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Terrified of Root Canal & Infection

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SallyUK

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
Hi - I need some positive and encouraging words as I am not managing my fears very well right now and totally overthinking things. I am terrified of going back to the dentist. I will, but I really have got bad anxiety over this situation.

Have had an infection, shown on xray above incisor tooth but canine tooth had gum swelling. This was about a month ago and my dentist gave me antibiotics. Everything calmed down very quickly. Review appt two weeks later and dentist decided to root treat the incisor and to see about the canine after that. He mentioned extraction. He didn't seem to know at this point whether both teeth were source of infection or just one, but it's clear to me that the infection spreads between the two teeth.

Anyhow the swollen gums have returned but are waxing and waning, they are swollen between the two teeth. but mostly the canine (?) and there is some pus draining - I am doing saltwater rinses and things aren't getting worse.

I have never had swelling on gum like this, so close to the teeth, I've never had an infection that drains pus (disgusting salty taste) and I've never needed antibiotics. I've had a couple of abscesses and rct and all I had was a red bump on the gum and pain at the base of the tooth. I don't have pain right now. This infection really crept up on me and has really unnerved me. Dentist did say it was acute.

I'm terrified of my appointment which is an hour long on Wednesday.I'm all of a sudden terrified that something will go wrong and/or I won't be able to cope. I just want the situation sorted, it's been a month waiting and checking in with the situation and it is much better than at first and I'm hoping the rct will treat things but may have to have an extraction of the canine as well. Im tired and my anxiety is really hard to manage.

Scared of the rubber dam, feeling claustrophobic, something not being right once he takes another look - basically even if the situation isn't scary to dentist, the unknown or any hint of something not right and my anxiety sky rockets and I feel really vulnerable.

What is the worst that could happen? Swallowing chemicals and reacting, rubber dam getting stuck in my mouth, me not coping and having to stop, a file breaking, pain, discovering of a problem half way through. Being told the infection is uncontrollable (yes catastrophic thinking), being told things can't be fixed. Basically feeling helpless.

Thanks for reading, I do know noone has a magic wand and I will just have to deal with all these fears as I go along and trust my dentist but I really don't feel very strong right now and want to hide. I've built trust with my dentist and overcome so much but this situation has really thrown me off. Thanks for reading.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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SallyUK.

I so hear you on this anxiety and it can completely zapp all energy too. Its alot to think about, and I"m pretty good at catastrophizing myself when I get going. .

What I do want to encourage you on is if you haven't dealt with the rubber dam, I 've had many and I'm a gagger . I somehow don't feel gaggy withit much, its pretty thin and it actually makes me feel quite protected from all that could go down my throat if it wasn't there, thats my big fear.. well.. you the rubber dam might not be as bad as you anticipate but its good you trust your dentist and maybe go over the exact fears and concerns you have about it.

I might not have real answers, but just want to say, you are seen and heard and not alone in this for sure.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
644
Hi Sally, I think I have commented on your threads before. You are having a rough time of it.

I had four root canals done in six months, all on molars. Mine weren’t infected, but I had aggravated the nerves so much due to clenching my teeth I was in terrible pain. The nerves in my teeth - which had big fillings in them - were apparently so inflamed and angry they were bleeding.

The root canals are long, and boring, but not painful. I think front teeth are probably easier. The rubber dam is weird, but you can breathe fine. It’s made of the same kind of stuff the dentist’s gloves are made from. The dam stops you from swallowing chemicals, and for me it made my teeth feel detached from the rest of me in a strange way. I had two RCT done by my own dentist, who narrated the whole process to me, and two with an endodontist, who didn’t. He did give me regular time checks, and asked often if I was okay. At one point I had to stop and go for a wee - my appointments with him were two x 1h 45 minutes on two separate teeth - which was a bit embarrassing, but I survived.

In terms of discovering a problem on the day, your dentist must think root canal is a good option, or he wouldn’t suggest doing it.

I posted some some of the things that got me through mine previously. They sound really stupid, but here goes.

i took a stuffed toy to each appointment. It helps me to have something to fiddle with.

