Root Canal Recovery Time: What to Expect in Initial Days & Tips for Fast Recovery

By | Date posted: | Last updated: March 9, 2023
root canal recovery time

Recovering from a root canal is easier than recovering from a tooth extraction. Although the same anesthetic injection is given in both procedures to achieve numbness, the recovery time may differ. Patients’ root canal recovery time faster if they know what the dos and don’ts after a root canal treatment are. This article will provide patients with all of the information they need to recover faster from a root canal. Continue reading to know more.

You can also read our full guide on baby root canal, where we cover its procedure, dangers, recovery, and cost.

Root Canal Recovery Time 

Usually, the recovery time of a root canal is three to seven days. Patients can go back to work the same day after their numbness from the anesthesia wears off. It takes four hours for the numbness to go away. However, if a patient is not feeling comfortable, it is advised to take the day off and go back to work the next day. The painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines prescribed by the dentist work very well to relieve the discomfort that occurs in the first one to two days. But each tooth is different, and so is the case. Hence, recovery from a root canal also differs from person to person. There are several factors on which the recovery time depends. Let us discuss these factors first!

  • Anatomy of Tooth: Sometimes complex anatomy of the tooth such as an extremely curved canal, multiple canals or calcification of the canal make a root canal procedure lengthy and can prolong the recovery time.
  • Severity of Infection and Inflammation: Severe infections like an abscess or cases with a sinus formation take more time to heal.
  • Not Following the Post-Operative Instructions Properly: If a patient does not follow the given instructions (verbally or written) about what to do and what not to do, this will only lead to complications and extend the recovery time.
  • Root Canal Retreatment: For patients who undergo root canal retreatment, recovery time can be longer if it is associated with complications such as a detached instrument, ledges in the canal, or perforations.

However, most of the time, patients get relief from the pain after the first sitting of the root canal treatment. In rare cases, the pain might persist after the first sitting but can be manageable with painkillers.

What to Expect in the Initial Days of Root Canal?

Immediately after a root canal the tongue and the area where the root canal was done will be numb for a few hours. Therefore, it is advised not to consume food or hot fluids until the numbness subsides, as chewing with a numb mouth can lead to injury to soft tissue (including the tongue, cheeks, and lips). The tooth may feel sensitive for the first few days after a root canal is finished due to tissue inflammation, particularly if there was severe pain or infection prior to the procedure.

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Root Canal Recovery Tips

If a patient follows all the post-operative instructions properly, recovery from a root canal would be faster. Here are some tips to achieve a faster recovery.

  • Do not chew from that side where the root canal is performed until it is restored with a crown. This is because the unrestored tooth is prone to fracture. They are brittle and the crown provides them strength to take the chewing forces. If someone who is undergoing root canal treatment starts chewing from the root canal-treated teeth, the tooth will fracture and will result in root canal failure.
  • Eat soft meals that require little chewing after a root canal, such as applesauce, yogurt, and eggs. Foods that could damage the teeth, such as hard or hot meals, should be avoided. Crunchy, hard and chewy food like popcorn, nuts, hard candies, chips, etc. should be absolutely avoided. Avoid sticky foods as well as taking off the temporary filling that has been put to seal the root canal-treated tooth.
  • Brushing after a root canal should be gentle in the operated area. But it doesn’t mean one should not properly take care of oral hygiene. Be gentle with the brushing strokes and brush twice a day. Flossing should also be done with utmost care.
  • Take adequate rest to recover faster. Sleeping and taking painkillers will help in recovery.
  • Sleeping with an extra pillow would help to minimize swelling.
  • For those who want a speedy recovery after their root canals, smoking is a big no. Smoking can result in further complications and increases the likelihood of requiring another procedure. Smoking interferes with the healing process and thus results in complications in root canal recovery. According to a study from 2020, tobacco users have a higher likelihood of needing a root canal. In prior research, it was discovered that smokers had a 1.7-fold higher risk of needing a root canal than nonsmokers. Those who gave up smoking cigarettes saw a decrease in this percentage.
  • Do not do any strenuous activities or heavy exercises during the healing phase. This is because heavy exercise or physical activity can increase the likelihood of flare-ups or the occurrence of severe toothache.
  • An ice pack applied to the affected area can be extremely helpful. It can significantly lessen the swelling and discomfort individuals experience after getting a root canal. 
  • Most importantly, watch out for recovery symptoms. If the tooth does not hurt after two to three days and after a few days of healing the discomfort and swelling start to decrease, this indicates signs of a good recovery. However, if pain, swelling, and discomfort don’t get better even after two or three days or it worsens or an allergic rash appears or the temporary filling comes out, the dentist should be contacted immediately. These conditions can be easily managed if treated at the right time.
  • Lastly, do not miss the follow-up visit with the dentist even if the tooth is not hurting anymore.


