The Myths of Root Canals

I had a root canal very recently and I have got to say that I was genuinely terrified for it. I had heard all of the stories. So when I went to the dentist and he showed me the gaping hole in my tooth, and said the dreaded words, “You need a root canal”, I suddenly felt the need to make a will. Once I finally persuaded myself that I most likely wasn’t going to die, I started to think more reasonably.

I am one of those people that like to prepare ahead of time. So, I went online and looked up the procedure so I knew exactly what was going to happen. Actually simpler than I thought: drill hole in tooth, remove nerve, fill hole again. Hey, that’s not bad! Then I looked up other people’s experiences with the procedure hoping to calm my nerves even further. THAT was a mistake. My favorite stories included the one of the man telling the world that he is some big strong dude with an insanely high pain tolerance and that the surgery made him scream and cry like a baby. Then there was the women who said that the procedure was the most painful thing she had every gone through and she naturally birthed two children.

Okay, two disclaimers. 1) There are some people with bad dentist so if their NovaCane wore off or if the dentist just made some sort of mistake I’m sure this procedure could be very very painful. So I am sorry that happens to some people. 2) I have fabulous dentist who did an amazing job. Yes, the shots in the mouth did hurt a little bit and there was pulling and prodding that was not the best feeling in the world but I was given the notion that this operation would be the most painful and uncomfortable thing to happen to me.

So to ease the nerves of anyone who will be getting a root canal soon, this was my experience.

Things that ACTUALLY hurt:

  • When the dental hygienist lean over me to try to grab some tweezers and the arm of her rolling chair jammed into my side.
  • When my long hair got stuck on one of the dental tools.
  • My bladder by the end because it was almost a 3 hour procedure and I had to pee a little before it all started.

Things that were ACTUALLY uncomfortable:

  • When I forgot that one side of my face was completely numb so when I rinsed my mouth with water, the liquid basically fell out of my hole that my droopy lips made, completely soaking my front.
  • When immediately after the water fell out of my mouth, the student shadowing my dentist did everything in her power to not laugh at me even though I could see out of the corner of my eye, she started to turn red from keeping it in so much.
  • When my dentist midway through the procedure asked if I went clubbing, since that’s that all the young people used to do and then judged me a little when I said I am not a fan of clubbing.

I was so embarrassed when I left, my tooth didn’t even hurt. And if it did, my ego was bruised too hard for me to notice.

Putting the Fuse in Confused,



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