My Root Canal Adventure (II)

Continuation from Part (I)

Since I have not met anyone who has done a root canal treatment before, I don’t know what to expect or how to deal with post-treatment.

Will it hurt? How is the pain on a scale of 1-10? How do I manage the pain after the treatment? Those are among the many thoughts I had while I was going through my options.

The total cost is going to be a little over $1500 and because the treatment is included in our private health insurance, our out of pocket cost is signifacantly reduced. The treatment is divided into 3 appointments, so I had to pay a small-ish amount of money each time.

I think that was enough information for me to proceed with my decision and I made an appointment to see the dentist for my first session.

I told myself that I wasn’t going to Google anything about root canal because I don’t want to scare myself. Eventually I did search for more information about the procedure but I kept the reading to a minimal.

I was anxious on the day itself. My main concern was will I be able to keep my mouth open for the entire duration?

To my relief, I had this thing called a bite block inserted into my mouth and basically it keeps my mouth open throughout the session without me having to put much effort into opening my mouth. I was so relieved!

The dentist had to take 1 last x-ray of my gum and tooth before proceeding so that she could see where the roots are.

Then the dentist injected the numbing chemical and in my case she went right to the back of my jaw and about 10 minutes in I could not feel any sensation on my left jaw. Although 5 minutes into drilling my tooth later I could still feel some sensitivity, which was proceeded with more of the numbing chemical.

The dentist inserted a metal square-ish thing to isolate my tooth from its neighbours. It was then attached to a rubbery sheet to further isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth.

Extirpation. That was the word that was printed on my first appointment receipt. What it means is the removal of the nerve of the tooth. The pulp, nerve and tissues are removed using a small instrument. I remember peeking from time to time and I saw the dentist using very thin and short filament that looked more like the craft pipe cleaner!

So more of that vigorous in-out motion and more of the craft pipe cleaner looking things. I think the dentist then proceeded with putting in anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation medication in my tooth and ended with a temporary filling.

It did not hurt at all during the procedure.

Did it hurt afterwards?

No, not on the tooth itself. There was a slight pain but it came from the point where the dentist injected the numbing chemical. And the next couple of days, were just slight discomfort but nothing that requires extreme pain relief. The dentist said, if it hurts too much a normal pain relief medication is sufficient. But it should go away on its own and should not cause more pain that before the procedure.

Why did I choose to go for a root canal treatment? That will be my next post!