To conclude, following the dentist’s instructions is crucial to achieving a good and speedy recovery. Most root canals complications, like a fracture of the tooth or a flare-up, occur if the post-operative instructions are not followed. Be careful to take care of the tooth until it receives a permanent crown. Always remember, that a root canal treatment of posterior teeth is incomplete without a crown. A root canal-treated tooth that has been properly cared for and restored can last as long as the natural teeth.

If you are feeling some discomfort in your teeth and planning to undergo root canal treatment, then contact Dr. Sharda Patel. She is a Pleasanton-based dentist who provides root canal treatment, general dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry service. Schedule a dental appointment now or call us at 925-846-4491

Baby root canal: Procedure, Dangers, Recovery & Cost

By | Date posted: | Last updated: February 17, 2023
baby root canal

Odds are that if you child has been advised a root canal treatment, it has taken you by surprise & has left you worried.

Rest assured that while the focus is on prevention & keeping teeth healthy, there could be occasions where the tooth is damaged & a root canal treatment becomes necessary.

But the child’s baby teeth will fall off anyway?

That is right, however, unless you are very close to the time that the tooth will fall away naturally, it is important to undertake a baby root canal treatment to avoid infection to spread to the jawbone. Besides baby teeth have several important roles to perform including enabling speech & eating. Primary teeth also act as guides for placement of permanent teeth. Without primary teeth in place, permanent teeth can erupt in a crooked fashion leading to other issues. It is important therefore to save the primary teeth as far as possible.

When is a Baby Root Canal Treatment Necessary?

There are several things that might necessitate a root canal treatment. These could include trauma to the tooth caused due to a fall or deep cavities that damage the pulp. Some symptoms that the child may need a root canal treatment include:

  • Pain
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth darkening
  • Bump on the gums
  • Abscess

However, it is only a qualified dentist who on thoroughly examining the child’s tooth and undertaking dental X-rays can recommend whether or not a root canal treatment is necessary.

Baby Teeth Root Canal Procedure

Also referred to as Pulpotomy, it involves numbing the gums & tooth & then removing the damaged part of the Pulp Tissue. The area is then disinfected and sealed. A crown may be required to protect the tooth. The entire process should take less than 60 minutes and recovery is usually quick.

The dentist is likely to take one of three approaches based on the condition of the tooth.

Pulp Therapy

This can be used when the damage to the pulp is minimal. Here the dentist will remove the decay without touching the pulp. The use of antibiotics on the pulp will help control the infection.


This is a root canal treatment that involves partial removal of the pulp. This is followed by disinfecting the tooth and sealing it.

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This is a complete root canal process where the tooth is severely infected. The entire pulp tissue is removed and the tooth is disinfected & the canals shaped. The tooth is then filled and sealed. A crown is then placed on the tooth. Typically a temporary crown is placed at the time of the treatment, which is later replaced by a permanent crown.

In all approaches, typical local anesthesia is given to numb the area & to keep the procedure pain-free.

While the general perception is that a root canal treatment is a very painful procedure, the fact is that modern technology has rendered it a painless process. In fact, root canal in baby tooth actually relieves the pain that the child has been experiencing. In case the child is extremely anxious, there is also the option of sedation dentistry.

Preparing a Child for a Root Canal Treatment

Depending on the child’s age, parents can prepare the child for the procedure by talking to them and allaying their fears. Telling the child that they will be given medicines to prevent pain is always helpful.

What Happens After a Root Canal?

There could be some pain after the procedure for which the child is prescribed pain medications. Ensure that the child consumes soft food such as pureed or mashed fruits & vegetables, scrambled eggs, pudding, yogurt, ice cream and more.

Ensuring good hygiene is imperative to maintain oral health. You need to therefore make sure that the child brushes & flosses their teeth as before.

Baby Root Canal Dangers

Root canal is a fairly safe treatment with low risks. It is however important that you choose an experienced dentist who makes the child comfortable & ensures that the entire infection is removed before the tooth is sealed.

Some risk factors that could sometimes surface include:

  • The possibility of the cleaning fluid to enter tissues & cause infection
  • The diseased tissue may not be completely removed
  • The tooth may not be sealed properly, in which case germs could enter & cause infection
  • Another root canal may be needed
  • The tooth may need extraction

Baby Root Canal Cost

The procedure could typically cost between $80-$300. However, if sedation & crown is required the cost could increase to $750-$3400 per tooth. Your dentist will be in the best position to give an estimate seeing the child’s bespoke condition.

