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Root Canal fear conquered



Jan 23, 2011
Ever since I was child and my brother told me horror stories about his root canal it has been the thing I've feared the most about the dentist.

Having had a rough dentist and hygienist growing up who made even regular cleanings painful I simply stopped going in my 20s when I was living on my own, and I went 9 years after having my wisdom teeth out before seeing a dentist again. The first one I saw after all those years did a scaling and told me I needed a root canal. I was not comfortable enough with that dentist to be able to bring myself to have a root canal done by him, so I stopped after the second visit (the scaling), and it was another three and a half years until this month when one of my molars starting feeling tender and throbbing at night, eventually keeping me awake. I knew it was time to do something, especially since I am on immune system supressing medication for arthritis that makes infections potentially more serious than normal (as if they aren't potentially serious enough).

I did as much research as I could to find a well regarded dentist and made an appointment. Of course, the tooth was infected and I had a large abscess, and he suggested we do a root canal rather than extract a tooth that could most likely be saved. I guess this really speaks to the power of finding the right dentist, because due to his friendly and very straightforward demeanor (as well as the nice, modern, spa-like atmosphere in this particular office) I was completely unfazed by him telling me this. This fear that has been one of the largest contributors to my dodging dentists over the years was simply not surfacing in this situation.

Of course as the day approached I did start to have some of the normal worries come up, and thought of how I couldn't believe I was allowing this to happen, but I wasn't feeling paralyzed about thoughts related to whether or not the dentist would be careful and considerate, etc., I trusted him. It ended up taking two visits, and it did require some extra effort to get the tooth numb due to the infection, but I am now done with the most dreaded procedure that has haunted me for years, and I will no longer be frozen in my tracks at the thought of having it done again if I need another. I'm so comfortable I am now working on a full plan with him to sort out all the other issues I have which include a possible root canal on another tooth, a number of fillings, and a scaling. I'm actually looking forward to my visits now and excited about eventually getting to the point that I can come in for routine cleanings and be one of those regular dentist-going people who have for so long baffled me :) . This week I go in for a crown.

So that's that. Root canals, you don't scare me anymore! Not with this dentist anyway. Amazing how silly all those years of fear seem now, if only I had known what a difference the right dentist can make.
Congratulations fullmoon :jump: and thank you so much for sharing your story here!!

It really shows how finding the right dentist for you can make all the difference :thumbsup:.
What a fabulous post to read - thank you for sharing. It is just the kind of thing to give any phobic real hope that they too can conquer the fear.

I admire you so much for being able to go ahead and do the procedure without sedation of any sort. That takes real guts, and trust in your dentist. Being free of fear is so liberating isnt it?

(My husband reckons I am not really cured, until I can have a root canal 'cold turkey' lol....he is probably right. Maybe one day. :thumbsup: )
Thanks for the replies. I had read this forum in the past, and I think it helped me so I figured sharing my story might help someone else.

I don't think there will ever be a "cold turkey" root canal in my future though, lol.
that is great what is a crown exactly?
that is great what is a crown exactly?

This page explains them

From what I understand it is normal to have a crown put on after having a root canal since the tooth becomes weakened by the root canal procedure. I just got back from having the crown done today. It was no big deal.
And the key is...trust. I could not agree more.

I am glad for you.:jump: