I didn't want to believe it

A

Aviara

Junior member
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
3
Hi folks,

No matter how hard I tried I didn't want to believe that a painless root canal is rather the norm than just being lucky. Or perhaps I tried hard enough not to believe it. On Friday I had the first part of my first root canal done on a lower right molar. All day long on Friday before going there all kind of options came into my head how to postpone "judgement day" and what not. In fact that was the only thing that actually got me into the dentist. Just going there and breaking the bad news that I just couldn't stay. I would have compensated him of course for a slot wasted, feeling bad about it. I never thought I would have actually go out there with the appointment scheduled for the second part. How did it go? I might have spoiled a bit, but let's go back a little.

I could tell you a lot, despite my dentist history not being that long (for you know.. obvious reasons :D). If you want to read this part then continue. If not you can skip to the part leading up to my first root canal at the first reply.

At the age of about four I was ruined by having a tooth extracted that was infected and caused a lot of pain. The extraction itself was pain I probably would only feel once in my life-time. I tried with all force to get the dentists hand out of my mouth. I guess that kind of ruined dentists for me. When I was about eight we went to the dentist (another one), who wanted to extract again. EVAC, EVAC, EVAC.....! With an enormous amount of convincing from my parents and the dentist I actually stayed, got the shot which was pretty much painless (apart from a little warmth I felt). So shots are something I never fear at the dentist. The extraction itself was just as painless. A little trust gained there. At some point I asked my parents, why this one was pain-free and when I was four it was pure horror? She said, the infection pretty much made the LA useless.
I did gain trust with dentists, but the combination of "infection" and "painful" treatments never really go away. In other words "tooth-ache" would be the point to avoid the denist at all cost, rather than seeing one.

During my childhood I had fillings here and never. Although I would always request a shot before they start drilling and that was fine. Never really feared the drill much. Once I even got drilled without LA, I didn't even know until after the treatment :D.

So what happened? Well as I said I never could get away of the "infection" = "severe pain during treatment". I mean if the tooth hurts now without messing around with it, who knows what it's like when they start using those scary instruments on it. Especially when they start to go inside of it.

At the age of 17 I starting to feel enormous pain (kind of like a quick but extreme strike on it) when I'd chew on it. But since it was just when I bit on it, I just decided to chew on my left side. Some nights it would hurt without eating. It also looked a bit broken. My mother convinced me I had to see the doc. This time I got real nervous again, because it was a tooth that was in pain (albeit not all the time and mostly just bearable). She gave me a shot and started drilling and I felt pain. She stopped and gave me another and she was able to finish pain-free. So it was a mixed bag after that. So it was possible to have a pain-less treatment on a tooth that has symptoms. But it wasn't that easy to get numb enough to get there. She even said afterwards (I don't know what I would have done when she said that beforehand) she was worried it might not have been possible to it painless.

After that I haven't been to the dentist for 18(!!) years. Despite those rather successful experiences I still held belief that not all treatments can be painless no matter what. One of them being root canal. I have only ever heard the horror stories about them. But I always though you had to be unlucky and be of older age of ever needing one so I didn't care. During the years I had some tooth-ache here and there. Some of them being quite uncomfortable, but never bad enough for me to get to the dentist. I then always told myself I will go when it's gone. All of them went away after no more than 2-3 weeks. So I kept avoiding the dentist comfortably. Although I was always urged by my family to see one. My mother then told me of a very good dentist where my brother got a painless root canal. I didn't really care much. Needless to say that still didn't convince me. My fear of going there, especially when in pain was just too great. So yes eighteen years pass without being at the dentist for treatment. Just once for a professional cleaning.
 
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Aviara

Junior member
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
3
Ok so at around August/September this year I went to eat in a restaurant. And then probably something got stuck at the back of the left upper jaw and probably injured myself with it. It resulted in quite the pain. It was not the tooth, but the inner cheek. It felt like tooth-ache, but it really was the cheek. At some point it was quite bad. I had to chew on my right side. And even that was painful, especially when swallowing, because I got my cheek closer to my teeth. Anyway with an enormous amount of convincing from my family side I actually made the phone-call with the dentist to have a look. And well to finally do a check up after 18 years.

I was in anxiety for two weeks leading up to it. The ache started to go away bit by bit. By the time the 17th September hit it was pretty much all gone. But I said to myself "Hey no harm in getting the x-ray. No-one can force me to stay". That's the only thing that made me go through that door.
I would also spill all the beans to the dentist. I will tell him all about my fear (fear of pain to be precise). I have no problems with this and am also not too proud to admit it.
So I went inside and I already freaked out about the suction sound.

