• Welcome! This is a forum for anyone who is affected by a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    We are lucky to count a number of dentists among our members and moderators. Look out for the "Verified dentist" badges. If you are a dental professional who likes to help, please join our community!

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Complicated root canal, abscess and pain during treatment



Junior member
Feb 11, 2021

I have a horrible hear of dentists which has come from years of treatment and pain during procedures.

I am currently undergoing root canal treatment on two bottom front teeth which were hit in an accident years ago. The worst one showed an infection on xray and so I was told needed a root canal as did the tooth next to it. So after 3 long appointments my dentist admitted they were making no progress on the worst tooth, the roots were blocked, but the other tooth was progressing slow but ok. These treatments were bearable, I needed a lot of local anesthetic but it was ok. While waiting for my fourth appointment an abscess appeared, it's painful and bleeding/has puss coming out.

So in my fourth appointment (this week) they used anesthetic, and drained the access. During this I felt no pain, it was ok. My dentist then started on the root canal. However as soon as he started to put the needles in I could feel awful pain which terrified me. My dentist stopped and said he was going to put another injection "into" my tooth which he did. He tried again and the pain was the same, he waited 10 minutes but still the same. By this point I had tears rolling down my face and was shaking in fear.

He put a temporary filling and said he was stopping. He said the abscess was blocking the anesthetic and I would have to have the worst tooth extracted before they could try the root canal again. He said I would need IV sedation or gas and air because I was so stressed and nervous.

I have some questions and I would be so grateful of any advice.

Will I feel pain if I have an IV sedation or gas and air?
Can they do a root canal and the extraction at the same time?
He says they will fit a Maryland bridge after the extraction, but how can they do this if I need a root canal still?
How long after the extraction will I have to wait to have the bridge fitted?

Thanks you so much to anyone for reading this, I would be so grateful for advice as I am so scared now. Mostly of the pain, but also the unknown.


Staff member
Verified dentist
Oct 25, 2005
Your perfectly reasonable questions would be much better addressed to your dentist. You would get better answers from him :) Can you contact him by e-mail if you don't want to speak to him?

1) It's less likely. You will be more relaxed (obviously) and thus your heart rate, blood pressure etc are much reduced, so the local anaesthetic won't be getting washed away from the area so quickly. It also changes your perception of pain so you're less likely to feel it. Gas and air has a pain reducing effect, hence why they use it in the labour suite.

2) Yes probably (hard to say without knowing exactly what's planned)

3) I don't know without knowing exactly what's planned

4) I don't know without knowing exactly what's planned