Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I'd Rather

So many times I've heard people faced with doing something utterly unpleasant say that they'd "rather have a root canal" than do whatever bit of unpleasantness. Sometimes the utterly unpleasant is really bad, too. This may be part of the reason that root canals have such a shady reputation as something really awful, painful, horrible and generally not a happy way to spend a couple hours. Others say they are not that bad anymore, really not much different from having a filling in terms of the pain afterward, other than the whole mouth agape for 2 hours thing. Oh, and the 4 or 5 shots I've read it can take to numb if the nerve is still alive. Mine's alive, along with the nerves connected to my fear of needles in the mouth-al area.

I've never known whether the horror stories are true or if those in the "just like a filling" camp were the real truth-tellers because I've never had a root canal.

Soon I'll know.

The endodontist I saw on Monday said at the point I am now (extreme cold sensitive - they did a test that brought tears to my eyes, but not to tapping), he'd normally recommend a wait and see approach for about another month, but that since I am leaving in, um, under 3 weeks for Japan, he's pretty sure I'd need a root canal in the end anyway, and dental work in other countries can be kind of a mixed bag, even aside from the language barrier and differences in pain management.

I'd rather be doing a lot of things on Tuesday morning, but I'll be having a root canal.

What would you rather be doing?

If you are looking for someone to listen to your non-scary stories about how positively swimmingly (oh, and for me, I'd rather be swimming) your own root canal went, you're in luck, your search is over because I'm all ears.


  1. It's not that bad, really. I had one way back in highschool and it wasn't bad and I'm sure they've improved since.

  2. I am madly phobic about dentistry, and I've never had so much as a cavity filling go smoothly. In fact, cavity fillings are probably the worst for me - they always seem to underestimate the life in my nerves, I guess. But the one root canal I had? Painless. I was shocked, couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about. My theory is that because it's usually a much larger endeavor than your average filling, they actually make a little extra effort. I hope you have the same luck!

  3. I have nothing good to say about root canals. In my life, I've had one cavity, which ended up turning into an abcess which led to a root canal that was painful and shitty and had to be redone twice. The tooth still hurts, but the dentist where I went told me he saw a bunch of other holes and if I didn't brush more he'd drill all my teeth.

    I've never been scared of the dentist until that root canal, and even though I know I need some work done, I'm terrified to go now, despite the pain I feel constantly in my teeth.

    I totally know you didn't want to hear that...I'm sure yours will go much smoother, mine I think was just a big fluke.

  4. hunny, i'll be thinking of you, and crossing all my fingers and toes that all is over speedily and doesn't hurt one little bit!

  5. Thinking of you as you get your mouth dugged into! Hope it goes as well and painfree as possible!

  6. Sending good thoughts your way.
    I hate dentists but not as much because of the pain, it's the "having my mouth open for too long" part!
    My last visit had me in tears thanks to unprofessional staff and incompetent dentists who had to refill a filling they messed up on.
    I have never said I'd rather have a root canal. Why would anyone say that!?

  7. I had one in kindergarten. Sucked ass. Buena suerte, mi tia!

  8. I am so sorry. I dread nothing more in life than trips to the dentist. But I do think that treatment has made leaps and bounds since I was a child (with a multitude of dental issues). My 5 year old niece just had a root canal, and I think she did alright.

    I'm hoping it all goes swimmingly for you, too.

  9. Most people will tell you it's not that bad. But you know me, I am the bringer of sadness everywhere I go. I don't just walk around pumping sunshine up people's butts.

    But honestly, it's not that bad. I had one last year. There is some Novocain, and some discomfort, and some eff'd up noises with the tools, but, it's not that bad.

    I _HATE_ the dentist. Abhor it. Never ever want to go again. But honestly, the worst part is the stress. I am usually tired after the dentist from being tense, but it doesn't hurt that bad.

    You'll be fine.

  10. My root canal wasn't too bad. The Rx's helped tremendously and I recommend you use them whenever necessary.

  11. I've had a root canal. Two, in fact. No problem. But it all depends on the competency of the Dentist, more than anything else. If you have a good one - you'll be fine.

  12. Hope all is well with you now that your root canal is over and done.

    I've had one root canal, and all was good - no issues at all. But I've heard horror stories, which is the source of everyone's feat of the dentist.

    I've actually always wondered why anyone would want to BE a dentist. Proctologist. Podiatrist. Gynecologist. Urologist. Yeah, lots of medical professions perplex me when it comes to people's choice to become one.


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