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Awful experience root canal



Feb 16, 2021
I have been having problems with an upper molar for weeks. It turns out it is infected and I had the first part of root canal treatment today. Due to anxiety I always have anaesthetic without epinephrine. I have had root canal treatment in the past with it and it’s been fine. Today wasn’t. It was genuinely awful. It was numb for cold water spray and the drill. But then the canals being cleaned were so painful. It’s the same dentist who I have had for ages and he’s always been brilliant. He said it’s probably because the tooth was so infected. One of the canals bled quite a bit when he went into it so he said he may need to extract it. I am in pain intermittently tonight, quite intense pain for 15-30 Mins that then settles for a few hours.
My big worry now is if it needs extraction will I feel the pain of the extraction if the infection is still there? Is that because I have non epinephrine anaesthetic? I think I metabolise it quickly as I wasn’t even slightly numb by the time I drove home. I’m in an awful place tonight mentally, I’ve been in pain for weeks. Feeling pain during treatment has set me back so much re facing being in the chair again.
My big worry now is if it needs extraction will I feel the pain of the extraction if the infection is still there?
Oddly enough, no. It's weird but it seems not to be an issue. The bleeding would indicate that there was a "hot pulp" in there which is under very high pressure, so the local wouldn't get into the area inside the tooth where the nerve was signalling. You don't need to have that happen during an extraction but hopefully the dentist has cleaned out enough of the hot pulp to let it numb next time.

Is that because I have non epinephrine anaesthetic?
No. See above.

I think I metabolise it quickly as I wasn’t even slightly numb by the time I drove home.
Because of the pain/nervousness, your pulse was no doubt racing, your blood pressure was in orbit as well and so the local was being washed away super quickly.
@Gordon thank you for taking the time to reply to me again! That’s reassuring. I’m really gutted that it’s set me back in my fear so much as I’d make a lot of progress. I did think today that my anxiety being at the forefront means I make decisions that make things worse for me (the Epi free anaesthesia!). I am considering asking for a temazepam and trying to just have normal local anaesthetic as it definitely numbs better and lasts longer. Do you think that would be better for an extraction in an infected tooth? Thanks.
You've still made a lot of progress, getting through a difficult procedure like the other day and still being prepared to go back is really positive, you're entitled to feel apprehensive about it going forward, you'd be superhuman if you didn't :)

Temazepam as a premed is a good idea, as above, it'll slow your pulse and drop your BP so the local will work better. Make sure you have an escort to drive you to and from your appointment though :) And go straight home afterwards, I've seen what happens when somebody who's had Temazepam goes shopping :)

Epi or not isn't a huge factor, there are excellent non-epi locals about now.
@Gordon. Thanks for the reply. Yes I would do that re having a lift, though I’m curious what the shopper bought under the temazepam influence?!!
I just hope I can get back through the door without having a massive panic. I need to start seeing it as you said, I got through it, it did hurt but only for a few seconds and it didn’t kill me!
I think amongst other items were a pair of very fetching (!) bright purple corduroy trousers and a lime green blouse. Not a great look for a late-middle aged lady. (Waits for an angry horde of middle aged ladies to call me out on my lack of fashion sense...).
Sadly somewhere along the way they'd lost the receipt, had no clue from whence they had purchased them and were stuck with no means of returning them.
Oh and she sent a taxi driver on a 40 mile round trip to buy her a box of Krispy Kreme donuts, being highly surprised when he turned up later on that evening :)
@Gordon crikey! I definitely wouldn’t be up for shopping, I think I’ll just need to sit in a dark room. My tooth and the surrounding ones have lots of little ulcers and swelling today so hopefully I can get in touch with the dentist on Tuesday as the pain is so intense when it comes.
Some folks get sleepy and others just turn into budgies :)

On the other hand, I do like a donut (even Krispy Kremes at a pinch!).

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