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Post root canal anxiety



Junior member
Aug 30, 2020
Denver, Colorado
Hi, I am new to this forum, posting from USA. I had a root canal in number 12 tooth Friday. I have pretty severe PTSD due to both medical and dental trauma. I asked if I could use a sedative alazapram that I had left over from last dental visit (this is a new dentist a friend referred me to) and dental assistant said that would be fine. So I took .5 an hour before visits (as prescribed) I requested use of nitrous and the alazapram as sedative as that has worked well for me before. They use halcion though and did not want to use anything else tho agree to me using my own. I googled halcion and since I’ve never used it did not feel comfortable trying something new, which I told them. I am sensitive to medications and hate to take a chance on a new sedative when I already know what works for me. In any case, they started the nitrous, which was going fine and the assistant told me “it’s cranked up” then I heard the dentist say “leave it at 30.” Then he gave me a shot to numb me which had epinephrine in it and that resulted in the 30 level of nitrous being inadequate as well as maybe counteracting the effect of the alazopram I had taken. After the numb shot I suddenly felt wide awake and no longer sedated or relaxed. Long story short, even though I requested multiple times to just turn the nitrous up more, the dentist would not and I ended up agreeing to take the halcion administered under the tongue. It seemed to work ok and the dentist proceeded with the root canal. Upon returning home I slept deeply the first night, but since then have had ongoing pain in the area where the root canal was done as well as generalized pain that moves around the left jaw and cheek area. It is quite painful but 400 mg Motrin is helping which I prefer over the hydrocone he prescribed. I’m also taking erythromycin (antibiotics.) Last night I ended up taking a half a hydrocone at bedtime, then the other half in the middle of the night. But I had a hard time sleeping and still experienced pain off and on. Today the pain continues and I notice that my face is swollen around the smile line where the root canal tooth is located. I am basically terrified because this dentist, who is new, did not really listen to my needs and I felt, all prepped and sitting in the chair and in need of a root canal that I had to take the halcion because it was his preference even though I was uncomfortable with the prospect. Now with the face swelling and ongoing pain I am freaking out a little about what is going on. I’m having paranoid thoughts that I can’t trust him or he will hurt me. (I have had near death experiences from medical errors.) Maybe this pain and swelling will go away with time and I won’t need any further work. This root canal was done through a crown which was placed about two years ago or a little less and so he did a filling where he drilled through the crown to do the RC. Thank you in advance for any suggestions or just experience you can share. I have not had a root canal in many years or even decades so not sure what to expect.