You ask anyone you know about undergoing a root canal procedure and they get horror-stricken, which gets you into full-on panic mode. If medical resources are to be believed, a root canal has gotten this undeserved reputation out of people who experienced pain PRIOR to receiving treatment that only a root canal can solve. Ergo, it's completely unfounded so you can probably relax now and schedule an appointment with your family dentist as soon as possible.
Meantime, here’s how to prepare for a root canal.
Ask your dentist if you could watch a video about how a root canal is performed. By the way, this is your right as a patient. Ask your dentist to educate you about it by giving you a video preview.
Undergo tooth testing to determine if you need a root canal. Your dentist will perform a hot and cold test on the affected tooth to see if a root canal is needed. If the affected tooth exhibits extreme sensitivity for more than 30 seconds, a root canal will be scheduled.
Wear loose and comfortable clothes. Your blood pressure might need to be monitored through the entire procedure that will require you to roll up your shirtsleeves. Apart from this, you need to be as comfortable as you can while seated/reclined in the dentist’s chair.
Do not wear thick or heavy make-up. Come into the procedure as natural as possible. It’s a dental appointment anyway. Most dental clinics give away complimentary make-up kits so wait until the procedure is done to put on your face.
Always follow doctor’s prescriptions. Prior to and after the procedure, you will be asked to take anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-bacterial medication. If you are allergic to any of these, do not take it without doctor’s advice. Always ask for a prescription.
Avoid taking aspirin. Absolutely no aspirin for you 10 days before your scheduled root canal. Aspirin thins your blood making you more susceptible to profuse bleeding.
Don’t chew gum on the affected tooth. This will exacerbate the pain and encourage abscess to build up.
Stick to a soft diet. This will prepare you for the procedure by keeping the affected tooth “rested.” Also, avoid anything sweet and sticky.
Don’t smoke or drink alcohol 12 hours before the root canal procedure. The nicotine and alcohol content will make you intolerant or numb to medication or anesthesia. In other words, they won’t be as effective when the dentist needs to keep the procedure as comfortable for you as possible.
Get enough sleep. Given that this is an outpatient procedure doesn’t mean you have to come in lacking sleep. Get the regimented 8 hours or more so your body is prepared for the procedure. Besides, lack of sleep lowers your blood pressure to unacceptable levels.
Aside from taking your prescription medication post procedure, ask your dentist if you can gargle with warm salt and water to speed up the healing process. See? It’s not so bad at all, right?