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Bottom Freezing and Root Canals



Jun 7, 2014
So 2 different kinda topics/questions on this. . . . First off - 4 years ago I had a bottom one of my teeth filled and the freezing hurt an insane amount. I have another cavity in the bottom that needs filled and I guess it is bad enough they won’t do it without freezing like I was hoping. Does it always hurt a lot to freeze the bottom? I’m literally terrified that it’s going to hurt again and I’ll go into a panic attack like last time. Also, I might need a root canal on the top. I never had one before and am wondering what the process is for that? Does it hurt and how long do they take? Super nervous about this to and not sure if I’ll be able to handle it all.
Hi needlephobic,

if that was your experience, it's no surprise how worried you are. Generally it shouldn't be that way, it is possible to do a comfortable freezing pretty much everywhere with the right technique (you can read more about it here) I guess you were really unlucky last time. You didn't mention how the dentist dealt with you being in pain, but it sounds to me like you just tried to get over with and the dentist went on. This really doesn't have to be that way.

My suggestion is to have a chat with your dentist, let them know how the last experience was for you and ask them how can they ensure that you stay comfortable this time. Also, stop signals go for freezing too so it may be a good idea to agree on one and use it should anything feel unpleasant or should you notice your anxiety raising. In my experience, having this piece of control (and maybe using the stop signal during the freezing even if you don't need it) can raise your confidence in a huge way.

Top root canals are not that different to the bottom when it comes to the duration and your overall experience. Anything particular that worries you here?

All the best wishes
Thanks so much for your reply Enarete! It’s helpful to know that shouldn’t always be the case with freezing and hopefully that means this won’t be as bad as the last time. When it comes to the root canal I guess my fear comes from not knowing what’s going to be happening through it. I’ve never had one so I don’t know how it’s done or what might trigger my anxiety or even cause me to go into a panic attack. I’ve done lots of fillings before so I know what to expect and what makes me anxious, but with this I’m not going to have any clue until it happens.
Thanks for the explanation. Uncertainty makes nervous and if you never had a root canal before, it is understandable that you are more nervous now. If I got you right, at this stage you are not sure whether you will need it at all, right? Will the dentist tell you at your appointment during the filling? Root canal treatment is pretty much like a logner, more boring filling with an x-ray at the end. What parts of a filling make you anxious?
Of course! I appreciate you asking. I had an appointment earlier this week to have a few easier fillings done. They seem confident in the fact a filling will not fix the last one and a root canal is the only option to save it. We will make the call next appointment. As for what triggers my anxiety during fillings it is the freezing to start then I can usually relax and stay calm until they go to put the band in when the cavity is between teeth. I had a really bad experience in the past related to this - warning for others who do not want to know this - When they attempted to take it out it got completely stuck and it needed to be drilled out and the filling had to be entirely redone. Apparently the team had never seen this happen before and I’m the only one so I should mention this really rare but still freaks me out it could happen again at anytime. Other than that I’m fairly alright and nothing else is too too bad!
Wow, what an experience, my heart goes to you. I see how you don‘t like the band now. If it helps, there shouldn‘t be a band this time - the dentist should get into the tooth from the top and close it from there. Also the freezing shouldn‘t be any different than for a filling. We actually have an article about a root canal treatment here @brit, one of our admins writes about her experience with it.