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long wait for root canal anxiety

Z

zhav

Junior member
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
2
Location
uk
I went to see my dentist in June 2019 after I began feeling pain in an upper molar whenever I drank something cold. The tooth has a deep filling. He didn't take an xray, only tested it with air and said he could see that the filling had a fracture. (At that point I remembered feeling a crunch in that tooth while eating a few weeks before, which is what must have caused it) so I go back a week later to have the filling repaired. The pain I'd felt in the beginning returned almost immeditely after the anesthetic wore off, but he'd said give it time to settle, so I did. A week or so later, the pain is still there. I go back, he takes an xray this time, and says he can see the filling was also damaged below the gum line, also that he can see no obvious signs of infection and that he would remove most of the filling and replace it. I had to wait 4 weeks (in pain) before he could see me for that procedure as he was fully booked. Anyway, I go back a moth later and he replaces most of the filling. He tells me to give it three weeks to settle, as it's close to the nerve and if it doesn't settle I may need a root canal. I wait three weeks and although the pain does subside, the gum above the tooth starts feeling strange, very tender to the touch and uncomfortable but not painful. I can't eat on that side without discomfort and it feels uncomfortable just touching my face. I assume it's the nerve that still needs time to settle so I wait it out. So it's now August 2019, and last week I run a finger over my gums and find a lump on the gum, high up, way above the tooth, which I realise is where the tender sensation has been coming from. I'd had the tenderness in my face for about 2 weeks, but hadn't noticed the lump before. It is not painful to the touch just an odd very tender sensation. So I go back to the dentist and he does another x ray and pokes at the lump. I ask him what is it and he just says 'I can't decide if it's hard or soft' and asks me 'How long has that been there?' He shows me the xray, and says, "you can see the changes since the last xray" he points to a dark spot and says the nerve is beginning to die, there's an infection and I'll need a root canal. He says, "it's behaving itself so far" and doesn't seem that concerned. I ask him if it would be easier to have an extraction, he says yes but in my case since I have large fillings either side, it would be better in the long term to have a root canal. I ask if I need antibiotics for the infection. he says, "We try not to give them but if it's bothering you, you can have them"....so I'm given 5 days of 500g Amoxicillin and an appointment in 4 weeks time for a root canal. I've just finished the Amoxicillin and the tenderness has subsided a little but it's still there and the lump is still there. I've been doing salt rinses and taking ibuprofen for the past few days even though I don't have any pain, just tenderness and discomfort mostly. I should have asked the dentist more questions when I was there, but I have social anxiety and I forgot to ask certain things. I want to know if the infection might get worse in the 4 weeks I have to wait until my next appointment. My dentist has a small practice that is always busy and I'm reluctant to bother them with questions and look stupid. Should I go back and ask for another round of antibiotics? My root canal appointment is 90 minutes long, so I'm considering asking to have it extracted instead which would be quicker and therefore I might be seen sooner. I've already had 2 teeth out but I've never had a root canal, tbh an extraction is preferable to me....Or should I just go to another dentist? I don't know if a 4 week wait is ok or will waiting so long make the problem worse? This is causing me a lot of stress, it's on my mind all the time and I really need some advice.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,003
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
Zhav,


" I should have asked the dentist more questions when I was there, but I have social anxiety and I forgot to ask certain things. I want to know if the infection might get worse in the 4 weeks I have to wait until my next appointment. My dentist has a small practice that is always busy and I'm reluctant to bother them with questions and look stupid. Should I go back and ask for another round of antibiotics? "

Sorry to hear this tooth is giving you these continued issues :(. that is hard.. it sounds you are not too sure about the advice and definately reluctant to ask more..I know for me, I would definately think it would be worth a second opinion just for peace of mind, sounds like you know what you need and waiting may be just extra added stress, unless you can possibly do it sooner. I can tell you I work for a medical office and we can often get people in sooner than we tell them on initial call if they keep checking once in a while as people do cancel for things that come up and others get in earlier than original appointments so its always worth asking.

I do know what it is like to feel you are bothering a dental office with questions, honestly I still feel this way even though I love my office and they always answer me kindly and graciously.. but just so get this feeling.. Its hard but surely they are used to these questions and concerns and would want to do their best for you in taking care of you . so do encourage you to call and ask whatever questions you need answers too. I know I email my questions as I feel less threatening.. dealing with a bit of social anxiety myself. then my office usually calls me to answer. and that makes it a little easier for me :).

Hope it all works out for you soon and you get your answers and peace to this !
 
K

Kns

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
115
I have a lot of experience with root canals, unfortunately. If it would help settle your mind if you got a second opinion, that’s what I would recommend. All but one of my root canals were done weeks (sometimes months) after diagnosing the need for one. I’m not a medical or dental professional, and I know that there’s no guarantee that your body might not flare up in pain or infection before then. However, I would bet that you will be just fine waiting four weeks. If your symptoms worsen, call them and maybe they can get you in as an emergency appointment. Or ask to be on a cancellation list. I understand worrying after you leave an appointment, suddenly having a lot of questions that you wish you’d asked. I can absolutely relate. Krlovesherkids777 gives good advice above. Take care, try to relax, and let us know how things go.
 
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