I made the appointments for tines when I didn’t have to go back to work and could head home after.

I brought lavender oil which I put round my nose in the waiting room.

I had a “treat” lined up as a reward for each appointment. A nice dinner after the numbing wore off, a new jumper, a bunch of flowers, and a new lipstick were some of them.

I wore somethjng I felt great in to each session, and also wore stripes to each one, like some sort of lucky charm. I also wore my favourite perfume.

Apologies if this offends anyone, but I also stayed offline. My endless googling was making me more and more anxious, and it was really not helpful. My partner was so worried about me that he activated parental controls on the WiFi.
 
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SallyUK

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
SallyUK.

I so hear you on this anxiety and it can completely zapp all energy too. Its alot to think about, and I"m pretty good at catastrophizing myself when I get going. .


I might not have real answers, but just want to say, you are seen and heard and not alone in this for sure.
Thank you, anxiety is so challenging, wish I could just go with the flow..............I can sometimes then the anxiety hits again, thanks for your response
 
S

SallyUK

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
Hi Sally, I think I have commented on your threads before. You are having a rough time of it.

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Thank you - I am sorry your clenching caused you problems, yes you have kindly responded to me before and yes this situation is challenging, mostly as it seems to be taking a long time to resolve. In reality I don't think it really is, it's just my worry.

Thanks for the tips, all of them good and agree about that not going online. I have managed to do that in the main, but I genuinely am freaked out by the way this infection has been, I've found it really hard to know when there is something to be concerned about and when there isn't. I guess because I wasn't really aware of it with pain, how is that even possible.............

Thank you for the reminder about the RCT, I've had them before with no problem. I am trying hard to remember this and remain trusting. Mind just keeps catastrophising. I'll try and think positive. Thanks again
 
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Envirochick12887

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
60
Terrified of Root Canal & Infection

You’ve got this! I had an emergency one done about a month ago. It was scary to be in the situation because I had never had one. But it ended up being ok. You can do this though, get through one minute at a time. It helped when they answered all my questions about the process.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

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Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
644
How are you doing, Sally? I will be thinking of you tomorrow.
 
S

SallyUK

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
How are you doing, Sally? I will be thinking of you tomorrow.
Hi Judy - I have been distracting myself most of the day :) Still very anxious but really trying not to over worry as it is out of my hands what happens during the treatment and whether it goes ok or not. I've just got to try and stay as calm as I can. Really really hoping there are no complications, can't handle much more stress and worry. Just want things healthy again. Thanks for asking.
 
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SallyUK

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
294
I made it!

Root canal done this morning. I'm still very numb and adrenaline come down has left me a bit shaky but what had to be done has been done. It wasn't a pleasant experience, a few initial issues with pain and some spillage into my mouth but I managed to work with my anxiety so that I didn't feel overwhelmed and my brilliant dentist could do what he needed and made me comfortable.

Years ago I would never have interacted or expressed myself and feel good that I have a way to do that now. I feel less vulnerable and more connected to what's going on which although scares me it also reminds me I can do it. Not everything in life is fun!

Now hoping tooth settles. Back in two weeks for a review and all being well a permanent filling.
 
Judythecat

Judythecat

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
644
I made it!

Root canal done this morning. I'm still very numb and adrenaline come down has left me a bit shaky but what had to be done has been done. It wasn't a pleasant experience, a few initial issues with pain and some spillage into my mouth but I managed to work with my anxiety so that I didn't feel overwhelmed and my brilliant dentist could do what he needed and made me comfortable.

Years ago I would never have interacted or expressed myself and feel good that I have a way to do that now. I feel less vulnerable and more connected to what's going on which although scares me it also reminds me I can do it. Not everything in life is fun!

Now hoping tooth settles. Back in two weeks for a review and all being well a permanent filling.
Really pleased you made it - and fingers crossed the tooth calms down and that's the end of it now!
 
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nutzforcats

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
68
Congrats on getting it done! I had mine done on Nov. 7th and go Monday for my permanent filling (am getting a crown early next year). It is always worse in your head than getting it done.
 
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