| | Re: Childhood filling fell out. Need rootcanal
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.
Good luck to you!