Park Place Dentistry provides a top root canal specialist in Orange County. Whether you are looking for a second opinion or are seeking an office that will make you comfortable during your root canal procedure, you can look to our practice to meet your needs.

To really understand a root canal, we should start with the basics of your tooth’s anatomy. Under the enamel of your tooth is a hard layer called dentin. Under the dentin lies the soft tissue, also known as the pulp. The pulp inside your tooth contains nerves and connective tissue, and is responsible for growing your tooth’s root. Once your tooth is fully developed, it doesn’t rely on the pulp for nourishment anymore.

The pulp inside your tooth can become infected or inflamed as a result of decay, faulty crowns, cracks, or other trauma to your tooth. A root canal will repair your tooth by removing the pulp and nerves, cleaning the inside of your tooth, and then sealing it off.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

There is a wide range of signs that could point to a root canal being necessary:

  • Severe tooth pain caused by chewing or pressure
  • Pain or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures (it is normal to feel some sensitivity, but it might be a problem if the sensitivity or pain is prolonged and remains after the source of the temperature is removed)
  • Swelling and tenderness of the gums
  • A recurring pimple on the gums
  • Discoloration of the tooth

Unfortunately, this is not a full list of potential signs and symptoms. In some cases, there are no symptoms present that point to needing a root canal. The best way to know for sure if you need a root canal is to see your dentist regularly for check-ups. At Park Place Dentistry, our root canal specialist in Orange County can help you determine if a root canal would be best for you.

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Is a root canal painful?

Although there is some discomfort associated with a root canal, the procedure itself actually relieves more pain than it causes. Many patients compare a root canal to getting a filling placed, so the discomfort is minor, and you are left with relief from the toothache you may be experiencing.You will receive anesthesia during the procedure. Once it wears off, you may have some soreness in your gums that make it difficult to chew. The nerve endings surrounding your tooth could be temporarily inflamed, so try chewing on the other side of your mouth for a couple of days, if possible. Ask your root canal specialist in Orange County about taking over-the-counter pain medication to help relieve inflammation and discomfort.

If your pain and discomfort isn’t any better after a few days, talk to your dentist.

What can I expect after a root canal?

In general, your root canal specialist in Orange County will be able to tell you what to expect after your root canal based on your health and specific situation.

Here is some of what you can expect after a root canal, outside of standard discomfort:

  • It might be hard to eat while your mouth is still numb for the anesthesia. Your dentist might recommend waiting so that you don’t accidentally bite your tongue or cheek.
  • You can brush and floss your teeth like normal following a root canal in most situations, but if your dentist suggests something different, make sure you follow those instructions.

You should contact your dentist if your mouth starts to swell, if you have an uneven bite, or if you have an allergic reaction to any of the medication you are taking to help with discomfort.

Unfortunately, it is possible for a new infection to surface after your root canal. This may because a crack in the root of the tooth goes undetected, bacteria has gotten past the restoration area and recontaminated, or if the inner sealing material breaks down over time. In these cases, re-treatment or endodontic surgery may be utilized to relieve infection or inflammation. During this type of procedure, the infected tissue (and sometimes part of the root) is removed. A small filling is then placed in order to seal the root canal.

If you suspect that you need further attention following your root canal, you should contact your root canal specialist in Orange County immediately. At Park Place Dentistry, we are available to answer any questions that you may have, provide thorough consultation visits, and answer emergency calls. Don’t hesitate to contact our office when your dental health is on the line. We are ready to help you!