Dentist | Endodontics Questions Root Canal

How should I prepare for my root canal?

I am 19 years old, and I'm going to have a root canal tomorrow. How should I prepare for my root canal? Should I eat or avoid certain foods?

17 Answers

There is nothing to do to prepare for root canal therapy.
There are no pre-treatment precautions (other than don't drink alcohol too much the day before and day of).
No special preparation other than taking any antibiotics the doctor may have given you.
Nothing special at all. It is usually a good idea to take 400-600 mg of ibuprofen an hour before the appointment.
There's nothing you need to avoid aside from cocaine and other street drugs that can cause a life threatening reaction in combination with anesthetic used to numb the tooth so you can have a comfortable experience. Tonight you can prop yourself up so you are not laying completely flat and it can help with the pain caused from the pressure of an infection in the tooth.
I prefer my patient to start their antibiotics and anti inflammatory meds 2 days prior the procedure, there’s this condition that the tooth is infected and the infection neutralizes the anesthesia, “hot tooth” hardly gets numb.
Avoid super sweet, hot cold and spicy foods in order not to stimulate the tooth.
As long as you are not being sedated, there are no eating or drinking restrictions. I sometimes advise taking a pre surgery dose of ibuprofen to help with post op pain. You can take 400-600 milligrams one hour before your root canal.
If your dentist prescribed antibiotic, take them the way they were prescribed. Make sure you eat breakfast the morning of your appointment. You don't want to have low blood sugar and you'll be numb for a couple of hours after the procedure. You don't want to eat hard foods on the side of the compromised tooth as this tooth is more susceptible to fracture.
There are no special preparations for doing a root canal. You only have to prepare if you are doing it under sedation. Root canal treatment is no different than getting a filling. You hear the horror stories about root canals when they are being completed under emergency situations where you can't get numb.

Just stay away from eating hard crunchy foods tonight. Try a little rinsing with warm salt water and take some Advil or Ibuprofen prior to alleviate the discomfort tomorrow. You should be fine and feel a lot better after the root canal is completed.
Good luck! 
No special preparation is necessary, unless your dentist has directed you to follow certain precautions. Sometimes you may be instructed to take an antibiotic prior to the root canal or to avoid chewing on the tooth to be treated. If you haven't been told anything by your dentist, no worries.
There is no special preparation for a root canal. Unfortunately they have a bad rap, but most root canals are very uneventful. If I could recommend anything, bring your favorite music or podcast to listen to as sometimes a root canal can be long and boring.

Hope this helps,

Jossi Stokes, DDS
That is a great question. Although there is not really a formal recipe for preparing for a root canal, I would not consume any alcohol. Sometimes that can have an adverse effect on the anesthetic. The root canal procedure is much like having a filling except it takes longer. I have had 3. You can do it.
For my patients, no special preparation. If the appointment is just before lunch or dinner, eat first or else wait until the anesthetic wears off before eating. There should be nothing hard in your diet (nuts, ice cubes, rock candy, un-popped popcorn shells etc) afterward so that you don't crack the tooth. I tell my patients to take 2 ibuprofen (advil) 20 minutes before the appointment so that is already in your system before the post-op discomfort starts. Aspirin or Naproxen Sodium (Aleve) would work too for those who can take it. Check with your endodontist if they have any specific recommendations before your appointment for your particular case.
Just relax and trust the clinician.
No preparation is needed!! Eating beforehand is a good idea b/c you will be numb after. And bring headphones if you want to relax with your own tunes!

Brett E. Gilbert, D.D.S.
There is no specific preparation before your root canal, unless you have a specific medical condition that requires pre-medicating with antibiotics such as an artificial joint or a congenital heart defect. You can eat any type of food you wish. After the root canal, you should try to avoid chewing on the tooth that had the root canal for at least 2-3 days.