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Old 07-06-2007, 08:02 AM   #1
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Root Canal - Freaking Out!

I recently discovered a cavity and decided to go to the dentist today to get that looked at and get another filling (that fell out) replaced.
Well, they took xrays/photos of my teeth, and it turns out that I have 8(!!!!) cavities. And the tooth (#4) where I noticed had a cavity actually needs a root canal!
I am freaking out beyond belief. First off, I've never had that many dental problems (especially at once) in my entire life. I take great care of my teeth (floss/brush daily... more than twice).
How is this possible that I got such damage that I need a root canal already?

Outrageous. It's also very frustrating that I already have four silver fillings and every single one of them has to be replaced because apparently there are cavities in all of them. (What's the point of getting fillings if they're just gonna get cavities eventually anyway?!)

So obviously I've never had a root canal done and I am beyond scared. The dentist set up 2 appointments for the 7 cavities, and 2 others for the root canal/crown. It is very expensive and I don't think I can afford to do it that way.
Should I have the root canal done first so that my insurance at least covers half of that? (If I get the fillings on other teeth first my insurance won't cover any of the root canal procedures.)
Should I just go ahead and tell him to do the root canal first at my first appointment (even though he scheduled fillings first)? Do I have to call and tell them in advance or will it be okay if I just show up and tell him that I want the root canal out of the way first?

Also, what should I expect? I asked him about it, but he wasn't very informative. He basically just said that it won't hurt (yeah right!) and that I had the nitrous oxide option (which I decided to use at least for the root canal).
Is this gonna be the most painful procedure ever? I hear people talk about how horrible it is to have root canals and I don't want to have to go through that. I freak out at the dentist enough as it is.

Thanks!

 
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:40 AM   #2
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Smile Re: Root Canal - Freaking Out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonLight0 View Post
I recently discovered a cavity and decided to go to the dentist today to get that looked at and get another filling (that fell out) replaced.
Well, they took xrays/photos of my teeth, and it turns out that I have 8(!!!!) cavities. And the tooth (#4) where I noticed had a cavity actually needs a root canal!
I am freaking out beyond belief. First off, I've never had that many dental problems (especially at once) in my entire life. I take great care of my teeth (floss/brush daily... more than twice).
How is this possible that I got such damage that I need a root canal already?

Outrageous. It's also very frustrating that I already have four silver fillings and every single one of them has to be replaced because apparently there are cavities in all of them. (What's the point of getting fillings if they're just gonna get cavities eventually anyway?!)

So obviously I've never had a root canal done and I am beyond scared. The dentist set up 2 appointments for the 7 cavities, and 2 others for the root canal/crown. It is very expensive and I don't think I can afford to do it that way.
Should I have the root canal done first so that my insurance at least covers half of that? (If I get the fillings on other teeth first my insurance won't cover any of the root canal procedures.)
Should I just go ahead and tell him to do the root canal first at my first appointment (even though he scheduled fillings first)? Do I have to call and tell them in advance or will it be okay if I just show up and tell him that I want the root canal out of the way first?

Also, what should I expect? I asked him about it, but he wasn't very informative. He basically just said that it won't hurt (yeah right!) and that I had the nitrous oxide option (which I decided to use at least for the root canal).
Is this gonna be the most painful procedure ever? I hear people talk about how horrible it is to have root canals and I don't want to have to go through that. I freak out at the dentist enough as it is.

Thanks!
Hi Moonlight, I can understand your anxiety ..But please try not to worry (easier said than done...i know) Never had root canal, but my hubby recently did. He wasn't scared, but I was scared for him, as I have heard nothing but horror stories, as well. I went with him. We have great dentist and staff, which helps alot. He said he felt no pain during procedure, and even after meds wore off, he didn't need to take vicodin, just Advil or Tylenol (forget which) The doctor called that evening to make sure he was doing ok. Went back to work next day. But everyone is different, although I'm sure you'll do fine. Good luck and let me know how everything goes. Oh yeah, get the nitrous oxide....

 
Old 07-06-2007, 09:50 AM   #3
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Re: Root Canal - Freaking Out!

Thanks! I hope it goes well.

I also just talked to a friend about the whole thing and she thinks that I need a second opinion.
I currently have three fillings, and only one of them feels a bit uncomfortable like there may be something wrong with it (probably needs to be replaced). The other two feel fine, but apparently according to this dentist, they need to be taken out and replaced. He wasn't very informative and didn't even tell me exactly where I needed the fillings or why... he just said that he needed to work on 8 of my teeth (including the root canal).
[I figured out which ones on my own and realized that 4 of them are the ones that already have/had fillings.]

