Who Wants a Root Canal?

Not me - but my dentist says it’s either that or yank the tooth.

Anyone else had one? Any comments on the experience? Boring? Long? Painful recovery?

I had all of them taken out at once. They didnt put me under, but numbed me with local anesthetic and injected me with valium. It totally sucked, but I was conscious and quite delirious. I asked a nurse to hold my hand, and was shocked at the drill he was using on my last tooth I did’nt remember him using on my first three.

I also remember having to bite down on guaze for about 3 hours after the surgery. The next day I got better. But Yes, it totally sucks for a day.

I just had one a couple of weeks ago. I went to a specialist, it cost about $800, I was in there for an hour and a half. I fell asleep and snored at one point. Utterly painless. I was swollen and sore for a day or two and never needed any pain killers.

I went in because an abcess exploded in my cheek and my face swole up. That hurt! I couldn’t sleep or eat. Major infection. The root canal was a relief. Heavy duty antibiotics were required and I could have ended up in emergency on an antibiotic drip if it had been much worse.

Bonus points. The dentist said I had a Guiness record root that went right up into my sinus. The infection was giving me sinus problems and really bad breath which cleared up right away.

I’m glad I had it done and it was no big deal at all. I’ve got to get the same molar on the other side done one of these days.

The specialist touched my teeth with a thin wand of dry ice. It hurts when it touches but when he touched the root canal candidates I didn’t feel anything. He said these were “dead teeth”.

jti, this procedure was very painful for me.
All that drilling, blood, brain matter all over the place, oh wait a minute, that was the lobotomy, uh nevermind.

Hey Al, I had one of those, too. The infection was coming out of my nose before I went to the dentist. I just thought I had a really smelly, runny nose. In addition to doing the root canel without novacaine, he sliced my gum and all this blood and pus shot out. It was cool.

I’ve had 3 root canals, had less trouble with that then the one wisdom tooth extraction. YMMV

I had a root canal. Contrary to the gloomy picture that everyone painted for me, I had no problems. I just had 2 shots of Novacaine, or whatever they use, and that was it. No swelling, or anything. The worst part was getting used to the feel of a crown. Guess I was lucky.

Well, this thread certainly has good timing. I am scheduled for a root canal on my left front tooth today at noon. From what I’ve heard (at least from the endodontist I’m going to), the process is not nearly as painful as people seem to think.
My tooth kind of ‘broke off’ about three weeks ago (because of problems with my dental insurance and the fact that this is the first date the endodontist had available, this is the earliest I could get anything done). However, there has been no pain whatsoever, so as far as I can tell, that means the root canal shouldn’t be terribly painful, either. They also say the procedure shouldn’t take more than about an hour.

So, jti, I’ll be able to tell you more about it this afternoon :slight_smile:

I had one pulled cause it had abcessed (swollen up) and gotten infected and I couldn’t afford the root canal. Took 5 shots of Novacane and a good dose of Nitrous. I didn’t feel them use the little saw or drill on my tooth taking it out. Of course, I got the prescriptions filled (took my remaining change, with help from parents), but I still spent hours shivering in front of the heater (in warm weather) because of the pain from the empty socket. This is just the way I am tho, and of course YMMV.

The root canal I had was just as easy, with no aftereffects. Took the pills and the like, no problems. The root canal took about 2+hrs because of the world record root I had. Never felt anything, either.

I’ll have a wisdom tooth pulled eventually. That’s something I’m looking forward to. Not.

Last April, I went in to have the first session. It was simply.
They just numbed me, then cleaned the tooth out (it took an hour).
No blood, no pain, but the keeping your mouth open for one whole hour without being able to close it for one second was horrible.
I haven’t gone back yet to have them finish it.
But yes, have it done, then you’ll be able to eat on that tooth, which i cannot do.

I’ve had one root canal and I really dreaded it, considering all the negative feedback. I’ve had alot of work done on my teeth and going to the dentist is no big deal for me, nor having a filling filled. But, this I worried about.

Other than keeping my mouth open for an hour, it was a breeze and not all all uncomfortable. Naturally, I used novacaine. (Better living through pharmacology) The only inconvenience I had was the drive to my dentists place, which is a scheduling nightmare from my house to his place and dropping off the kids somewhere’s inbetween.

It was worth the $800 because that tooth no longer hurt when I sucked in cold hair, cold drinks, or ( this was the worst part) crappy overcast weather that is so much a part of Michigan.

Did I mention that our dentist is my husbands cousin too. (Cute and funny and gave us interest free payment plans.)

I had a root canal a couple of years ago and it kind of hurt. He numbed the area and did the drilling and I went back a week later to get my permanent cap put on. He had to make sure the root/nerve was dead so he stuck a pin in it and OMG! That really hurt! He had to put a shot of novacaine directly into the root so he could finish the job. I hope I never have to have another one done. Everybody is different though. I know people who have had root canals with no pain at all. I think it depends on the situation.

I had a root canal while in the USAF. The genius that worked on mine said, “The tooth you’re pointing at, sergeant, is not the one actually causing you the problem, it’s the one next to it.” Therefore, he rooted that one. The whole time he was working on me, he kept telling his assistant, “I got to get this done because I have softball practice this afternoon”.

