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Deep Cleaning, Root Canal, Crown (YIKES AND ADVICE)



Junior member
Nov 6, 2015
Hey guys-
So I did it. I did step 1. I went into the dentist after over 5 years today and it was the hardest thing I've done in a long time. I got so anxious waiting because I could hear the whine of the instruments as I checked in and I almost left. Somehow I managed not to but things got worse before they got better because I had a whole comprehensive exam and I had to listen as my dentist dictated notes to her assistant (tooth # needs such and such.) The list seemed to go on and on and on. And in there I heard the dreaded words: ROOT CANAL. By this point I was sweating rivers and I had to ask them to stop so I could breathe.

In summary: I need a deep cleaning because I have gum disease (hearing that was harder hitting than a root canal)
The root canal itself (which will need a crown?)
And 6-7 fillings.

My dentists recommended doing the cleaning over 2 visits, waiting a month for the gums to heal, then proceeding with the root canal. I like this plan because of the baby steps involved - I like the month break best - but I'm scared to ask for more info on these procedures.

Can someone who's gone through these things please let me know what they think of them. What to expect and how to deal with the panic of multiple visits? Also, gum disease?!? This is terrifying to me. :cry:
I've had root canals, crowns, and fillings. What do you want to know about them?
Basically how it went for you - how long it took, if it hurt at all, what the recovery was like and how you got yourself in the door to do it in the first place
I'll go one thing at a time:

Fillings: I've had too many to count. It probably takes about 10 minutes to get numb and then 10-20 minutes per filling depending on the tooth and how much decay there is. Not painful at all and I was able to go back to eating normally as soon as I was no longer numb.

Crowns: usually take about 90 minutes for the first visit and 15-30 for the second one. During the first visit they take an impression for the crown, grind down the tooth to take out any decay and also make room for the crown, and place a temporary crown (some dentists have a machine that makes the permanent the same day, but I've never had that). You don't feel anything during the appointment, but after, your gums may be a little sore from some work they do at the gum line to ensure the crown will fit well. Ibuprofen will help with this.

Root Canals: mine have all be on 2nd molars and have all taken about 90 minutes. I haven't felt any pain and I've also not had any pain after (except for one I had retreated, but the pain was due to a lingering infection and was still less than before the root canal).

In terms of how I got in the door... I've had a long journey to get to this place. Here's a link to my 'success story': https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/forum/threads/a-long-time-coming.19860/

I have found a really great dentist who has helped me to get through all of the work I've needed - even if he hasn't been the one doing all of it. I've done the best I can to manage my anxiety and have reminded myself how much better I'll feel once a given appointment is over.

I'm happy to answer any other questions you have. Hang in there!
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I never had a root canal yet, but deep cleaning and feelings are easy just make sure they get you numb, I go for 3 cavities in a month. I would not suggest anymore then 2 or 3 at a time with cavities. Dont youtube anything I have heard about root canals but the others arent bad just a little soreness listen to dentist at home care instructions as it well help. try to get insurance card there early if you have dental insurance
Do NOT youtube, google, or research in any way a root canal. Just don't. I don't say that because it is awful, I say that because it will make you think it is. I speak from experience.
I had a root canal this week and a two-week melt down about having a root canal before that.
It took a little longer than a filling and I wasn't a fan of my endodontist, but it wasn't anything like the horror story I anticipated. It felt odd at times, but not painful during the procedure. Afterwards, again I would say it felt odd or weird more than painful. I woke up at 5 AM the next morning for a dose of ibuprofen and had no pain or discomfort what so ever. A few days later it was a touch...not even hardly sore, more just like I was 'aware' of that area. Of course that spiraled me into a whole new panic, but it seems fine today.
Root canals do NOT match the horrible reputation they have.
I agree with what the others have said. I have no experience with deep cleanings.

Fillings are pretty easy and do not take very long. Once you are numb (which should not be a painful injection), you will only feel some vibration at the most while they remove the decay (and it's very noisy)...other than that sometimes you experience a bit of pressure if the cavity is between 2 teeth because of a special band they put around the tooth to build back up the side wall of the tooth with filling material.

I just had my first root canal and crown a couple months ago (March/April) and I was freaking out about the root canal but honestly it was fine. It takes much longer than a filling but once I was numb I was offered virtual reality glasses and ear buds to watch a movie. I pretty much zoned out while they did their thing. You feel lots of vibration as they clean out the canals of the tooth but I had no pain at all. I had heard many horror stories from coworkers before my procedure but it didn't seem much different to me than a filling other than it took way longer. If I had to do it again, I would not be afraid to go back.

The crown was sorta the same deal...Once you are numb there is lots of vibrations as they shape the tooth and then there is a lot of biting down on different things and holding it for a few minutes as they take impressions, etc. The process felt similar to a long filling appointment.

I find distraction helps a lot to calm my nerves. The endodontist who did my root canal tried the virtual reality movie glasses with me and ever since I bring headphones with music to my general dentist and it has made procedures much easier for both her and I! ;D Now she can work in peace without me obsessing about what she's doing in my mouth and I can focus on my music and relax.

Let me know if you have any specific questions about procedures.
Hey! I just had a root canal TODAY!!! I was terrified. They had to give me two tablets of Valium and I cried, which I never do. Anyway it was so easy and PAINLESS! My tooth was decayed a bit and infected hard core. I took antibiotics for a week prior to clear out the infection a bit. Dentistry has really come a long way in 12 years (the last time I seen a dentist due to my intense fear). I didn't even feel the needle during the freezing because now dentists apply a topical cream that numbs your gums before the dreaded needle. All I felt was a tiny bit of pressure and the vibration of the tools. Other than that, it was a breeze. I go back in 3 weeks to get my tooth built up again and I don't even feel like I need Valium this time. You will do fine. If ever I need another root canal, I definitely won't be losing any sleep or my appetite over it. Good luck! You will be so happy to have it done because my toothache is magically gone.