I guess if the other 2 old fillings are fine, I'd rather leave them in for a while till I can afford to get them replaced.

Should I get a second opinion? This is the first time I've ever been to this dentist so I don't know whether or not I should trust his opinion.
Also, if I go to a different one, will I have to get the xrays done again? Or can this dentist just send the xrays to a different ones (upon my request)?
I've never done xrays before.

 
Old 07-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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Re: Root Canal - Freaking Out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonLight0 View Post
I recently discovered a cavity and decided to go to the dentist today to get that looked at and get another filling (that fell out) replaced.
Well, they took xrays/photos of my teeth, and it turns out that I have 8(!!!!) cavities. And the tooth (#4) where I noticed had a cavity actually needs a root canal!
I am freaking out beyond belief. First off, I've never had that many dental problems (especially at once) in my entire life. I take great care of my teeth (floss/brush daily... more than twice).
How is this possible that I got such damage that I need a root canal already?

Outrageous. It's also very frustrating that I already have four silver fillings and every single one of them has to be replaced because apparently there are cavities in all of them. (What's the point of getting fillings if they're just gonna get cavities eventually anyway?!)

So obviously I've never had a root canal done and I am beyond scared. The dentist set up 2 appointments for the 7 cavities, and 2 others for the root canal/crown. It is very expensive and I don't think I can afford to do it that way.
Should I have the root canal done first so that my insurance at least covers half of that? (If I get the fillings on other teeth first my insurance won't cover any of the root canal procedures.)
Should I just go ahead and tell him to do the root canal first at my first appointment (even though he scheduled fillings first)? Do I have to call and tell them in advance or will it be okay if I just show up and tell him that I want the root canal out of the way first?

Also, what should I expect? I asked him about it, but he wasn't very informative. He basically just said that it won't hurt (yeah right!) and that I had the nitrous oxide option (which I decided to use at least for the root canal).
Is this gonna be the most painful procedure ever? I hear people talk about how horrible it is to have root canals and I don't want to have to go through that. I freak out at the dentist enough as it is.

Thanks!

There is nothing to a root canal. I have had at least three in my lifetime. I never had any pain. It is just a long procedure. The doctor will give you novacaine to make you numb and you won't feel anything. As far as what you should have done first, the cavities or the root canal, that is something you need to discuss with your dentist.

 
Old 07-06-2007, 07:58 PM   #5
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Re: Root Canal - Freaking Out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoopa7p View Post
There is nothing to a root canal. I have had at least three in my lifetime. I never had any pain. It is just a long procedure. The doctor will give you novacaine to make you numb and you won't feel anything. As far as what you should have done first, the cavities or the root canal, that is something you need to discuss with your dentist.
Thanks!
I hope it won't be too bad... it's just gonna be annoying to have to sit there for an hour and a half. I figured it out and decided to get the root canal out of the way first. I'm doing that on Wednesay. It's like a nightmare. My teeth are so important to me and I can't believe I'm practically losing one of them for good... (and I'm way too young for that).
Oh well, I guess that's what I get for not going to the dentist on time.

 
Old 07-06-2007, 09:31 PM   #6
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Re: Root Canal - Freaking Out!

MoonlightO,

I would have a second opinion. Your dentist should be explaining to you the work that he plans on doing. I am curious as to why you need the root canal. You have not said anything about pain or infection, so I am just assuming that the cavity is large enough that the dentist doesn't think a filling would be enough. Since you have insurance, you should have the work pre-authorized, especially the root canal and crown.

I have been to a bad dentist that did unnecessary work for the insurance and so I am very cautious with making sure the work is required. I also have worked as office manager for a couple fabulous dentists (few years back) and know that a good dentist is not afraid to tell you why you need what work done and work with you on making the most cost effective choices. Good luck!

 
Old 07-07-2007, 03:55 AM   #7
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Re: Root Canal - Freaking Out!

