Hi. I am new here. I am so glad I found this sight. Anyway I am 30 yrs old & a couple of years ago a filling I have had partially came out & since then it has chipped away alittle here & thier. I did go to the denist several months ago & he said I need a root canal. I just have not scheduled an appointment to have it done. But it is hurting so badly now. I just want to get it taken care off. Any advice of how it feels afterwards. I can usually handle the after effects. But I just hate going to the dentist & hearing the drills & smelling all the smells. Any advice on a root canal will greatly apprecieated. Thankyou
I've alway been a chicken when it came to the dentist too. The sound of the drill would send shivers up my spine. I started taking a walkman and a couple of my favorite tape with me. It drown out the sound of the drill completely but at least with the music blaring in my ears it muffled it enough that it didn't bother me so much. Good luck to you. Let me know how things turn out.
I too had put off getting a root canal for the same reasons that you mentioned. I had a bad experience with one a few years back and did'nt want to go through it again. However the pain was unbearable so I decided to "bite the bullet" (no pun intended) and get it over and done with. I had no problems with this root canal. The difference was that the dentist gave me some nitrous oxide throughout the procedure with relaxed me greatly. Insurance won't cover it but it is so worth the $100 I was charged
The actual drilling before a root canal doesn't last long at all. Not like if you get a large filling. Most of the time is spent getting the nerve out. I never felt ANYTHING; I went to a specialist who didn't use nitrous ! He said the cords get in his way. So I took a benzo beforehand, looked out the windows and drove myself home. Piece of cake, actually. Good Luck to You
I too dreaded one for years but never felt anything. But the difference between RC and a filling is the possibility of after effects and the extent of them. Some people have to be on Vicodin afterwards. And my face swelled up for one solid week. It was just slightly tender; no biggie but it Did show infection. He gave me antibiotics but it would probably have cleared up on its own without them.
I have now had root canals in 3 teeth. I was simply terrified of having it done the first time. Here's my advice:
1) Tell your dentist you are apprehensive.
2) They numb you up first. Gas then too, if you elect that. Put a rubber dam on the tooth to keep the area clean and dry.
3) They drill down the center of the tooth to make an opening large enough to find the tops of the roots.
4) They work down a bit until they can pull the root out. Sounds horrible, but you won't feel anything. My dentist always shows me the little buggers to see what's been hurting me.
5) They then take small, bendable hand files and work them down each root to clean them out. They will also make sure the root is open and clean.
6) They will then fill each root with gutta percha - a rubber/plastic filler.
7) They will then put a temp. filling on top.
8) If all is ok, you will come back in about a week to have a permanent filling placed.
This is an over simplification, but you get the idea. Here's a site with some pictures.
My tips / other thoughts:
1) Sometimes they will start you on antibiotics before the procedure. Ask about that. Sometimes they will also have you take them afterward for a few days too.
2) I found that it is hard to keep my mouth open for as long as the procedure takes. Ask if you need to rest your jaw.
3) About half the time I have pain afterward too. The other half, the tooth feels funny, but I'm more pain free than prior to having it done. If I have pain, I have used Advil or Vioxx effectively and Vicodin or Percocet for the "bad" one's. If I have needed heavy duty pain med, it's only for a day or so.
4) You may feel some pain in the tooth for many weeks or months afterward. It just takes each person varying amounts of time to heal. I have found that it helps to avoid chewing on the affected tooth until the pain is completely gone.
5) Lastly, although having a root canal isn't something I'd pine for... they really (usually) do help the pain quickly. I no longer fear having them. I also have become more patient about how long it takes for the tooth to feel 100% pain free.