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I might need a root canal?

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nitrogentulips

Junior member
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
2
Location
United States
I feel a little sheepish posting, as I find dentistry fascinating and am planning to be one myself. I didn't think I'd ever be this scared.

So here's the story: I've been having on-off discomfort--I'm not entirely sure if it's pain or not--in my lower first molars on both sides. Last time this happened I was mentally preparing for double root canals, but it turned out to just be my wisdom teeth pushing on my other teeth and causing pain. But my wisdom teeth have since been removed and I don't know what it could be this time, I'm really worried about need root canals. They just sound so awful, I couldn't sit through something like that for so long.

I live at home so I'm not in charge of my own appointments, and I just don't know what to do.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
593
I’m not a dentist, but in my experience a root canal is a long way off from having a bit of pain. Unfortunately the only way you will know is if a dentist examines you.

You say you are not in charge of your own appointments, so could you ask the person who is to schedule one for you just to get checked out? Hopefully it will turn out to be nothing to worry about, and put your mind at ease, but if you need any treatment then you can plan to get things taken care of. Unless you were in major pain, needing immediate resolution, the dentist probably wouldn’t do anything at that appointment, just check things over and come up with a plan if you need one. My back teeth sometimes hurt because I clench my teeth when I sleep, so my dentist made me a night guard to wear - it could be something like that which is solved easily with no actual treatment.

FWIW, I had a couple of root canals in 2017, both in teeth which already had big fillings. The teeth were VERY painful beforehand, like taking round the clock ibuprofen and paracetamol, not sleeping because of the pain. The process does take a while, and is a bit boring, but it is NOT painful at all. It gets you out of pain! But I honestly think you are jumping the gun and thinking about the worst case scenario here, which is, understandably, making you panic. If I was a gambler, I would put money that a root canal is not in your immediate future!

Good luck!
 
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nitrogentulips

Junior member
Joined
Sep 24, 2019
Messages
2
Location
United States
Thank you so much, this has done more than you can imagine to ease my anxiety. I know you're not a dentist, but just hearing someone say I probably don't, based on the awful description I gave makes me so much more comfortable. Thank you again.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,459
Hi nitrogentulipis,

it sounds like you have been to the dentist regularly in your past so I was wondering how probable it would be for two of your teeth to develop decay down to the pulp without you or your dentist noticing. I also second Judythecat, teeth needing a root canal treatment tend to be very painful.

Your image about root canals seems to be quite awful so I was wondering where does this come from. A root canal treatment is in fact nothing much different to a filling and from your perspective it only involves being there, letting the dentist work and letting your dental team know if you need a short break, such as during any other treatment.

As with any other dental worry, the best thing is to schedule an appointment, have a chat about your worries regarding those teeth and let the dentist take a look.
 
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