Do not worry at all about the root canal. It is impossible to count the number I have had and they are not terrible at all. For me, getting out of pain was always the most important thing - the root canal was a means to get me there. So many people are scared of them and dread them, but really it is not bad. You will be totally numb and not feel anything. It is a bit uncomfortable to sit there with your mouth open for longer than you are used to, but that too is not bad. The dentist will drill open the tooth, and then take small little needles to clean out the canals. Don't "freak" about that - it doesn't hurt and the only sensation you will have is a feeling of something going in and out. He will then pack the tooth with medicine and a temporary filling, and you are DONE! Often a tooth requires several treatments, so you may go back in two weeks to have it done again, but this is a much shorter visit. He will not be working on your tooth for an hour and a half - some of that time will be waiting for the novacaine to work and putting in the temporary filling. You will be surprised at how quickly it goes and how you don't have any pain. It might be a little sore for a few days afterwards, but nothing that is terrible pain. And, I promise you, it is better to get this done now than to be in terrible pain further down the road when the tooth has an infection. Root canals are done when infection has entered the root canal, or a cavity is so deep that it threatens the pulp and root of your tooth.

In my opinion you do not need the nitrous oxide. I would much rather be alert than to deal with the anesthesia. That is just my opinion, but give it some thought - you will be fine without it. That is personal preference though.

You probably have decay around your previous fillings. It doesn't mean that the fillings decayed. It could be that one of the fillings feels loose as there is decay around it.

There are many reasons that you can have so many cavities at once, but most probably because you have not been in awhile. Don't let that upset you. It happens. No need for guilt. The most important thing is that you get them taken care of to avoid pain and further problems. If you feel a second opinion is worthwhile, then by all means get that. If you are going for the root canal then you could get a second opinion about the others after that.

This is NOT going to be the most "painful procedure ever". I promise. And, you are going to do just fine. And, as "misery loves company", it might help you to know that I am sitting here in pain waiting for Monday to arrive for an appointment I have and I am hoping for a root canal! Tooth pain is one of the worst pains there is, so be thankful that you are getting the work done and then will feel much better. Also remember - you are braver than you thing you are!

Hope this helps and please let us know how you do. We are thinking of you.

glowing4

 
Old 07-07-2007, 11:58 AM   #8
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Re: Root Canal - Freaking Out!

sorry about your dental woes! But really, do NOT worry about the root canal. My 6 yr old daughter just had a root canal and a crown put on, and she didn't make a single peep, not even when they gave her the novicane. In fact, they gave her some laughing gas and she fell asleep about 5 minutes before the dentist was done. So don't worry about pain.

 
Old 07-08-2007, 12:20 AM   #9
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Drill Bit Left In Root Canal.

I hope your root canal isn't a bad experience. Of course there are pros and cons to any procedure. If you have a dentist you trust, then go with what he suggests; however is you have the leatest doubt, get a second opinion.
My root canal experience was one I would prefer not to speak about; except I do have a question...Has any one EVER heard of a dentist leaving a piece of a broken drill bit in a root canal and sealing it in? Recentely, I had to have an apconectomy done because there was an abscess where the root canal had been done. The oral surgeon found a piece of a drill bit in the work the other dentist has done. Now I wonder if that drill bit caused the abscess, which in turned caused me thousands of dollars to have fixed! I still have moderate pain in that tooth, and have been told to expect this pain for anywhere from 2-3 months! Does any one know anything about this?
Thank you.

 
Old 07-09-2007, 10:17 AM   #10
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Re: Root Canal - Freaking Out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwitht View Post
MoonlightO,

I would have a second opinion. Your dentist should be explaining to you the work that he plans on doing. I am curious as to why you need the root canal. You have not said anything about pain or infection, so I am just assuming that the cavity is large enough that the dentist doesn't think a filling would be enough. Since you have insurance, you should have the work pre-authorized, especially the root canal and crown.

I have been to a bad dentist that did unnecessary work for the insurance and so I am very cautious with making sure the work is required. I also have worked as office manager for a couple fabulous dentists (few years back) and know that a good dentist is not afraid to tell you why you need what work done and work with you on making the most cost effective choices. Good luck!
All he told me is that I have 8 cavities (wow! Right?)
He didn't tell me which teeth or anything. He just explained that #4 (that needs a root canal) is deep and that I will need a root canal to clean up the root and inside and everything. I can see a crack in the tooth, food gets stuck in there a lot, so it looks like the cavity is deep between by #4 and #5. So I think that the root canal for that may be a good idea... but what do I know? I'm not a dentist. There really is not major pain in that area, just soreness. Sometimes at night before I got to sleep I feel a slight bit of pain, but it's not severe to the point where I can't handle it and/or need pain killers.

He also said that there are 7 other cavities, and I realized that 4 of them are in my old fillings that I had done years ago. I figure I will have to get those replaced eventually anyway, so I might as well get it over with now.

