If you're getting your first root canal, you may be wondering what to expect. Regardless of whether you're nineteen, ninety, or somewhere in between, this process can be scary, but don't worry, it's a completely routine procedure, and you can make the process even easier with a bit of extra prep.

1. Make a Pain Management Plan With Your Dentist

Talk with your dentist about your options for managing pain during and after the treatment. Most dentists use Novocaine, which is a topical anesthetic that prevents you from feeling anything during the procedure. However, if you think that you may be bothered by the noise of the dental equipment, you may also want to opt for nitrous oxide. You can inhale this gas, and it helps you to relax mentally. If you have a lot of anxiety, you may want to look into sedation dentistry. Your dentist can let you know the best post-op pain medications for you.

2. Consult With Your Dentist About Aspirin if Necessary

If you take aspirin or any other anticoagulants, that can make it hard to heal after a root canal or any other type of dental surgery. To be on the safe side, talk to your dentist if you take these medications on a regular basis. If you only take aspirin or similar medications occasionally, try not to take them before your procedure.

3. Wear Comfortable, Casual Clothing

Root canals can take an hour or even longer in some cases. To stay relaxed, you may want to wear comfortable clothing. For instance, if you are going to your root canal from work, you may want to pack an extra outfit. Also, wear something that you don't mind getting soiled. Most dentists place a paper bib on you during the procedure, but if something accidentally splashes on your shirt to the side of the bib, you don't want it to stain a nice outfit.

4. Set Up Some Recovery Time

Talk to your dentist about what to expect in terms of recovery time. If absolutely needed, you can return to work. Novocaine wears off immediately, and it isn't mentally impairing so you can drive after having it. However, there may be swelling and discomfort. If possible, you may want to carve out some time away from work or away from the kids, and you may want to have some soft foods and a new Netflix series to binge watch as you recover.

To learn more about preparing for your first root canal, contact a dentist. If you have pain and need immediate treatment, call an emergency dentist.