Can You Drive After a Root Canal?

Dentists use local anesthesia to reduce pain and discomfort during root canals, but sometimes the effects of anesthesia linger long after the procedure. Patients may feel slightly dizzy, disoriented, or have difficulty focusing after the procedure.

This raises the question of whether driving after a root canal is a good idea. So, can and should you drive after a root canal? Driving after a root canal is safe, provided you don't feel light-headed. Keep reading to learn more about driving after a root canal in West Bend.

What Is a Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure where the dentist accesses the infected or damaged nerve of a tooth. The dentist then removes the infected tissue, replacing it with a special filling material to protect the tooth from further decay.

Dentists administer root canals when the cavity is too deep, and infection has spread to the tooth's pulp. If left untreated, a root canal causes pain and swelling and can spread to the surrounding teeth.

When Is a Root Canal Necessary?

The dentist will examine your teeth to determine whether a root canal is necessary. Here are some telltale signs you need a root canal:

  • Severe pain when you bite down on a tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the gums
  • Discoloration of the affected tooth
  • Chronic bad breath or taste

The above signs are just indicators that you may need a root canal. Only a licensed dentist can tell for sure whether you need one.

When Should I Drive After a Root Canal?

People react differently to anesthesia. Some people can comfortably drive immediately after their procedure, while others have to wait a bit longer. You can drive after your root canal if:

  • You feel lively and alert
  • You have full range of motion and can operate the pedals
  • You can focus and concentrate on the road adequately
  • Your eyesight is clear, and you can see properly

Most people can hop in their cars and drive home a few minutes or hours after their procedure. However, we advise bringing someone else to the root canal to drive you home.

When Should I Not Drive After a Root Canal?

Here are some signs you shouldn't drive:

  • You feel dizzy and disoriented
  • You have double or blurred vision
  • You experience numbness or tingling in the limbs
  • Your reflexes are slow

If you feel any of the above, it's best to call an Uber to drive you home. Otherwise, you might put yourself and others in danger.

Safety Over Convenience

It's normal to feel eager to get back home after a root canal. But it's still important to exercise caution when driving afterward. Even if you don't feel the effects of anesthesia, you should wait until you're completely comfortable behind the wheel before attempting to drive. Also, avoid inept dentists who use too much anesthesia, and impair your driving ability.

At Oakbrook Dental, we only use the best and correct amount of anesthesia, so you can drive home comfortably after your root canal procedure. Contact us today to book an appointment!