I do have a problem with his diagnosis on my #5 and #13. He said that I need work on those, but I see nothing wrong with them at all. He tapped on #5 with his tool and asked if it hurts, I said no, yet he still thinks that I need work. Those two teeth are awfully close to the front teeth, and I don't want to have to get work done there if I don't need to. I want at least my front teeth to remain clean and as healthy as possible.
So I'm thinking that I'm gonna have this root canal done on Wednesday, and than get the old fillings replaced.
After that I'm going to tell him not to do any more work. So than I'm gonna go to a different dentist and see what he/she has to say about #5 and 13. I really don't think any work on those is necessary and I hope I'm right.

Thanks!

[Do not use cuss/slang words. Please see where I edited and changed it to "wow" instead. Thanks - Well-come Moderator.]

Last edited by Well-come; 07-09-2007 at 08:52 PM.

 
Old 07-09-2007, 10:24 AM   #11
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Re: Root Canal - Freaking Out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by glowing4 View Post

You probably have decay around your previous fillings. It doesn't mean that the fillings decayed. It could be that one of the fillings feels loose as there is decay around it.

There are many reasons that you can have so many cavities at once, but most probably because you have not been in awhile. Don't let that upset you. It happens. No need for guilt. The most important thing is that you get them taken care of to avoid pain and further problems. If you feel a second opinion is worthwhile, then by all means get that. If you are going for the root canal then you could get a second opinion about the others after that.

This is NOT going to be the most "painful procedure ever". I promise. And, you are going to do just fine. And, as "misery loves company", it might help you to know that I am sitting here in pain waiting for Monday to arrive for an appointment I have and I am hoping for a root canal! Tooth pain is one of the worst pains there is, so be thankful that you are getting the work done and then will feel much better. Also remember - you are braver than you thing you are!

Hope this helps and please let us know how you do. We are thinking of you.

glowing4
Thank you so much. I definitely feel way better about it now that I've read and talked to people about it.
This really helps.

I think you're right about the fillings and decay. One of them is starting to hurt (not a lot at all) occasionally. I definitely know that it needs to be replaced, as for the rest, I'm not sure. I just know that I will eventually need the fillings replaced anyway so I might as well do it now.
I want the resin ones anyway, and the ones I have now are silver. Resin will look much better.

As for the rest of the 2 or 3 teeth that look healthy to me, I will get a second opinion on. They don't hurt, they're completely white.. no speckles or anything on them. So if hopefully I won't need work on those. I will have to see what the other dentist says.
Thanks again!

 
Old 07-09-2007, 10:27 AM   #12
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Re: Drill Bit Left In Root Canal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyvonne12 View Post
I hope your root canal isn't a bad experience. Of course there are pros and cons to any procedure. If you have a dentist you trust, then go with what he suggests; however is you have the leatest doubt, get a second opinion.
My root canal experience was one I would prefer not to speak about; except I do have a question...Has any one EVER heard of a dentist leaving a piece of a broken drill bit in a root canal and sealing it in? Recentely, I had to have an apconectomy done because there was an abscess where the root canal had been done. The oral surgeon found a piece of a drill bit in the work the other dentist has done. Now I wonder if that drill bit caused the abscess, which in turned caused me thousands of dollars to have fixed! I still have moderate pain in that tooth, and have been told to expect this pain for anywhere from 2-3 months! Does any one know anything about this?
Thank you.

I'm sorry, that sounds horrible. I've never heard of anything like that though. What is wrong with dentists these days? They don't see to care about the patient... it's all about money and getting as much work done on your teeth as possible. Don't they realize that some of us actually like our teeth to be whole?
That is really unfortunate. I hope you feel better.

I do have doubt about some of my teeth that he said I needed work on, but the root canal one is pretty deep and the crack is between #4 and 5 so I guess a root canal is probably a good idea. I don't see how he would be able to put a filling in there without drilling in deep... which is basically a root canal. I just hope he doesn't screw it up.

Thanks!

 
Old 07-09-2007, 05:25 PM   #13
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Re: Drill Bit Left In Root Canal.

I hope it is not too late to say this to you but do NOT let a general dentist do a root canal on you...especially on a molar (#4)! Go to an endodontist for this. That's all they do is root canals. My BIL is an endo and he gets a lot of work to redo that general dentists screw up. I just had one on #3 and these are big, deep teeth with large roots. Any mess up can leave you in really bad shape. Go to a specialist!

 
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