Guidelines before and after root canal treatment

How to prepare for root canal treatment? What is important to know? What are the side effects? What complications might arise? And what is allowed to eat and drink?

In a root canal treatment, the dentist enters the root canals, cleans them, expands them, and finally blocks them. The treatment is performed when there is inflammation of the tooth's Lint (the internal tissue of the tooth) or in cases of necrosis of the tooth's lint. Sometimes a root canal is also performed when the tooth is healthy, for rehabilitative or aesthetic reasons, followed by restoration of the tooth using a crown.

Guidelines for before root canal treatment

Is it permissible to eat before root canal treatment?

It is possible to eat normally before root canal treatment. If the patient has an enlarged vomiting reflex, it is recommended to avoid heavy meals about three hours before treatment begins.

Treatment hurts?

The treatment itself does not involve pain, but after the effect of local anesthesia evaporates, a feeling of pain may arise.

How to deal with anxiety?

Many patients are afraid to visit a dentist. In exceptional cases where the patient has trouble regulating emotions and relieving stress, anti-anxiety substances may be considered prior to treatment, in coordination with the family doctor. Check with a dentist if there is a need to perform the treatment while blurring with laughing gas.


Several x-rays are performed during root canal treatment. If you have older X-rays you should bring them with you for treatment.

Permanent crown

If there is a permanent crown on the treated tooth, it is sometimes necessary to replace it with a temporary crown with the attending doctor even before the root treatment – this can be done in advance or at the time of the treatment itself.

Guidelines for after root canal treatment

What is allowed to eat and drink after root canal treatment?

It is possible to drink cold drinks immediately after root canal treatment, but only after the effect of local anesthesia it is possible to eat and drink hot foods and drinks. Hungry and the anesthesia not yet gone? In the meantime, you can eat cold foods that do not require chewing, such as yogurt and ice cream.

Brushing teeth after root canal treatment

After root canal treatment it is possible to brush your teeth immediately, and there is no need to avoid brushing the treated tooth.

Physical activity after root canal treatment

Medically, there is no impediment to exercising immediately after root canal treatment, but if you feel pain or have a feeling of "worn out" – this may interfere with the workout.
However, if the root treatment did not end in one session and you are between sessions of the same treatment, there may be a limitation on diving and flight at great altitude (because of the inflated changes in the gases trapped in the root channels).

Side effects after root canal treatment

The local anesthetic continues to affect after root canal treatment for about two hours. After that, there may be a feeling of pain for about a week, ranging from mild discomfort during chewing to high-intensity pain.

How to reduce pain?

Moderate pain lasting 48 hours is a common occurrence after root canal treatment, and to relieve them it is possible to take painkillers, which should be requested from the doctor.

Complications after root canal treatment

The dentist clinic should be contacted if the temporary filling falls, if the tooth breaks down, as well as in the case of severe pain lasting more than 48 hours after root canal treatment.

Another case in which a doctor should be seen soon is the appearance of swelling that may indicate infection, as well as local fever, high fever and pus secretions in the treatment area – and then antibiotics and other treatments performed at the dental clinic will be required.

Periodic checkup

In cases where there is inflammation of the tooth tip, a follow-up should be performed at the clinic after treatment twice – six months and one year later. If there is no inflammation and everything is normal, you should have a routine dental checkup with the dentist once a year.

Oral and dental health after root canal treatment

After root canal treatment, it is important to maintain daily oral hygiene – thorough brushing, and use of brushes and toothpicks. It is recommended to visit a hygienist to remove plaques and scale at a frequency of between two and four times a year, depending on the state of health of the patient's teeth and gums.

What else?
Until the crown is installed, the tooth is weaker than usual, so it is recommended not to chew with it for concern of breaking.