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What should one expect after a root canal?

When you leave the dentist's office after having a root canal, the most serious after-effect you're likely to experience is some pain and sensitivity. The purpose of a root canal is to remove infected or damaged tissue called pulp from the inner portion of a tooth. After the procedure, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen until the discomfort subsides, usually within a few days. During that time, you should try to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth where the tooth was repaired. Complications after a root canal are unusual, but they can include inflammation and infection. See your dentist immediately if you develop severe swelling, pain, or other symptoms.
Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort. If you are still experiencing pain weeks after a root canal, contact your dentist right away. You may need follow-up treatment.  

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.