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Getting two root canals today....so scared!!!



Junior member
Sep 28, 2007
I am new to this board, I just posted about needing a total of 3 root canals and that the dentist found 14 cavities on my x-ray.

I really don't believe the 14 cavities I think that is BS, as I went for a cleaning and x-rays a little over a year ago and only 3 cavities were noted which was actually more like the severe decay requiring root canals.  Nothing at all was said about the 14 cavites.

The root canals that I am having done are the left lower molars in the back and they are right next to each other.  I had two of my top left teeth done two and three years ago and it was a terrible experience.  The numbness scared me and made me feel like I couldn't swallow, I was afraid that I would choke on either debris or saliva or my own tongue and I started having terrible panic attacks and felt like I couldn't breathe, I kept having to take deep breaths.  My ex-dentist was a real jerk and kept telling me to get ahold of myself and get over it, and acted totally annoyed with me.  The dental hygenist told me last time when I had my root canal one 2 years ago that maybe next time I should get some nerve pills prescribed.

So this time I am doing that.  The only problem is that I haven't heard back from the dental office yet on if insurance is going to cover both root canals, also what pharmacy to pick up the medicine (they already told me it was Valium).  I have to pick up my kids  from their school and drive 30 mins to my mother's house for her to babysit, she lives 10 mins away from the dentist's office so it is really going to be cutting it close timewise!  :scared:I probably won't even get to take the med until 30 mins before my appointment if I am lucky and I don't know if that will give it enough time to kick in.   Also what if I get too dizzy or drowsy while on the Valium.  I took this when I had a procedure done by a regular physician before and really felt like the Valium did little for me, I was sleepy or kind of groggy but I still felt everything.  

So I am just very scared, I was crying earlier thinking about it and just afraid that I will have a panic attack or do something stupid or just lose control.  Reading up on this phobia has helped me a little bit but only made me realize that I am definitely not alone in feeling this way.  Also I am going to borrow my brother's headphones so I can at least listen to the radio while the dentist is doing the procedure, hopefully this will help me as well.

I just want to get it over with.  If it takes an hour to do one tooth, I guess it will be two or more hours to endure all this...ugh ugh ugh ugh :scared: :sick: :scared:

Any other tips or advice anybody has for me? I think I found this board a little too late...nothing like waiting til the last minute!

Hope it goes ok :thumbsup: I'm sure everything will be fine :XXLhug:

My Dentist told me to take the Valium,1 hour before my Appointment. Apparently it takes an hour to work properly.

Also what dosage have you been given ?
I don't know, they never told me...hopefully strong enough to make me more relaxed yet not too strong!

Also I talked to the office manager and they are only doing a root canal and temp filling, if the filling holds up okay they won't have to put a crown on so I guess that is good.
Are u driving yourself there & back ?
Hi Wimpy and welcome to this board. Read your posting and wanted to reply about the valium.  Dentists always suggest you take it one hour before the appointment and it is recommended that you do not drive but have a responsible person with you.   However, people react differently to medication so I would say that if you've never taken it before, do a trial run when you're not going out to see what effect it has on you.

I had never taken valium before, but wanted it for one specific appointment when I was having teeth extracted under IV sedation because not only do I have a dental phobia I also have a needle phobia.

Anyway, I tested out the valium one evening at 9.p.m. Couldn't feel any effect at all but that night I had the best night's sleep that I had had for months, probably from worry and I always wake up and in fact get up a couple of times during the night.
Anyway, I had a wonderful night's sleep, probably around 6 hours solid sleep (which is good for me). And, the best thing the next morning I was due to drive up to London and I felt absolutely marvellous.  However, it was only when I'd got to Hertfordshire (230 mile journey) and this was now 18 hours since I'd taken just 1 5mg of Valium, picked up my sister and drove another 30 miles that she said to me that I was driving very erratically. So, although I hadn't realised it, I was still under the effect.