To Sum Up

If your child has been advised a root canal treatment, you do not have cause to worry. All you need to do is to choose an experienced dentist and to follow the instructions given by them. In no time you will see your child flash those pearly whites again!

If you are living in Pleasanton or nearby areas and want to make your child’s teeth healthy then schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Sharda Patel. Dental oasis family dentistry provides an anxiety-free environment so your child can cooperate while dental treatment.

How Often Should You Visit the Dental Office? A Guide for All Ages!

By | Date posted: | Last updated: February 3, 2023
how often should you go to the dentist

We often talk about the need for regular dental checkups as this ensures not just your oral health but also your overall health. However, how often should you go to the dentist?

The thumb rule is to see a dentist every 6 months. Of course, if you are facing any specific dental issue, your dentist will fix your schedule depending on your bespoke condition.

Who should visit dental office more often?

The following categories of people, who have a higher risk of dental disease, may be required to see a dentist sooner than 6 months. These include:

  • Pregnant Women
  • Diabetics
  • Smokers
  • People who are suffering from gum disease
  • People who are prone to build up of plaque

What do dental checkups every 6-month entail?

1. Regular Exams

First things first, a six-monthly regular dental exam will ensure that your teeth are healthy. Importantly, they will help identify & address issues before they become critical. There are issues you are not experiencing symptoms for and can be addressed in the bud. Importantly, dental exams also help screen for issues like oral cancer, which can be cured if detected in the initial stages.

Overall, as they say, prevention is far better than cure; this is exactly what these exams help with.

2. Teeth Cleaning

The importance of regular teeth cleaning is immense. Of course, they help address tooth stains and give you a confident smile. Other than that, there could be an accumulation of plaque on your teeth. That it looks unsightly. More importantly if plaque left untreated turns into tartar. These are breeding spaces for bacteria and can also lead to tooth decay, gum disease as also bone loss in extreme conditions. Besides if the bacteria enter the bloodstream, it can lead to several issues including but not limited to strokes. Periodic teeth cleaning involves more than aesthetics.

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3. Oral treatment in case of health issues

If you have any health issues, it is important to visit the dentist to know if the health issue has any oral implication. If so, the dentist will be in the best position to advise you of any oral treatments that may be necessary.

How often should child visit dentist?

Besides the above factors, with growing children, the importance of regular dental checkups cannot be overstated. In fact, the first visit to the dentist should be within 6 months of the first tooth erupting. Regular dental visits will ensure that the dentist can check that the development of the teeth is healthy.

Research has shown that children who only visit a dentist when there is a problem are more likely to have dental issues than children who are taken for regular dental visits.

The importance of regular dental visits for children also stems from the fact that it will help develop the habit of dental checkups even as they transition into adulthood. Broadly, such children are less likely to avoid the dentist’s chair on account of any irrational fears.

How often should senior citizens visit dentist?

When it comes to older adults, regular check-ups are exceedingly important. This is on account of several reasons- the first that senior citizens are likely to have dentures. Additionally, they are prone to several health issues that could have an implication on oral health as well. Some of the common dental conditions they tend to suffer from include root decay, dry mouth, tooth loss, darkened teeth, thrush, and more. When these issues are caught early, they can be cured. However, if they progress, they may sometimes be hard to reverse or may need invasive measures.

What can you expect during Dental visits?

A regular dental visit will entail the following:

  • The dentist will undertake a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth, and gums.
  • They will ask you about any oral health and general health issues you may be facing.
  • Ask you about any use of tobacco or alcohol.
  • Advise you about how to improve your oral hygiene.
  • If there are any issues that the dentist notices, he will advise the right treatment.
  • Also, undertake to screen for oral cancer. Should there be any noticeable issues, you may be referred to a specialist. Some of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
    • Mouth sore that does not heal
    • Patch inside the mouth
    • Lump
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Bleeding
    • Chronic sore throat
    • Changes in bite
    • Weight loss
    • Pain in mouth, and more.

Rest assured that oral cancer screening as undertaken by the dentist is not an invasive procedure. The dentist will examine areas inside and outside your mouth.

What to do between dental visits?

While regular dental visits are important, what is even more important is the oral hygiene that you follow between dental visits. These include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily.
  • Using Fluoride Toothpaste.
  • Flossing at least once a day.
  • Using mouthwash.
  • Keeping your tongue clean.

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To sum up

It is important that regular dental checkups be given the importance they deserve. The usual tendency is to head to a dentist only when you are dealing with a dental issue.

However, it is important to remember that these issues & any others that can be snowballed and avoided with regular dental checkups. Pain or any other symptom is not a predictable indicator of a health issue. In other words, you may develop a condition & have no pain associated with it. It is important therefore not to assume that just because something does not hurt, it is not a problem.

