After an intense root canal procedure, the only thing running across most people’s minds is to hurry back home and rest. But given the nature of the treatment, getting out on the road might not be the best idea. The pain could serve as a major distraction, causing serious trouble for yourself and others.
Perhaps that is why our patients often ask us, “Can you drive after a root canal?” to which we always answer with: yes. However, whether or not it is a good idea depends on the intensity of the procedure and the type of anesthesia used.
The Root Canal Process
Root canal therapy is a dental treatment that clears the bacteria attacking your tooth. When a dental cavity worsens, it starts to dig deeper, harming the bundle of nerves inside the tooth. However, if left untreated, this can cause the tooth to fall out. Ultimately, a root canal prevents the bacteria from damaging the tooth and its surrounding areas.
Moreover, depending on how badly affected the tooth is, your dentist will administer local anesthesia or provide a stronger dose to ensure no pain is felt during the procedure. The extraction process will start with the dentist drilling a hole inside the tooth and then carefully removing the bacteria-ridden pulp. Next, they will check all the canals inside the tooth, making sure there are no traces of leftover bacteria.
Once the main part is dealt with, the dentist will disinfect and clean the rest of the tooth before sealing it with a filling or topping it off with a crown.
Can You Drive After Root Canal?
Technically, you can drive after a root canal, but it is advised not to. Based on your pain tolerance and the amount of anesthesia administered, you might not be in the best state to drive on your own. In fact, the dentist might tell you beforehand to bring someone on the day of the surgery to assist you.
Not to mention, if you were put under general anesthesia instead of local anesthesia, you would not be able to do anything afterward. The dentist might also issue narcotics as pain relievers, which is yet another reason why you can not drive after a root canal.
Even for patients who deal with severe dental anxiety or have a strong gag reflex, driving is not an option, especially if other dental procedures are performed before the root canal.
Long Story Short
To summarize, driving after a root canal is only safe if local anesthesia is used. In any other case, it is recommended not to partake in activities that require a lot of physical effort. Plus, just because you can drive doesn’t mean you should. Even if you are in good shape post-op, you could easily get distracted by the pain while driving, putting yourself and others at risk.
Nevertheless, for more information, feel free to contact Smiles on Greatwood at (281) 937-7530. You can also visit us inside the Greatwood Professional Center at 19875 Southwest Fwy #120, Sugar Land, TX 77479.