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Can you take breaks during root canal?

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brownbag1

Junior member
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Messages
5
Hello everyone. I'm hoping that you can help me with a couple of questions I have. I recently had a replacement filling in a molar, it was quite a deep filling and my dentist said to monitor it. This was almost two weeks ago and everything seems fine. The problem I seem to have is that every now and then I feel a minute twinge. Nothing crazy, sometimes I don't notice it, but it's there. I can eat on it, its fine with hot or cold (a tiny bit sensitive but nothing to write home about). The problem I have is that i'm due to go on holiday in around a week and I don't want to go and have problems with my teeth. Is there a reason for the sporadic twinges? If it has been okay for two weeks am I safe to assume the likelihood is that the root is okay?


Finally, and probably my biggest concern relates to having the root canal. I suffer from panic attacks when at the dentist but usually I find whenever I have a break during treatment then I cope a lot better. Anyway the thought of having root canal on a molar can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half, sometimes longer from what I have read. I don't think I could cope very well and would like to know whether the dentist would allow me to take a break (as in get up and walk around for 5 minutes, not just sit in the chair). I'm aware of dental dam protection etc but would they be able to remove it and re clean the tooth? I'm hoping that they would be able to let me have a break between cleaning each canal, I would feel much better about it. Thank you.
 
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Thephilsblogbar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
672
Location
United Kingdom
When I had a my root canal re-done in 2016 my dentist allowed me to have a short pause (I did not walk around) however I was given a paddled cover pillow to make it easier for me, had she given me a paddled duvet I would have been able to have a little kip.
 
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brownbag1

Junior member
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Messages
5
When I had a my root canal re-done in 2016 my dentist allowed me to have a short pause (I did not walk around) however I was given a paddled cover pillow to make it easier for me, had she given me a paddled duvet I would have been able to have a little kip.
Thanks for the response. Ideally I have to get up and walk around. It's in a big shopping centre and it clears my head (I suppose that's technically what they're doing!) to have 5 minutes outside and then go back in. I just don't know if this is something that's allowed in root canal. It's fine when I have a filling or any other treatment, I just don't know if root canal is different.
 
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MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,178
I had the exact same thing with my tooth, where it was a deep filling and the dentist warned me it may end up needing a root canal. I also had a trip coming up where I was traveling quite a distance. About a week and a half after the filling, I had a tingling sensation in my jaw, but no pain, or sensitivity to heat and cold. I called the dentist and she said an infection may be brewing and gave me an antibiotic prescription, so that I wouldn't have pain while out of state. It was a full month after the filling before the pain got worse...not excruciating, but twinges like you said.
I went to an endodontist and they did the percussion test and that hurt! Ended up needing a root canal.
As far as breaks, I have no idea, but I would guess no since they have to keep it sterile while they are working. I opted for conscious sedation as I get super anxious as well
 
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assertives

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
76
I've not had a root canal before but my guess is no too. Maybe they could let you take a break and lie there for a bit but definitely not walking around. The root canal is done to remove all infected tissues and bacteria and then seal the space so bacteria don't get into the canals and reinfect you again. The rubber dam prevents the bacteria in the mouth from getting into the canals as the endodontist disinfects the canals along with cleaning them out. So I don't think it's likely you get to get up and walk around. Perhaps it might help if you get it done with conscious sedation?
 
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brownbag1

Junior member
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Messages
5
Thanks everyone. Absolutely gutted I wont be able to get up from the entire procedure, I just won't cope!
 
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TeethScheisse

Junior member
Joined
Jul 10, 2018
Messages
14
Just from my experience: almost 10 years ago, my old dentist did let me take a break. Now this was not under IV sedation or nitrous, just Valium. I went outside for a few minutes and ended up seeing the dentist out there smoking. I couldn't help but laugh, so did he. If it helps at all, remember that the dentist is a person just like yourself. :) I can say the break didn't really help though because it means seeing the chair and tools twice, yikes. You'll do fine either way!
 
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brownbag1

Junior member
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Messages
5
Just from my experience: almost 10 years ago, my old dentist did let me take a break. Now this was not under IV sedation or nitrous, just Valium. I went outside for a few minutes and ended up seeing the dentist out there smoking. I couldn't help but laugh, so did he. If it helps at all, remember that the dentist is a person just like yourself. :) I can say the break didn't really help though because it means seeing the chair and tools twice, yikes. You'll do fine either way!
Thank you. I usually take propranolol 80mg an hour before, this usually stops me from shaking and helps reduce panic attacks from flaring up. I don't mind having to see the chair and tools, it's like I have pressed the reset button and the timer starts again. To be honest, the thought of being able to get up and move around is more important to me than actually doing it. Thanks again.
 
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MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,178
Another thought I had was that maybe they could do it in two visits, instead of one. Mine ended up being complicated and she stopped, packed the tooth up, and scheduled another appointment. Maybe if you tell them your fears, and the longest you can sit at one time, they can work with you. Mine wasn't supposed to be two stages...she wasn't finished cleaning it out, but needed more time.
 
drhirst

drhirst

Super Moderator
Verified dentist
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
675
Location
Welwyn Garden City, UK
Hi Brownbag1,

The twinges you are getting are normal for a tooth that has had a deep filling. They actually sound very mild so the chances are excellent that you will be fine for your holiday. One can never be 100% certain but the odds are very good. As to the cause, I would think it inflammation occurring within the nerve as it tries to heal itself. The degree of inflammation varies so sometimes you feel it and sometimes you don't.

As regards taking breaks during the root canal treatment, there is no reason why you cannot be accomodated. Some temporary filling could be placed in the tooth and the rubber dam removed. It all depends on how much empathy your dentist has. Sure, it is more efficient for him to just crack on with it, but if someone asked me to tailor treatment for them in this way I would have no problem. My tip would be to tell the dentist in advance rather than spring it on him on the day so he can ensure that he has sufficient time to accommodate the break. I have one patient who often needs to do this just after we give him the local. He goes out the building and walks around the streets then plonks himself back in the chair and tells me to go for it. It adds an element of excitement to the day wondering if he will actually come back!

Enjoy your trip

Lincoln
 
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brownbag1

Junior member
Joined
Jul 9, 2018
Messages
5
Thank you so much for your response, it meant the world to me. I feel so much better now, thank you. The good news is that my tooth doesn’t seem to have got any worse, I can still eat and drink hot and cold and just the occasional twinge sometimes after eating, sometimes on random occasions. I will certainly speak to my dentist and follow your advice and I will update you on how I get on so that it can be of use to anyone else in the future. Thank you once again.
 
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