After the procedure, I returned to work. A few hours later, the pain returned with a vengeance. I had to rush to the Dental clinic. The lady at the clinic told me to have a seat, fill out forms, and wait. I said, very loudly, “I am in pain, severe fucking pain! That idiot fucked me up! I am not sitting down, I am not filling out any fucking forms, I want Novacaine NOW or i will rip this fucking place apart.”

The Clinic commander comes out, wanting to know who is about to tear his clinic apart for drugs, and asks what the problem is.

He then sits me down, shoots me full of Novacaine and takes a look. Apparently, not only did this USAF genius root canal the WRONG tooth, he left nerves in the one he did work on. The commander finishes the root canal, preps the actual tooth, and fires the dentist that worked on me. The pain was worth the look on the original assholes face when the Commander told he was through and would probably have to pay back the USAF for his tuition.

BTW, the military primary pain killer is Motrin. “Oh, your legs have been cut off? Take 800mg of Motrin, that should work.”

You guys need some more reassurance I can see.

I just had another one last month. Root canals are no biggie at all. Please believe me, the professional dental patient.

The pain is usually way worse before you have it done than afterwards. You get numbed up really well, (usually the worst part of the whole procedure) and then he takes out the nerve roots. So afterwards, there is no nerve to hurt anymore. The only area you might be sore in is where you got the shots at. This is not a bad, angry, hurting kind of sore either. Just a little sore. This goes away in 1 or 2 days, especially if you keep your mouth clean.

You will probably have a follow up visit on the tooth, for the filling or cap. This won’t hurt at all, the only thing the dentists even needs to numb now is your gums, the tooth won’t feel a thing.

I hope your tooth feels better soon!
*Aenea, who finally has a great dentist.

I had one last week on a tooth that had been bugging me for about 3 weeks. I was in and out in about an hour. It hurt to put pressure on the tooth for about two days after, but it feels good now. Living on Anbesol and naproxen is not my idea of a good time.


Root Canals are nothing to fear. As pointed out above…idiot dentists are! I had a root canal when I was 16 and lo and behold 14 years later I have a TERRIBLEpain in my jaw. Go to the Dentist(different one) and the root canal was not finished the first time and now I had an infection. Wow, did that hurt. Couldn’t sleep, could barely eat. Tylenol and alleve could not touch the pain. Finally got a hold of some Tylenol with codeine and that helped… Of course I damn near became a codeine junkie.

Different guy did(finished) the Root Canal and then I got a crown. The crown was weird at first but definitely is the way to go. Root canals are worth it. Still having a tooth or a semblance there of is also worth it. The main advantage to yanking the tooth is that it is cheaper.

Good luck and I hope they do a good job. I’d send you some codeine but it’s mine, MINE I TELL YOU!! What are you looking at…You all just want my codeine, don’t you… Get away from me. MINE, ALL MINE… ahahahaha.

Woh… sorry… umm just take it easy on the pain medicine and get by on as little as possible.

Well, I’m back from my root canal. Obviosuly, I’m still conscious, so it wasn’t too bad :slight_smile:

There was no pain (except in my jaw, when the dentist gave me the second shot of novacaine on the backside of the tooth - although it was actually more like discomfort than pain). The drilling kind of vibrates your skull, which can be annoying, but is definitely not painful.

My upper lip is still numb, as are my gums. Hopefully, when everything wears off, there won’t be much pain.

I go next Wednesday to have the rest of my teeth cleaned / repaired. Because of some scheduling mix-ups, I’m not sure if the dentist will be prepared to actually fit a crown on this trip. Oh, the joys of dentistry…

thanks everyone - I’ll let you know how it goes.

(oh, and by the way, imthjckaz - I’m going to drop by your place late some night with a pillow. You won’t feel a thing.)

Just to share, I’ve had 3 root canals. The first one was a joke. The tooth was abcessed, and it felt so much better afterwards. No pain killers afterwards, ate raw carrots an hour later. Fell asleep in the chair.

Second one, not bad at all. No naps at the dentist’s office, but relatively painless.

Third one- horrid. MAKE SURE YOU ARE NUMB BEFORE THEY START!!! They did one shot, then(cause I thought I was numb) started drilling/grinding and I almost jumped out of the chair. Took 5 more shots until I was numb enough, cause I was tense, and I still cried the whole time, out of tension, fear, and yes, pain. Was sore for a week after and lived on tylenol.

So-if your dentist is good, then it shouldn’t be too bad, as long as you know when you are truly numb.

I had two root canals last year (cracked/shattered teeth, don’t ask). My dentist examined them and said, “I can see exposed nerve tissue. Why aren’t you screaming?” I shrugged. The point here is that you shouldn’t generalize from my experiences with pain.

That said, I didn’t feel a thing. Just a slight sting from the needle, and a slightly cramped sensation from keeping my mouth wide open for 3 hours. He gave me a scrip for painkillers; the bottle is still sitting in its little bag in the back of the fridge, unopened.

I have a really good dentist.