Root Canal Pain and Fear?

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  • I've had a few in my life and contrary to popular media it's not the worse thing in the world. If you've never had a root canal I'll walk you through one of my experiences.

    I had a cavity and ignored it for months until fierce pain drove me to go to the dentist. After some x-rays I was told I would need a root canal. I recieved some pain medication and antibiotics. Your tooth hurts because it's infected and they can't work on your tooth until the infection goes down. I learned later on in life that if the tooth is infected while they work, it will still hurt even when they numb you.

    I received an appointment to come back in three weeks and I waited. Ireturned at that time and was prepared by a dental assistant. The dentist gave me three shots in my mouth and the numbness began. While we waited for it to take full effect the assistant chatted with me and then the dentist tested me and began to work. I felt...

    Nothing. I didn't feel a single bit of pain after the needles. I relaxed fully, closed my eyes and actually took a nap while they worked on my teeth. I don't know how long it took but they woke me up and it was over. The side of my mouth, my tongue and even up to my ear was numb but that was the only discomfort during the entire procedure.

    I was given another appointment to come back for a cap and I went home. After the numbness wore off, I still felt nothing and went about my business. And that's it, that was the whole "horrible experience" that is played up in sitcom and movies to be such a terrible thing to avoid. They make it seem as though it is a really painful and terrifying thing, when it's really not. The worst thing about getting a root canal is the bill. All together it probably runs $1200 or so. If you don't have dental insurance you should try to get a dental plan and save a couple hundred dollars.

    On the other side of this, there is the fact that you can avoid all this by simply getting regular checkups and going to the the moment you discover a cavity. Once discovered they can simply give you a filling. When you avoid it and wait to long you need a root canal eventually.