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Root canal week... yikes!



Jul 6, 2020
I have to get 2 root canals this Wednesday. I am scheduled to be in the chair for around 4 hours. It’s the last top molar on both sides so they will he numbing my entire mouth. I’m nervous cuz it’s been a long time since I’ve had any dental work done and I’ve never had a root canal. I’ll be awake so I’m afraid my jaw will get way too tired :( Anyone have any experience with this? Is it as bad as people act like it is?
Hi sfildes,

4 hours sounds like a lot of time. A root canal treatment is like a loooonger and a bit more boring filling. You mentioned people acting like it is bad - would you mind sharing what exactly you mean by "bad"? I know some stories about root canals being painful, that comes from many many years ago when dentists weren't that good with numbing and people weren't good with asking to be numbed up more. Nowadays this is not a problem anymore. When it comes to your jaw, there is a thing called a biting block (we called it "tooth pillow" which I find nicer to be hones), it's simply a small piece of rubber that gets placed on the side that is not worked on and you bite on it. Biting on something is much easier and more relaxing for your jaw than keeping it open so just ask your dentist to try that out to see whether it helps.
If you feel 4 hours is too long, maybe asking to do the procedure in two visits may be a good idea. I see how for the dentist doing them both is more convenient, but you are the customer so if you would feel better with one at a time, that may be an option too, particularly if there is no sedaiton involved.

All the best wishes

Wow.. deep breath, that is alot to think of 4 hours in the chair and 2 root canals and whole mouth numbed. I do believe you can make it through if they are gentle and patient..I agree with @Enarete always remember you are ultimately in charge. and don't be afraid to stop them after the first one or anytime during to say you need a break or that hey one is enough for today. They should want to go at your pace to make you feel comfortable you are the patient.

I can say this. I've had alot of root canals in my life , and like @Enarate says mostly they are long and boring. actually one was way too quick and I wondered if he took a short cut.. I"m one of those people who value long boring dentistry.. knowing they are taking their time brings a bit of peace to me.. but at the same time it physically can be hard to sit there wiht your mouth open.

The one thing I do appreciate too with root canals is using a dental dam so the area is protected, I feel a bit secure with it. I would tell them all your fears, make sure they give you enough local, that can make all the difference! If you don't feel it its a long boring procedure, if you do feel it (and you shouldn't) then its time to stop!

Really wish you the best and hope they listen and take your every need and feeling into top consideration in this process!