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Still can't make the call.. Fear of root canal/IV questions! :(

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cjswitch88

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Oct 27, 2018
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New week with a goal set I couldn't stomach through for. Everyones been telling me root canals aren't bad and I shouldn't worry about anything.. Why do I worry so much then?! It is alot of money.. And if it's very painful for me I may freak out or who knows what. As a kid I would freak out and all the above, I know I won't act like that now being an adult, but I feel heldback from pushing forward in this because the only experiences I have are bad child ones. My family either has no dental problems or gets no dental work done.. But I am prepared to do this for my health.. I feel like I'm getting so close to calling and going in, and then, I freak myself out.. Does anyone else have stories of upper root canals they may share with me? Any type of encouragement or tips? ANYTHING at all helps. I can't thank a couple of you enough for the help so far.. In a town of 90k, and alot of 4+ star reviewed dentists and endos, I feel like I'm at the beginning of a very long journey just finding the dentist that is right for me.. I keep procrastinating on this. But once I get my health back, I get my life back... I just keep being fearful of any nerve pain while getting the root canal done. I'd really just prefer to be knocked out. If I do IV sedation will they still numb me when they do the canal so I don't wake up in intense pain?
 
Enarete

Enarete

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It's always good to take things in small steps. You calling the practice doesn't mean you will have a root canal done immediately. Any dentist would want to have a look at the tooth before suggesting any treatment. So why not let them take a look at the tooth and then explain to you all the options and reply to all of your questions. You can then still decide whether you would like to get the treatment done or not and under which conditions (sedation or not). If even that is too much, you could just give them a call and have a chat to them on the phone to see if you feel up to make an appointment.

I understand you need to get the tooth treated, but getting courage to make an appointment needs a bit of time too, so don't be too hard on yourself.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

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Mar 7, 2018
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I had upper molar root canal done this time last year. It was boring and time-consuming (2 x 90 minute sessions, then a crown done a few months later) but not at all painful. My jaw was a bit stiff from keeping my mouth open for such a long time, but the only thing that really hurt was my bank account.

I didn’t have sedation - my fear is of needles rather than the dentist - and just watched the TV which was above the chair. Something that was helpful for me was to get regular updates in terms of where we were at in the process, and how long the next bit would take, but I appreciate that might not be for everyone.

I was nervous about having the treatment, particularly because it was done by a specialist endodontist and not my own dentist. But (sorry if this is a bit blunt) I knew the alternatives were to be in pain, or to have the tooth extracted. Neither of these seemed like good options.

I booked my appointments for when I knew I could go straight home afterwards, and wouldn’t have to go back to work with a frozen face. I also planned something nice for after each session as a “reward”, so I knew I had something to look forward to.

All the best, I hope you can make an appointment for a consultation and go forward from there.
 
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MountainMama

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I know you have heard my experience already, but I just wanted to reiterate Enarete in that the first appointment is just a consult, so you won't have the root canal right away. You can ask all the questions you have and they can reassure you that it will be painless.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Hi,
I had my first root canal almost 2 years ago. I am no stranger to dental work and I have always had a very difficult time getting completely numb for fillings. My root canal was on the upper left side (2nd molar to the back). I was sent to an Endodontist so it was not with my dentist who I am used to which added to my anxiety. I never thought I’d be able to do a root canal without sedation as I have a big fear of not being numb. The consultation reallly put me at ease prior to the root canal. The doctor and assistant were both very kind and made me feel more comfortable about the procedure. The day of the root canal I was pretty nervous. The office offered me these glasses (like virtual reality glasses) and they come with earbuds so that you can watch movies. I wasn’t sure if I’d like using them because I like to feel in control and know what’s going on but with a little encouragement from the dentist and assistant I was able to fully relax and focus on the movie. As he was opening up the tooth he stopped a few times to ask if I was okay; he had to top off the local anesthesia once initially which he seemed to anticipate he would need to do but after that, I was 100% completely numb the entire time. I only felt a very slight sensitivity when he asked me if I needed more local but that was the extent of my pain (literally a twinge that was a 2 on a scale of 10). I honestly don’t remember a whole lot after getting numbed because I was watching the movie (which is a great thing!). They did put a dental dam on the tooth which is a like rubber barrier that goes around the tooth and keeps the rest of your mouth dry and clear of debris (for me it made things more pleasant and easier to zone out). They continued to check on me throughout to make sure I was doing ok. The procedure itself felt pretty long and redundant ...lots of vibration from the drilling and it seemed like they kept changing out the files and drilling more. At one point I think they were measuring the depths of the canals and then they put a solution inside the tooth and let it sit for a few minutes to sanitize everything. After that, they filled the tooth with I think some sort of rubber/silicaone material. I could feel a little heat coming off of the tool that was melting whatever the material was going in to seal off the canals but again no pain and the heat wasn’t on the tooth directly...it was more like on the surrounding tissues of my mouth. Not painful or unpleasant but I was aware of something giving off a little bit of heat in my mouth. It didn’t scare me but it was just an unusual sensation that I wasn’t really expecting and they didn’t warn me about it. After that they took an X-ray and put temporary filling over it. Then I had to go back to my regular dentist for the crown prep. Honestly, it might be the most relaxed I’ve ever been in treatment which is very unexpected but I think the fact that I was totally numb and given something to distract me worked really well for me. I was very VERY numb for probably 4 hours afterward (the only time I’ve ever been as numb was when I had my wisdom teeth pulled under sedation-so to answer your question yes they numb you under sedation). Once it wore off, I needed ibuprofen but it wasn’t too bad. I would totally do a root canal again with minimal anxiety if I had to do it again. I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you might have.
 
