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Failed root canal extraction panic



Well-known member
Oct 13, 2022
So about 26 yrs ago I had to have a root canal done due to an injury. About 17 yrs ago it had a porcelain crown put on and now it has failed miserably. I struggled with anxiety and put it off and off and off. The tooth next to it we found out is dead so I need a root canal there (but maybe that's a topic for another day). What exactly happens during the extraction? My dentist explained it's not different from a normal extraction but with some extra steps because of the crown. I think she saw my eyes glaze over in fear so we switched to cavity fillings instead. i know they'll have to do a bone graft which I'm not nearly as terrified over (for now) as the whole extraction thing. I'm not afraid of the actual dentist, she's really very nice but can someone explain in very gentle terms what she will do? Also I can't be put under GA for PTSD reasons.
Puzzled, when I do it, it's exactly the same as a regular extraction. Local anaesthetic, loosen things off with a luxator (a handy little tool that cuts through the periodontal ligament), wiggle the root out. Sometimes the crown comes off when you start wiggling the root, sometimes not. Doesn't really matter...
@Gordon omg thank you so much for answering. This really helped me decide which dentist I would go with.

One dentist made it sound like it was some super complicated surgery and it made me really question their ability to explain anything (they also gave off a snooty creepy vibe but they had come highly recommend so I gave them a try). My dentist (though she just has a small starting practice) told me it wasn't anything particularly different from any extraction and of course it is different for me as a person because I'd never had one, but it's not a unique procedure.

Luxator (as a word) sounds terrifying but I did wonder how they'd cut through anything holding it down. I'm wondering if my dentist meant the use of the luxator or the whole cleaning the area of infection etc as the extra steps since my only experience with extraction was when I had a baby tooth that refused to move out as a child and apparently that came out with one confident tug. Again thank you.
I think Luxator sounds like some kind of Ancient Egyptian deity, but that's just my weird brain in action.
It's pretty routine to use a luxator before pretty much any extraction, not because there's a crown there. Some dentists use something else called an elevator, but it's basically the same idea.
No need to clear out any infection after the tooth is gone, your own body can manage that very nicely.
@Gordon actually that makes it sound waaaaay less terrifying. The whole Egyptian thing. The tooth being prepared for its trip to the city of Luxor.

Elevator just sounds funny. "One tooth come up!" And somehow I've now imagined my dentist dressed up as 1920 bellhop talking to the tool which has morphed into a small elevator operator. I have a strange imagination, sometimes it produces comedic relief and others not so comedic.

These ideas will definitely come in handy in the near future!
Elevator just sounds funny. "One tooth come up!" And somehow I've now imagined my dentist dressed up as 1920 bellhop talking to the tool which has morphed into a small elevator operator.
:) Sounds like our brains would get along great.

We call elevators "lifts" here, are those what Americans put into their shoes to look taller?