So we did the x-ray and the assistant said "You have pain in your lower right molar, right?". I responded (honestly) with "no". I even chewed all these two weeks on that side without any troubles. I actually went there for the other side, but I didn't want to say anything. I wanted them to figure out what's wrong (if anything). Anyways he said there was a deep filling causing an infection and said we needed a root canal. I just heard the words infection and root canal and just wanted to beam myself to the other side of the world. He then went on to say I have great teeth, it's just the lower right molar that needs root canal and some minor stuff on other teeth. While it was great news to hear I had good teeth, it didn't make me feel much easier to the situation. They were all very nice and he would not pressure me on anything. He said we don't need to do it today, but it has to be done. So I scheduled for the 1st October.

I then decided to arrange another meeting on the 29th September to have another chat, because my shock the first time around just made me mute to any information given.
It was much easier going in this time, also because I knew we were just going to talk again. Again he wasn't pushy. He would have given me all the time I needed. Still in anxiety I just couldn't go with it on the 1st. I was seriously thinking about going somewhere with sedation or even where they would put me to sleep. Being in a more relaxed state, knowing that I still have time I decided again to go back to him (thinking about the painless root canal my brother had). I called and arranged for the 30th October. I was torn between rather relaxed, knowing it's still far ahead to enormous anxiety knowing the 30th is getting closer. The closer I got the more anxious.

I had all kinds of scenarios going through my head. I just didn't want to feel pain, no matter how brief it is. Especially considering this time it's going deep inside the tooth. I already had troubles with LA on that teeth (as mentioned in the first part) and it was just a filling. And reading about these things online, like lower molar being hard to numb and what not just made things worse. I discovered this site and Forum, which helped a bit and reading some stories made me feel a bit better. But still a lot of Horror stories roaming around the net just couldn't get me to ease.

Two days before treatment my dentist prescribed me some Diazepam drops for relaxation. I tested them to see how well they did. They did help a bit, but not enough as I would have hoped.

So it's the 30th and I had a tough sleep (I slept enough, but didn't dream all too well). Then during the day I would think of all the possibilities of how to talk myself out of this one. My aunt decided to come along, which helped a lot. The only reason I was able to get myself through that door was the thought of cancelling the appointment yet again. I really though that would be the case, because I just couldn't go through with it and I would find ways with sedation or sleep or what not. I took those relaxation drops prior going to going there. Didn't help all that much, but it took a while until it was my turn. It helped a bit and I was able to talk to my aunt a bit. She told me she had a root canal without LA many years ago and the experience she described wasn't as bad as I would imagine, which helped a lot. The dentist said he would give me a shot and let me decide at any time to continue. He said he wouldn't finish if I couldn't. I agreed to letting them give me the shot. After the first he gently tested with the pick. I felt a little pain so he gave me another one.
As I knew I could also say no it felt a lot easier going it "step" by "step". After another test it did feel a lot more numb and I couldn't decide if it was pain or just pressure I felt.

We then went through the X-rays again and he said the pulp is dead, so that alone should be reason for me not to feel anything. He then offered to just open it up with the drill. I agreed and the moment he started to drill a huge weight just fallen off. No pain and not even the drill sound bothered me (which actually never did... just the combo of that sound and pain). When he then got one of those files I was relieved (drill is over) and a bit anxious again (ok now it gets interesting and the part I don't know).
I felt absolutely NOTHING!!!!. No pain, no tugging, barely any pressure, NOTHING!!.
The only thing that was "uncomfortable" is I didn't know how to vent all that anxious energy I gathered all those weeks leading up to it, in relief, while needing to sitting still.
The experience was far more painless and harmless than the most harmless scenario I had imagined prior to it.
I vented all that energy all day long. I never ever had so much ease making an appointment for the second part. At this stage I am actually looking forward to it to get it over with.
He did far more with my dental fear, than what he did for the tooth.

It did start to hurt after the LA wore off, but considering all the tooth-aches I'd overcome to avoid the dentist that doesn't worry me in the slightest. And it's slowly starting to go away. At some point it hurts a bit more and then much less again (like two steps forward and 1 step backwards), but apparently it can take several days to finally go away. At this point I am not worried yet and the ache right now is minor.
The main thing is there had be done a lot for my dental fear. I don't know if the dead pulp helped a bit, bit I will gladly confirm that root canals can be absolutely pain-free. I mean I barely even "felt" anything. I didn't even need to close my eyes or anything. As soon as he started and was working on the canals I was so relaxed. I saw most of the tools he used and didn't even flinch. I forget about my left hand that I would have used to raise if he needed to stop.

I know it's a long story, but I wanted to share it as I know a fear like that is nasty and can severely affect quality of life. I hope it can help some of you facing the same or a similar situation.
"Step" by "Step".... those were the keywords to describe it best how I was able to go out the dentists door having put the first part (the "worst" part) of my root canal behind me, rather than having found another excuse to postpone the inevitable.
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
5,586
Hi Aviara, what a great read :perfect:

Thank you so much for sharing your experience with root canal treatment here - I'm sure that your story will be extremely useful to lots of people :) !

Wishing you all the best with part 2 - let us know how you got on :grouphug:
 
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