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Chaosdeal

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Jul 19, 2016
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I cant share a experince yet i am in the same boat so fearful for my first root canal. I had problems calling ether zo i let someone call for me 26th feb is the moment for me
 
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cjswitch88

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Oct 27, 2018
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I am just at such a standstill... I read all of your stories and I just feel worse almost for not having the courage you guys do... The process just seems so dreadful to me. I fear that the dentists in my area won't have up to date equipment and even a tv for me to watch while this goes on. I don't really want to look at the ceiling and just listen to them drilling into my roots. I'm scared an abcess will form if I don't get this done soon though.. I have some irrational fear that is like "oh okay, all of these people said it wasn't painful, but with my luck itll be painful for me".... Right now my life is miserable. I feel 9/10 nerve pain that can almost make me black out and dizzy any time I swallow, cough, or chew wrong in my mouth.. It's so sensitive and painful, I feel like I won't be able to handle a procedure while conscious.. Another issue is the price too, I'm paying SO MUCH money for this root canal, I want it to be painless, and as good as it can be.. I also fear that after the root canal is done, I'll just have another problem with the tooth or teeth next to it.. Ugh. Thank you all so much thus far..
 
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cjswitch88

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Oct 27, 2018
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Can anyone share some of the pain they went through that led them to need a root canal? Was anyones tooth that had a root canal done in severe condition? (my tooth is turning grey, very sensitive and painful)
 
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cjswitch88

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Oct 27, 2018
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My last real procedure was around 16. I had a cleaning at 17, nearly 18, and the child dentist said i needed my wisdom teeth out and 11 fillings before im 18 if i wanted it done with him, I ran out of there lol. I went through periods where I didn't brush my teeth, and I feel like the damage is done and nothing will really help me now... I need the courage to get through this.. Everyone in my life is just frustrated with me, they don't understand my fear of this..
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Thinking of that first call back then when I started my journey, I have been a nervous wreck for three weeks just because of looking for dentists. I called them and felt like I would get a panic attack. I was stuttering and felt really out of control. Just said I had questions about nervous patients. The lady said she would pass me to a colleague who can give me information. I said ok and then hung up, I was so in panic. Called them back, stuttering again, felt like throwing up, they didn't pass me to anyone this time but listened and explained things, we made an appointment. I called them three times in the days after that with the craziest questions. As I walked to my appointment, a homeless person on the street asked me whether I was ok because I was walking so slowly and probably looked like I needed help or something. The dentist was rude so I had to start again.
The next practice I had emailed, got an email consult to build some trust. It took me one week to write that one email and I was working on it basically eight hours a day, during my whole working time. I am still surprised that I haven't got fired back then because I wasn't working at all. I remember pressing that send-button, it took me hours to do it and as I finally pressed it I run away from my computer and was literally afraid to look at it for a long time after that.. this was just one email and we had several like this.. every email and every reply was so stressful..

I believe that fighting anxiety, making that call, showing up for that appointment, getting it through has even more to do with discipline than courage. It's like having every cell in your body screaming 'don't go' and despite that just making yourself go and doing so can be just exhausting. That's why getting new imput doesn't always work.

You seem to really be in pain and getting troubles with the tooth and despite that being so scared that going is so hard. If there is anything that would make it easier for you, do it. Let someone else do that call and listen to it via speaker. Email them instead of calling them. They are the ones who can give you answers. If you despite all feel like going through that is not possible, you might think of getting in touch with a therapist first.

