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Help - I drilled my own tooth



Dec 7, 2023
Hello - I need help. In desperation and paranoia from my dental phobia I have done the unthinkable and gotten a dental drill and bur and drilled into my own molar that was previously abscessed in an attempt to “allow it to drain” to put off going to see a dentist. I understand this was not smart or sane in the least, but I was in desperation having massive panic attacks trying to get to the dentist to have the tooth pulled.

I had previously had a large pulp cap and filling in this tooth (it was basically all filling) and I thought I would just drill that out and experience “draining” or just the ability to let it drain if needed. However, I drilled and drilled thinking I was removing cavity and now I think I actually drilled too far and maybe perforate the pupal floor. I experienced no bleeding at all, just didn’t realize how deep I had drilled until I was done, and I experienced no pain or bleeding while doing it. The hole is about half an inch down into my tooth.

I am going to see my therapist tomorrow in hopes of finding some sort of medication that can help me get through a dental appt to have this tooth extracted, but in the meantime if there is any dentists on here who could help me or give me pointers to make sure it doesn’t get infected or anything I would really appreciate it. I’m currently on 500mg amoxicillin 3xs a day for the infection that started this all, but I’m worried once it runs out (2 days before Christmas) that something bad will happen.

Again I know this was stupid and dangerous and I would appreciate no judgmental comments, I was just so desperate and panicked 😔


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You need to rationalize your fear of the dentist and overcome it. Weren't you afraid to drill into your own tooth, but you're scared to go to a specialist who deals with it?

I know how you feel because I also have a great fixation on dentists, but in the opposite way. I constantly think that something is wrong with my teeth and I feel various sensations in my mouth. I would go to the dentist every day, and when there are weekends or holidays, I am attacked by a huge fear that if a tooth hurts me, I won't find help. The fear can be huge and overwhelming.

Keeping a pain diary in which I describe my sensations and thoughts about teeth helped me a lot. Over time, you draw conclusions from it and see that your fear persists, but nothing bad happens. This can be applied to different cases.
@Georgedent I am only scared of the dentist because of being numb. If I could find a dentist who would do my dental work without giving me numbing shots I would be much more comfortable, but my panic makes me actually crazy. I feel so stupid for what I’ve done, and I don’t know why in the moment it seemed like the right thing.
I know you’re here for dental advice. But I also want to ask whether you are getting psychiatric care, and if so, does your treatment team know about this incident? I am a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and I’ve had patients who engage in this type of self-mutilation. (I understand that you don’t view it as self-harm— your goal was to help your tooth, not to harm yourself— but the outcome is similar in that you DID inadvertently hurt yourself.). If you were my patient I would want to be kept in the loop that you had done this, so we could try to find ways to help you!
@HeatherWasHere I’m seeing my therapist today. You’re right in that I didn’t view this as self harm, I was just desperate to get out of a situation that was forcing me to feel trapped and causing me a great deal of panic. I do see how it would be viewed though from a psychological standpoint - I know it’s not normal. I haven’t ever been on any anxiety meds, as I’ve been able to manage life fairly well up to this point but this tooth has broken something open in me and my panic is unbearable. I’m hoping to have a good meet with my therapist today and work out some treatment plans.
For any dentists viewing - here is a closer view inside the canal. There is a little slice line that has me thinking I went too far in drilling and perforated the pupal floor.


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Doesn't look too bad. At least you used the right kit, I saw a chap once who had attempted to open up one of his front teeth with his trusty power drill. The drill bit broke off and the sharp edge made a real mess of his tongue...

I don't think you've gone through the pulp floor. If you have it may be repairable if you've not done too much damage. I think that it's unlikely though, it would have been quite painful. The nerve in your tooth is dead but the nerves in your jaw and periodontal space aren't...
@Gordon thank you for your reply! I am going to try and leave it this way while I work on getting some anxiety meds and get the courage up for sedation dentistry. I believe I had an abscess before I did this, my tooth was in terrible pain and the only thing that brought any relief was cold water sitting on it, and even that wasn’t hardly doing anything. I’ve been on two rounds of antibiotics while I was scheduled for iv sedation last week but then had a panic attack and couldn’t have it done. I just hope that it doesn’t get another abscess before I get the nerve for treatment, and that it’ll drain through my tooth if anything.
A better picture of the line inside the bottom of my tooth.


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Just be careful not to get something like a rice grain into the hole to bung it up, rinse around with some warm salty water to draw out as much pus as you can and it'll be fine till you can see the dentist.
Thanks @Gordon ! I ended up cleaning it out really well and filling it with temporary filling. I wasn’t even able to eat without it and I am so miserable after having done this. I’m hoping even sealed up it will not get reinfected before my appt (I rescheduled for 1/4 at 11am - with IV sedation). I’ll be finishing my antibiotics in 2 days, so I’m hoping the tooth can just hold out and not get reinfected for just two weeks!