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Fear I may need Root Canal



Junior member
Jan 4, 2018
Oregon, USA
So I had a filling done November 27 2017 and had issues with bite pressure, hot and cold, and it ended up just needing filed down some cause it was too high. They did an x-ray and everything. Fast forward to now, and I’m still having sensitivity issues with cold and mild sensitivity to hot, but significant enough that I don’t like to chew on that side. Its not sensitive to hot liquid, mostly just food but I know heat sensitivity often means it’s time for a root canal. I’ve never had one and it took all my strength just to get into to get my fillings done. I’m so scared that the filling caused my nerve to inflame. It doesn’t hurt other than the cold/hot when eating but I’m not sure if that means I’m in the clear. I’m just so panicked. I was so proud of myself for getting my fillings done (this was also the smallest filling so it’s odd this is the one acting up) and now I may have to get a root canal and I don’t know how to ease my anxiety.

I have PTSD and OCD so I’m already susceptible to panic attacks and going to the dentist just exacerbates both. Also noted I can’t take the “calming” medicines.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jun 14, 2012
Massachusetts, USA
Hi. First, I think it can sometimes take some time for a tooth to settle. I would avoid ‘testing’ it with cold/hot foods or pressure to see if it will just calm down on its own. I’ve had 4 root canals and 1 retreatment and each time the pain before was unbearable. If your not in pain all the time, if it’s not getting worse, and if it’s not waking you at night, you’re almost certainly ok to wait it out in the hopes that it will settle. If you do end up needing a root canal, I can tell you that, for me and many others, they feel easier than fillings because there are gentler and quieter. I’ve always had way less pain after than I did before - mostly, I’ve been pain free after. I know that the fear of the unknown can be the worst, but if you read some stories on here, you might be able to ease your fears some.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.