How to Prepare for a Root Canal

| June 28, 2018

You’ve got your root canal blocked off on your calendar—now what? How should you prepare before the “big” day? What precautions should you take? Learn what you need to do to get ready—mentally and physically—for your root canal. 

Can I Drink or Smoke Prior to My Root Canal?   

Sorry, but you’re going to want to avoid your vices for at least 12 hours prior to the procedure. You should also expect to avoid alcohol and smoking for at least a few days after your root canal. Both can slow down the healing process.

Smoking, in particular, has been shown to be a risk factor for post-operative inflammation and infection. If you smoke, we recommend you pick up nicotine replacement patches prior to your root canal.

Can I Eat or Drink Before My Root Canal?

Yes, it’s fine to eat and drink before your root canal. It’s actually probably a good idea, because after the root canal, your mouth will still be numb so it’ll be difficult to taste and enjoy food.

However, there is one caveat—if you are having IV sedation during your root canal, you’ll want to avoid eating or drinking anything (including water) for 8 hours prior to surgery. These activities can cause life-threatening complications. If you forget and slip up, tell your dentist prior to your root canal.

Should I Take Pain Medication Prior to My Root Canal?

While it isn’t strictly necessary, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or anti-pain medication can help. Typically it’s a good idea to take the recommended dosage of ibuprofen or Naprosyn on the day of your appointment but before doing so, please consult with your primary dentist.

Should I Get Someone to Drive Me Home from My Root Canal Appointment?

In most cases, you are not going to need someone to drive you home following your root canal appointment. The only exception is if you are given a narcotic pain medication or a sedative. These can cause drowsiness, making it unsafe for you to drive. In that case, you’ll want to arrange for other transportation.

How Can I Mentally Prepare for My Root Canal?

The best way to prepare yourself for your root canal is to talk yourself off the ledge. We’re kidding—a little—but you want to remind yourself that this is a very common procedure that we perform all the time, and it has a very, very high success rate.

All of the horror stories you’ve heard about root canals are based on the root canals of decades past—with modern medication, root canals are now a relatively painless, simple procedure.

So, we suggest you try to put your fears to rest and get a good night’s sleep the evening before your appointment—doing so will have you in the best possible shape for your root canal!

And speaking of root canals, if you’re experiencing tooth pain—or are just due for a checkup—we encourage you to set up an appointment online with Grandview Dental. You can also call us at 614.486.7378.  We’re pleased to offer evening appointments for your convenience.