Can You Drive Right After Having a Root Canal Procedure?


Plan ahead for your root canal therapy to ensure a smooth experience. It’s best to have someone accompany you and drive you home. However, we understand that emergencies happen and sometimes you may have to go alone. In most cases, you will be able to drive home after your procedure. However, there are a few factors to consider.

When it’s safe to drive:

  • If you have a high tolerance for pain and can concentrate well, you should be able to drive.
  • For complex procedures or if you had other oral treatments that required a long time in the chair, you may feel tired or have a headache, which can affect your ability to drive safely.

When someone else should drive:

  • If you have an allergic reaction to the anesthetic used, such as lidocaine.
  • If sedation or general anesthesia was used, you should not drive for 12-24 hours after the procedure.
  • If you are prescribed narcotics for pain relief, they can cause drowsiness and impair your reaction times. This may be the case if you experience severe anxiety, have a strong gag reflex, or have cognitive impairments. Additionally, if you underwent multiple procedures during your visit, it’s best to have someone else drive.

When it’s safe to drive:

  • If only local anesthetic was used, you can drive shortly after the procedure.
  • If you feel dizzy or nauseous after the root canal, wait until you are feeling better before driving.

When you can return to work:

  • Typically, you can go back to work on the same day if only local anesthetic was used. However, if you feel tired or drained, it’s best to take a day off.

When you can resume other activities:

  • Avoid strenuous exercise for 1-2 days.
  • You can walk or ride an exercise bike after the root canal.
  • Wait until the numbness wears off before eating.
  • Avoid hot and hard foods, and stick to soft foods like eggs, pasta, and soups.
  • It’s best to avoid alcohol, especially if you are taking narcotics.
  • Brush and floss your teeth as usual.

Possible complications:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Temporary filling falling out

If you experience any of these complications, please contact Fifth Avenue Endodontics immediately. Book your appointment today for a safe and effective root canal therapy experience.