Monday, 20 June 2011

Root canal myth buster

Scary isn't it?  You're recoiling at the thought.  You're perhaps imagining pain travelling like electricity along nerves, causing the worst pain imaginable.

Well I've been there, and I have a few myths to bust.

This morning I went to the dentist with a dental abscess.  I'd obviously googled the condition and after reading the words "can be fatal" and "should see dentist as soon as possible" I was outside the dental surgery at 8:00am this morning to obtain an emergency appointment at 8:50am.

The dentist had a quick look, took three x-rays (that's what the bill said but I swear he only took one), and told me I needed a root canal treatment.

I broke out into a cold sweat and adrenalin coursed through my veins.  The flight response was stronger than the fight response but my body was definitely responding to a threat.

I asked the dentist lots of questions and he told me he was going to drill a hole in the back of the tooth, put some antibiotics in the drilled hole (despite the fact I'd already started a course of antibiotics) and then apply a temporary filling.

I asked if he was going to give me an anaesthetic injection (because those can really hurt) and he said "No" which worried me.  He explained the nerve was dead and I wouldn't feel a thing.

I was unbelievably nervous. Root canal treatment has a bad reputation, but today I discovered that, if the nerve has died, then root canal treatment is painless and really quick.

Granted my body was full of adrenalin and that natural inbuilt pain relief wore off after about an hour, but a dose of Nurofen was all it took to put me back into a pain-free state.

I was at work by 9:20am.  I certainly didn't expect that.

So if your dentist uses the words root canal treatment, don't panic.  It'll be OK*.


*providing the nerve is dead

1 comment:

Ann Cardus said...

Colleagues tell me that whilst I might have thought I was fine, the colour was drained from me and to quote them I looked "like shit." I felt fine honestly.