal. By topping up with vitamins ahead of the procedure, you're giving your body the tools it needs to heal. Place some focus on anti-inflammatory foods and the nutrients required to lay down new cells, such as omega acids.
Finally, make sure you communicate honestly with your dentist during the anesthetic. By letting them know what does and doesn't work, you'll make it easier for them to target the areas that can result in pain.
Keep these tips in mind when looking for a root canal service near you.