Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 08:47 am
My dentist has recommended that I see an oral surgeon about getting a root canal. This is entirely new territory for me, so I was wondering if others here have experiences with this dreaded procedure that they would be willing to share. For instance: what is it like? how long does the procedure and the recovery last? what sort of anesthetic is used? any complications? how much does it cost? how much do I tip the dental hygienist?

Thanks in advance.
 
View best answer, chosen by joefromchicago
maxdancona
 
  4  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 09:01 am
@joefromchicago,
I have had several root canals. They are not that big a deal. Novocain always worked fine for me. The drilling is a little disconcerting, but not painful. It takes well under an hour. I was fine going back to work the next day and never needed more than ibuprofen for pain.

I recently had a couple of implants put in-- one of the worst experiences I have ever had.

Really, a root canal is not a big deal.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 09:05 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
Really, a root canal is not a big deal.

That is extremely reassuring. Thanks!
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 09:13 am
@joefromchicago,
Joe, I've had four during the last several years.

The procedures done on me were done using Novocaine...which deadened my mouth to the point where he could have cut my tongue out without me protesting.

Keeping your mouth open wide for the required time can be arduous, but it can be handled. Once the nerve is killed (which is the root canal) there is no pain there at all...and a post is inserted to anchor a cap.

Good you are going to a specialist. Regular doctors do root canals, but a specialist is a better bet.

Shouldn't be a hygienist involved...and no tip would normally be required.

The thing will most likely be done in two stage...with casts being made before the root canal...then the root canal. Then you come back in a week or so to have the cap put on.

Mine cost about $900 for the root canal...and another $800 for the cap.

Good luck.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 09:19 am
@joefromchicago,
One possible complication is damaging the nerve. My father ended up with permanent partial loss of feeling in part of his mouth when the nerve got clipped during a root canal procedure.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 09:20 am
@Frank Apisa,
Thanks, that's very helpful.

So I get the sense it's similar to having a cap or crown installed?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 09:23 am
@engineer,
Aaaargh! I'm already weirded out by the story of the guy who went in to get his wisdom teeth extracted and ended up dead.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 09:32 am
@joefromchicago,
I suppose: mostly - at least was so when mine were done.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 09:32 am
@joefromchicago,
The cap will cover the part of the tooth left after the root canal. The remaining part of the tooth (amount remaining varies with the condition of the tooth) will have a metal post (or stud) inserted into it...which will form the base for the cap.

It's not something you will want done for fun in the future, but it is as tolerable as having a cavity filled. Just takes a bit longer.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 09:41 am
@Frank Apisa,
I got my first, when I was about 20 ... 43 years ago it certainly wasn't fun.
And especially not, because it was done by a navy dentist (though with the rank of a commander).
Foofie
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 11:02 am
Different teeth have different number of roots that need to be dealt with, so the process is just more lengthy, and involved, than a usual dental visit, in my opinion. Somehow, there is this popular notion that a root canal is painful? I always found it just more time consuming.

Since there is a degree of work that took place, after the anesthesia wears off, one might feel something in the spot like a bruise would feel. I took two aspirin, and I was fine. Everything heals quickly, and one might wonder how the root canal beliefs got started.

0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 11:09 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter,

Is it true that proctologists in the Navy hold the rank of Rear admiral?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 11:44 am
@Frank Apisa,
Most certainly!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 11:48 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
any complications?


follow the dental surgeon's instructions to the letter and the odds will be there are no complications

a co-worker of mine got a little enthusiastic flossing too soon after her root canal - flossed out some stitches - which caused an infection and led to considerable time off work

listen to the dds
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 11:54 am
@ehBeth,
Stitches?

I never had stitches after a root canal.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 11:55 am
@maxdancona,
You're a lucky man.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 11:57 am
@ehBeth,
No Beth, A root canal is just drilling out the tooth from the top and then filling it with a metal post and some stuff. It is a pretty routine procedure. There is nothing that would need to be stitched up.

There must have been another procedure involved if there were stitches.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 12:06 pm
@maxdancona,
A think, it's called "root end surgery" (apicoectomy), when you get stitches.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 12:07 pm
@maxdancona,
http://www.jbendodontics.com/ourServices-SurgicalRootCanalTherapy.html

Quote:
Once the tissue is cleaned out the root is shortened and a small filling is placed in the end of the canal. A few stitches are used to help hold the gum in place.


http://www.endodonticslimitedpc.com/instructions/after_root_surgery.html

Quote:
To prevent disturbance of the stitches and prevent delays in healing:


Quote:
You will be given an appointment in 5-7 days for removal of stitches.


Quote:
Now that your surgical procedure has been completed and your sutures have been removed, you may resume normal toothbrushing and flossing.



stitches aren't required in all root canals, but they can be required depending on how the dds has to access the roots
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Apr, 2013 12:08 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Apicoectomy is one time you can expect stitches.
0 Replies
 
 

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