It is important that other than answering the questions that the dentist asks, to the best of your knowledge, you also ask any questions that you may have. Remember that no question is too insignificant.

Don’t think too much just schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Sharda Patel to make aware of your oral condition with regular dental checkups. Dr. Sharda Patel is a Pleasanton-based dentist who provides various dental services including regular dental checkups, teeth cleaning, and advanced pediatric dentistry. Schedule an appointment now or mail us at

Scaling and Root Planing: Process, Pain, and Aftercare Tips

By | Date posted: | Last updated: January 25, 2023
does scaling and root planing hurt

Scaling & Root Planing, also referred to simply as deep cleaning is an effective way to remove tartar & treat inflamed gums. For people suffering from Periodontitis, this is a much-needed treatment as in its absence patients can contend with the loss of teeth, gums & bone.

Risk factors that developed periodontitis

  • Diabetes
  • History of gum disease in the family
  • Dental bridges that haven’t been fitted correctly
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Poor oral hygiene, and more.

When do you need scaling and root planing?

There are several conditions that necessitate scaling and root planning

1. Oral Health

The accumulation of plaque & tartar is the perfect ground for bacteria to grow. In the early stages it could lead to Gingivitis where gums become red & swollen. This may progress to periodontal disease where there is inflammation of the gums & the bone that surrounds the teeth.

2. Overall Health

Gum disease is linked to a variety of other problems including the risk of heart disease and stroke. Ensuring that you undertake scaling & root planning will stop the bacteria from the teeth entering the bloodstream.

3. Look & feel

The procedure helps remove unsightly plaque, tartar & stains on your teeth & helps you look better & feel confident.

4. Stops bad breath

Bacteria causes a lot of bad breath, which is removed once the plaque and tartar are cleared away.

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Scaling and Root Planing Procedure

Process of Tooth Scaling

Your dentist will use an ultrasonic scaler, where its metal tip will remove the tartar that has accumulated on your teeth. There is a water spray on the scaler that washes the tartar away. The remaining pieces of tartar may be removed using a manual scaler & a scrapping device.

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Process of Root Planing

While the process is similar to scaling. Root planning is undertaken below the gum line. Essentially the gum tissue will be gently pushed, and tartar will now be removed from the roots. Sometimes it may also be necessary to inject an antibiotic into the gum pockets.

After the procedure is complete, your dentist will want you to come back for a follow-up appointment. If the inflamed tissue has settled, pockets surrounding the gums are smaller & bleeding has stopped, you may in future only need periodic maintenance visits. However, if the pockets have become deeper, more visits may be needed.

Does scaling and root planing hurt?

You are likely to experience some pain & discomfort after the treatment. Increased sensitivity in the tooth & gums is also common. You could also witness swelling & redness in the gums.

Typically the pain subsides within 24-48 hours. You could experience minor bleeding during brushing, but it will soon go away. In case the bleeding continues, a moistened tea bag or gauze will come in handy to put pressure on the area. If you experience bleeding even after 48 hours, do contact the dental office.

Scaling and Root Planing Aftercare

Here are some effective after care tips.

1. Saltwater Rinses

Warm saltwater will not only relax your gums it will also remove any debris from around the teeth.

2. Gentle Brushing

After scaling & root planning treatment, it is important to brush softly so that your teeth & gums aren’t irritated. The use of a de-sensitizing toothpaste is ideal. Toothpastes that contain potassium nitrate could provide relief.

3. Water Flosser

The use of a water flosser will be ideal as you will not have to force your way between the teeth, up to the already irritated gums.

4. Soft Food

Consuming soft food for the first 48 hours is ideal. Soups, ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, cooked vegetables are Avoid eating nuts, popcorn or any other hard & crunchy food. Also avoid any hot & spicy food as also the intake of alcohol.

5. Physical Activity

Avoid physical activity immediately after the procedure.

6. Pain Relievers

For discomfort & pain, your dentist could recommend mild pain relievers. Do take the medications as advised along with following all instructions.

7. Dental Appointments

Ensure that you stick to your dental appointment schedule, as you may need more than one sitting for your scaling/root planning treatment.

In case you experience worsening pain, develop a fever or if the healing does not take place as expected, do not hesitate to contact your dentist.

To sum up

Teeth scaling & Root Planing are common procedures that are used to treat periodontal disease. These are performed as an outpatient procedure. The mild side effects that you may experience settle in a few days. The advantage that the procedure brings to your overall health is immense.

If you are facing any dental problems then schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Sharda Patel – a Pleasanton based dentist who provides several dental services like teeth whitening and tooth extraction including scaling and root planing.