November 14, 2005

on being a big baby

The dentist appointment on Friday turned out to be not that bad, but my experience in the office was still a bit traumatic for me. I had one breakdown in the chair, towards the end of my two-hour visit, which involved uncontrollable shaking and sobbing. And funnily enough, it happened sometime after they told me I would be requiring a root canal.

I don't think things would have been so bad if they were to perform it right then and there. I had mentally bulked myself up for the visit, was on nitrous oxide (which may or may not have helped), and had been through about an hour's worth of drilling and fidgeting with my back upper molar. I was numb, things weren't a problem.

But the idea of going to a different office, on a different day, with a different dentist, to have even more needles jabbed into my gums and deeper drilling and higher plausibility for pain just didn't sit well for me that long. When the dentist started performing deep cleaning on the left-side of my mouth (the side that hadn't been numbed), I was spooked, and wept accordingly. It wasn't fair - she hadn't told me she was going to do that!

So anyways, I found out the dentist endodontist I was referred to does not use nitrous oxide in their office. I guess this is a blessing in disguise. Who knows how much they would charge for it, and, as Erik said, it's a crutch. If I use it again, I will always need it. And I'm just not that well-off. I've read a bit about root canals - learned that their reputation for being painful is not a valid one, and that, typically, people describe them to be about as bad as a regular cavity filling.

I'm feeling pretty good about the upcoming appointment, so please, no comments about horrific experiences in the chair - however, glowing reviews of previous heavenly root canals are highly encouraged. Shoot, make a story up if you want to!


posted by julie at November 14, 2005 02:31 PM

things people have said

Hey Jules,

I had a root canal a few months ago and also one while I was still living in the US (yes, my mouth is a rotten stink-hole, I am becoming "truly" British!) Did I ever tell you about my needle phobia? I faint at any injection. Oh, and I was nominated to be a first-aider at work and fainted during the class and was sent home. I am a big fat baby, too. So when I tell you that the root canal is ok, you must believe me. It really is. For me, the worst part was the injection at the beginning to numb my mouth! I figure, I did so well during the root canals that I just might try this childbirth thing I've been hearing so much about. That ought to just about get me over my squeamishness! You are going to be great, and so proud of yourself when the root canal is done. Just think of how a big wuss like me passed with flying colours and *believe* you'll be fine, too. I know you will do great!

so said: Rachel at November 15, 2005 06:23 AM

Hey Jules,

I had a root canal a few months ago and also one while I was still living in the US (yes, my mouth is a rotten stink-hole, I am becoming "truly" British!) Did I ever tell you about my needle phobia? I faint at any injection. Oh, and I was nominated to be a first-aider at work and fainted during the class and was sent home. I am a big fat baby, too. So when I tell you that the root canal is ok, you must believe me. It really is. For me, the worst part was the injection at the beginning to numb my mouth! I figure, I did so well during the root canals that I just might try this childbirth thing I've been hearing so much about. That ought to just about get me over my squeamishness! You are going to be great, and so proud of yourself when the root canal is done. Just think of how a big wuss like me passed with flying colours and *believe* you'll be fine, too. I know you will do great!

so said: Rachel at November 15, 2005 06:24 AM

Ha! I mean that so much, I had to say it twice!

so said: Rachel at November 15, 2005 06:25 AM

I went to the dentist today and have to go the oral surgean tomorrow and have my wisdom teeth extracted. Then the Tuesday after Thanksgiving I get to go to a different dental specialist and have 2 root canals. So yes my mouth is going to be just a tad on the sore side and I am not thrilled about any of this. Yes I know it is my own fault for avoiding the dentist for so long. So at least you have someone else who is in a similar boat.

so said: Karin at November 16, 2005 05:38 PM

Ah, so sorry about that! I lucked out as I have no wisdom teeth - never have, never will. It's one of those vestigial organs I managed to be born without. (I have more than enough other junk DNA, though, I'm sure!)

I'm feeling pretty good about the root canal, now, actually. Almost looking forward to it, even.

so said: julie at November 16, 2005 07:42 PM

The worst thing that happened to me during a root canal (and it may be the same endodontist you were referred to if he's in Simi), was when the Endodontist got started, paused to reflect, then excitedly called all his associates, assistants and even the receptionist to look inside my mouth.

"Wow, I've never seen anything like this, come look at this...unbelievable!"

As they all hovered over me, the Endodontist was taking photo after photo with his little Mouth-O-Cam and the images were being displayed on the wall-mounted TV monitor.

Looked like a molar to me.

He asked me to sign a release so he could use the photos for educational purposed (you don't think he would misuse them on the internet, do you?), and then started the root canal.

And just like that...VIOLA! 4 1/2 hours later, a completed root canal.

All his associates, all but one assistant, and his receptionist had locked up and gone home, leaving us three to finish up, way after dark.

But Julie, even with all that, I wasn't experiencing any pain at all. Turns out my root & molar were perpindicular - a right angle. My molar goes out, my root goes up. With all the drilling & tugging associated with dental work, it was still like sitting in a chair with a sunlamp. No pain. Nada. Zip.

They're the experts, you've got absolutely nothing to worry about.

so said: Sheryl at November 17, 2005 08:00 PM

Thanks for that, Sheryl! I'm feeling pretty good about the visit tomorrow, at this point. I'm almost even looking forward to it! It will be nice to have it done. Plus, I'll have my iPod there, so that will be relaxing.

so said: julie at November 18, 2005 09:12 AM

So......

How did it go?

so said: Sheryl at November 19, 2005 07:12 PM

It was okay. The wait was sort of unbearable (my appt. was at 12:30, and they didn't take me back to get an x-ray until about 2pm!), but Erik was there to keep me laughing. The procedure itself wasn't that bad. The dentist was made aware that I was fearful, and made sure I was kept distracted, and that I didn't get a peek at the various instruments.

Now I'm a bit sore. Almost every tooth on the right-hand side of my mouth aches a bit, but I'm sure that will pass. Time to go get a burrito to test out my ability to eat again.

so said: julie at November 20, 2005 03:05 PM



BROWSE THE COMPLETE ARCHIVES, OR BY CATEGORY: JOURNAL | GEEKFEST | TRAVELOGUE | RECENT MOVIES | RECENT MUSIC | RECENT BOOKS | MOVIES | MUSIC | THE WORLD | MINI | LINK-O-RAMA | POP CULTURE | THEME THURSDAY | FRIDAY FIVE | PHOTO FRIDAY | PHOTOS | ELSEWHERE | OLD BLOG