I really hope you find a way to get help as soon as possible
 
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MountainMama

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I live in a very rural area, with one endodontist office (2 doctors) within an hour drive. They don't have TV's or the most up to date technology, but it was still okay. My endodontist actually told me to close my eyes. I had nitrous as well, which helped me not to worry.

Both of my root canals were very different. One was an old crown that was replaced, and they had to take out the old filling, and it was deep. I developed shooting pains, and they were pretty awful. It was caught early, though, with the nerve just becoming necrotic. The other one was my front tooth. I had an injury to it as a child, and apparently the tooth slowly died over the years, with very little pain. 30 years later, my front tooth started to become painful to bite on, but not throbbing. I went in and turns out I had a huge absess! It was not painful like most people say, but had created a lot of bone loss, and I had to have an apicoectomy after the root canal to clean up infected bone.
 
C

cjswitch88

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Oct 27, 2018
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I live in a very rural area, with one endodontist office (2 doctors) within an hour drive. They don't have TV's or the most up to date technology, but it was still okay. My endodontist actually told me to close my eyes. I had nitrous as well, which helped me not to worry.

Both of my root canals were very different. One was an old crown that was replaced, and they had to take out the old filling, and it was deep. I developed shooting pains, and they were pretty awful. It was caught early, though, with the nerve just becoming necrotic. The other one was my front tooth. I had an injury to it as a child, and apparently the tooth slowly died over the years, with very little pain. 30 years later, my front tooth started to become painful to bite on, but not throbbing. I went in and turns out I had a huge absess! It was not painful like most people say, but had created a lot of bone loss, and I had to have an apicoectomy after the root canal to clean up infected bone.
That sounds not so lovely.. When you say you developed shooting pains, was it developed after the procedure? Don't they kill all nerves in the tooth? I am feeling hesitant finding the right office and dentist that can make me crush this fear, this definitely comes down to self discipline too and I haven't had much and this has torn my confidence and discipline down. Today its the gums not the tooth, I feel like I need to get in ASAP..
 
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MountainMama

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That sounds not so lovely.. When you say you developed shooting pains, was it developed after the procedure? Don't they kill all nerves in the tooth? I am feeling hesitant finding the right office and dentist that can make me crush this fear, this definitely comes down to self discipline too and I haven't had much and this has torn my confidence and discipline down. Today its the gums not the tooth, I feel like I need to get in ASAP..
No, the shooting pains were before the root canal. It would hit randomly and just about bring me to my knees. Those went away completely after the root canal. I didn't have any pain like that afterwards.

I would definitely urge you to get in. I know how scary it is, but just get in for a consult. If you don't feel comfortable with the endodontist, go somewhere else. You do not want to have an abscess.
 
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cjswitch88

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Oct 27, 2018
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No, the shooting pains were before the root canal. It would hit randomly and just about bring me to my knees. Those went away completely after the root canal. I didn't have any pain like that afterwards.

I would definitely urge you to get in. I know how scary it is, but just get in for a consult. If you don't feel comfortable with the endodontist, go somewhere else. You do not want to have an abscess.
yep, that's what i experience now, as I said before, from minor things such as coughing, swallowing, chewing, the tooth pain just makes me see stars instantly. I just need to get over this and do it. My gum area looks super infected now, I think it was you who told me to avoid antibiotics but I have hardly taken them in my life, besides 7 days worth in october 2018. I think another round might do me good, no? Anesthetic also is riskier when going into infected gums..
 
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MountainMama

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yep, that's what i experience now, as I said before, from minor things such as coughing, swallowing, chewing, the tooth pain just makes me see stars instantly. I just need to get over this and do it. My gum area looks super infected now, I think it was you who told me to avoid antibiotics but I have hardly taken them in my life, besides 7 days worth in october 2018. I think another round might do me good, no? Anesthetic also is riskier when going into infected gums..

Yes, if you haven't had any since October and the gums look infected, I would get antibiotics. I thought you had them recently. The endodontist will probably prescribe them at the consult. If you can't get in right away, it may be worth going to your doctor. That will at least hold off the abscess, or help control it if it is already there. You can do this! Call tonight and leave a message that you need an appointment. That way you don't have to talk to anyone...they will call you to schedule.
 
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cjswitch88

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Yes, if you haven't had any since October and the gums look infected, I would get antibiotics. I thought you had them recently. The endodontist will probably prescribe them at the consult. If you can't get in right away, it may be worth going to your doctor. That will at least hold off the abscess, or help control it if it is already there. You can do this! Call tonight and leave a message that you need an appointment. That way you don't have to talk to anyone...they will call you to schedule.
My sleep schedule is so jacked up right now I don't think I would be awake when they called :( IF I don't make the call today, or in the next 5 mins lol they all close at 5 pm, then I am gonna do my best to atleast start consults and meeting Monday. I was tempted to buy fish antibiotics because I knew back in october I needed antibiotics, but I wasnt gonna go through with the procedure. I took 7 days accurately like told, which is all fine if you dont wuss out at the end of the 7 days like I have. I would prefer them to do a 2 week prescription so I feel alot better at the time of procedure.. But who knows. I'll take 7 days instead of none at this point of course.
 
