Root Canal Success (of sorts)



Junior member
Apr 22, 2010
I had my first root canal by my general dentist over 10 years ago. I felt more comfortable there, so he agreed to do it, despite the fact he does not do a ton. The area had been hurting and did a nice job, kept me calm. It went fine. That night, my face blew up. To the point of an emergency room visit. Had to get antibiotics etc, and after a few days it went down. But they scare the crap out of you saying your throat could close up etc.

Over the next decade I had three more root canals, this time done by an Endodontist. The first one was an emergency of sorts and I just happened to stumble across a great dentist to do it. (referred to the practice, but lucked out with the dentist assigned). He was my go to for the rest. No issues at all.

A few weeks ago, I had a tooth with a huge filling and my dentist said it has to be crowned. I said should we root canal first, and he said, he did not think it needed it. (I think he was trying to help me, as he knows I do not love all the work). Well as soon as the anesthesia wore off, and area that had a little discomfort over the previous weeks hurt like Hell. It good worse until over the weekend I could not stand it. Go back to the regular dentist and he says lets fix the bite, and it helped a bit, but not long term. I was having some swelling along the gum a couple of days later and they say you have to go to Edno for evaluation.

This is why I love having a good Endodontist that I know. He said he was not convinced it needed a root canal and he wanted to evaluate it. He had me come back two more times, before he finally said, yes, it is early stages and could use a root canal. He put me on penicillin for the swelling/infection along the gum. Over the next couple of weeks it felt pretty good. I almost did not go through with it, but decided to, cause I knew it still had issue and a little swelling.

The only part I do not like about root canals is getting the local, The rest I do not care about. I love the dental dam, I know some people hate it, but if makes me feel safe. I do not care about the drilling, noise, vibration etc. So one I am numb I am usually pretty good. Process was pretty quick and I was happy it was done.

Then de ja veux! Just like my first root canal, the night of the appointment my face blows up! Nightmare revisited. I go back the next day and he looks at it and says it is not the tooth, but there is swelling on the gum. He said he would like to "lance" it, but it was not lanceable. I think I was happy about that, despite the promise of maybe faster relief. So I have to go on this super duper antibiotic (dont like to do it, but I have no choice). It actually made the swelling recede very quickly. But it made me feel sick. They had me on high dose, so they cut it in half and the impact is much more tolerable. I just cannot believe this happened to me again. It is so anxiety producing, that I felt like I was going to die, between the swelling, the feeling sick and the anxiety. I think I am heading in the right direction now, but still got a way to go.

Most of the time is works out great, but it seems odd, that one of the most nervous patients gets the rare side effects etc.
Murphy's law.

This was a success though and that is what matters, and I have lot of additional dental experience under stress.