Preparing For Your Root Canal Is Not Too Hard

Michelle Hopkins

A root canal is a rather involved dental procedure during which your dentist or dental surgeon will remove the deteriorating tissue in your tooth root, replace it with silicone filler, and then cover the tooth with a crown for support. In spite of how involved this procedure is from the dentist's perspective, it's not actually that tough to prepare for as a patient. Unless your dentist gives you additional advice, there are really only four things you need to do to prepare for your root canal.

Eat Something

You will be given a local anesthetic, and in some cases, a sedative, before a root canal is performed on your tooth. The root canal will take an hour or two, and then it will be a few more hours before the anesthetic and sedative wear off. You're bound to be pretty hungry by the time this is all over if you don't eat something beforehand. And patients are more likely to feel nauseous with the medications if they haven't eaten in a while. Have a light meal—something that doesn't require a lot of chewing if your tooth is painful. Oatmeal and a banana, or a bowl of soup, works well.

Take Pain Medication

If you can take pain medication safely, take a dose right before you head to your dentist's office. Although a root canal is not overly painful thanks to the use of anesthetic, holding your mouth open for the dentist to work can lead to some jaw pain and soreness. Ibuprofen helps prevent this, and it's most effective if you take it beforehand.

Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco

Alcohol and tobacco can affect the way your body reacts to anesthesia, so you're more likely to experience a little pain during your root canal. They also interfere with healing. Don't drink or smoke right before your root canal appointment.


Get a good night's rest before your root canal. This will help ensure you're relaxed and in control of your emotions when in the dentist's chair. It will also help speed up your body's healing process. If you have trouble sleeping, consider taking a natural sleep aid, such as chamomile tea or melatonin.

As you can see, preparing for a root canal is not hard. If you take the time to follow these simple instructions, then you will have a better experience with this procedure. For more information regarding root canals, contact a dentist.