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cjswitch88

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How does anyone feel about extraction vs root canal? obviously extraction is cheaper at the moment but, I'm not sure what to do still. I'll talk to my dentist about it asap. What would be an easy way to get a round of antibiotics as well, doctor or dentist?
 
C

cjswitch88

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Yes, if you haven't had any since October and the gums look infected, I would get antibiotics. I thought you had them recently. The endodontist will probably prescribe them at the consult. If you can't get in right away, it may be worth going to your doctor. That will at least hold off the abscess, or help control it if it is already there. You can do this! Call tonight and leave a message that you need an appointment. That way you don't have to talk to anyone...they will call you to schedule.
Whats the benefit of probiotics + antibiotics? and I am having gum pain and tooth aches to the teeth next to this infected one, I hope antibiotics and a root canal on this one tooth can clear that all up.. :( I appreciate your stories and time, I have experienced pain during deep fillings too and believe I will be in massive pain when they drill DEEPER and even drilling into the pulp and infected nerve (hopefully not infected after antibiotics).. so essentially a filling has been more painful than some root canals for you? my good friend says the same thing, but I feel like he's just trying to get me into the dentist, which I need to do lol.
 
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SallyUK

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Hi, I’m in the uk. The dentists job is to help you and a lot of that is to do with minimising pain, first you need to get that clear in your head. You can control that. You can say stop, you can take a break, you can say it hurts! I am saying this because for many years I gritted my teeth (figuratively and in real life) I used to use the mental thought that I was definitely going to feel pain, worse and worse and I never did get worse and worse pain, but I was really tense fighting the fear of it the whole way through. I never said anything to my dentist about specific fears or what I needed. More i have engaged more and I do say out loud I am afraid of pain and have used hand signals and asked them to stop when I started feeling anxious. It gave me a sense of control. Maybe these ideas will work for you, or at least help you dig deep and find the permission to take a role in the appointment and that role is to make sure you say what hurts or is uncomfortable and what you want and need.

Yes I have had regular fillings that were more painful than root canals. I have had lots of root canals with no pain at all and only one where I had pain. It was immediate, short lasting and the dentist stopped. He gave me more anaesthetic and continued, no more pain.

It is very hard to make empowered choices when we are afraid, really hard. Avoidance, explaining, working it out, looking for control. I can say all this because I do it myself but ultimately you need to decide if you want a solution to the pain and the worry you have now. I can guarantee that this is more long lasting and painful than those minutes having treatment.
 
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MountainMama

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Whats the benefit of probiotics + antibiotics? and I am having gum pain and tooth aches to the teeth next to this infected one, I hope antibiotics and a root canal on this one tooth can clear that all up.. :( I appreciate your stories and time, I have experienced pain during deep fillings too and believe I will be in massive pain when they drill DEEPER and even drilling into the pulp and infected nerve (hopefully not infected after antibiotics).. so essentially a filling has been more painful than some root canals for you? my good friend says the same thing, but I feel like he's just trying to get me into the dentist, which I need to do lol.

If you take a probiotic while on an antibiotic, it helps keep the good bacteria in your gut. My doctor told me to maintain probiotics throughout this whole ordeal, especially while on antibiotics. It can also lessen the side effects of antibiotics. Just remember to take them at least two hours apart, or the antibiotic will counteract the probiotic.

My deep fillings were much worse than the root canals. They use a stronger anesthetic for root canals. I had the exact same train of thought as you, that it would be much worse, but was completely surprised when she told me she was into the pulp already.

As far as extraction vs root canal, that is a personal choice. I don't want to sway you on that, but my molar root canal failed and I did have the tooth extracted. However, my tooth had some really twisted roots and two were fused, so the endodontist warned me it might fail. I really wanted to save the tooth at the time. I had another molar that needed a root canal, but had a crack. Again, it had twisty roots, but the crack was the deciding factor for me. I had just had the other one fail, and couldn't afford to pay for another root canal so I decided to have it extracted. Honestly, though, the extraction healing process was much worse and lengthier than the root canal for me.

The root canal on my front tooth was a breeze. I didn't even have nitrous (it was at my dentist and they don't offer it). It had to be done right away due to the abscess, but was not painful at all either.
 
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