The next week, I did another trial run, taking valium around 10 p.m. but this time I didn't sleep well and next day didn't feel particularly on a high as I had first time.

So when the appointment was looming where I needed to take the valium and the dentist had told me just one hour before, I took one around midnight, and another 12 hours later at 12 noon ready for my appointment 1.15.  Although I was terrified I feel that without the valium I would have been even worse as I didnt actually start shaking until I got to the surgery and was talking to my sedationist. Although shaking and scared, I was inwardly calm and could talk rationally and I think though I didnt feel as stress free as I had hoped, I would have been much worse without it. Anyhow combined with that, and the IV, I was incredibly tired for 2 whole days and though I felt totally compos mentis, it would have been dangerous for me to drive as my reactions would probably have been very slow.

Hope this helps you when you take valium.
Thanks for the advice and support.  The dosage of Valium prescribed was 10 mg...along with the premed antibiotics that I normally have to take because of my mitral valve prolapse - I am always prescribed four capsules of clarithromycin or something like that.  By the time I got to my mom's house my kids were driving me nuts (they had been fighting with each other in the car) so I was all on edge like "Hey I need some Valium right about now anyways!"  It started working within 20-30 minutes it seemed, it made me pretty tired and felt like I was moving in slow motion so my mother drove me to my appointment since we were planning to have her to take me anyways.  I was still all upset and scared so she asked if I needed her to come in there and hold my hand until the dentist took me back and I said yes.   Interestingly there was a woman in the waiting room who overheard my mom reassurring me and told me that her daughter who is in her mid 30's the same age as as me was back in the room with her husband in there, that she always has to be prescribed Valium too because of her fear of the dentist!   The woman's mom was out in the waiting room watching their 6 month old baby.   Also lucky for me my husband ended up not having his conference call/meeting so he met us there within a few minutes and they at first took turns going back into the exam room and sitting with me.  I was sooo thankful for all their support.   My mom was very comforting and held my hand then the Valium really started kicking in right after the dentist gave me the numbing shot because I started feeling really mellow and talking about funny stuff.   :)   So my mom was like "I think you're going to be okay now, don't you agree?"  So I said yes and put on my headphones.  She left and hubby stayed out in the waiting room with the kids since there were some children's toys and a little play area.  

The procedure went very smoothly, the dentist and hygenist were super nice and very thorough about what all they were doing, they took several x-rays during the procedure and there was even a TV/computer type screen in front of me where the x-ray was and they showed me how it looked before and after.  One of my roots in the tooth was more curved than the others and it took a little longer than normal for him to get everything out and put the sealant stuff in but then he got done with that and kept appologizing for how long it was taking.  I told him (mumbling through my numbness) that was okay (since I was feeling pretty good and didn't care anyways!).  He put a temporary filling on the tooth and I go back on October 8th to check on the filling, if all is well it will just be a filling but if the tooth doesn't do well they will have to put a crown on.  The other tooth behind it just needs a filling and then I have another tooth on the other side that is badly decayed and also needs a root canal.  Then the other bunch of little cavities that I have are going to have to be filled sometime as well, I will have to find out how much more everything is going to cost, how much my insurance is going to cover and how expensive it will be on my half that I have to pay.  My mom says that she is willing to help us out some financially,  I just want to get all of this over with and out of the way.

I felt pretty good after the procedure was over (still high from the Valium) and then today have been pretty tired and hung over feeling, probably from all the stress and med.  The dentist must have done a really good job because I am only a little sore from where I received the shot or shots and that's it.  Now ironically my other tooth on the other side of my mouth is hurting me quite a bit!  I had problems with that tooth a few weeks ago and it was painful, so that might have to be the next "project".   :rolleyes:

I'm now thinking everything went so well I might not even need the Valium for my next root canal but I know that my feelings about this might change in a few weeks or whenever. :(

So happy things went well for you :jump:

Did the Valium make you really sleepy ? I'm having 5mg & worried i'll be sleepy :(