Help - dentist phobia and 2 horrible choices

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Hi, I'm terrified of the dentist and was told by my old one that I need a tooth extraction as there is no way I'd be able to undergo root canal treatment. He was going to send me to a dental hospital miles away to get the tooth taken out. I decided to get another opinion and have joined a new dentist who specialises in nervous patients. She's said that she would be able to do root canal treatment in one appointment (as apposed to the 3 my old dentist said!) as it's a small tooth. She also said she could try it without the rubber dam if I couldn't cope with it in my mouth. Or I can have the tooth removed  if I prefer.

I'm really confused now as I don't know what to do. How bad is it with the rubber dam in your mouth? Can you breathe with it on? Would the treatment be as successful without using it? How much blood would there be with a tooth extraction (front lower tooth)? 

Sorry about out the long message - the whole thing is getting me really stressed out. Would be really grateful for any advice from anyone who has gone through either procedure.

 

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  • Posted

    I've had both done a few times. Personally I'd much rather have the root canal any day of the week. And I've had them use the dam thing too and it does kind of make you feel like you have a mouthful but not too bad. It's just a piece of soft plastic that is placed in your mouth to surround the bad tooth. That keeps the other teeth "protected" from the water if they are sensitive to cold water or air that sort of thing. They will show it to you if you ask before putting it in your mouth.

    As for the root canal they will numb you of course with an injection but first they will numb your gum with some surface stuff that helps make the injection not hurt quite so much. But I'm not going to tell you that the injection doesn't hurt. But lets face it, it will hurt a lot more without it. lol. But while we are on the subject, if at anytime you should feel any pain or discomfort while they are working just stop them with a wave of your hand and tell them and they will give you another injection. And that injection will not hurt like the fiirst one.

    After your good and numb the dentist starts drilling and you will think he is drilling to Hades! but that's because he has to drill out all the tooth and the root. Then he will do a bunch of other stuff that I can't really remember because it's just simple things none that hurt and that really don't have a lot of impact on you.

    Then after all is done they will fit you for a cap. So the will put some "play dough" on a tray that looks kind of like a row of teeth and ask you to bite down. The "play dough" will sqeesh between your teeth and you'll be asked to hold that for a few minutes. Then take it out and that will be used to make the mold for your cap.

    They will put a temporary cap on the tooth.

    You will then come back in another day when your cap is made and they will remove the temporary cap and install the permanent one. Sometimes if your still a little sensitive they will give you an injection to do this but sometimes not. It really is up to you and your dentist. But really it's just a matter of pulling off the old cap and placing some glue down and putting on the permanent cap.

    And since this is new and stressful for you I would plan on not doing anything for the rest of the day. You will need it to help unwind. And of course you'll be eating soup for dinner that night.

    Let me know if you want me to give you the walk through of a pulled tooth.

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    • Posted

      Thanks very much for the reply. This probably sounds weird but can you remember if they suck out any of the saliva in your mouth or does it just build up and you swallow it? When you get a filling they usually use a kind of water and suction thing in your mouth but if the sheet is on top of things does the mouth feel full of saliva underneath or dry?

      ?How bad does it feel get a tooth extracted? Does it usually come out in one go and do you end up swallowing a lot of blood?

      ?Out the two I'd prefer to keep a tooth there but am not sure which I'd find the least stressful!!

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    • Posted

      Ok, In answer to the question about your saliva, they suck out most of it. They will put in a sucker thingy and you close your mouth on it and it will suck out most of the saliva in your mouth. It's very gentle.The plastic "dam" thing does not hold in any saliva or water either one. They do use water just like getting a filling. In fact it's just like getting a filling except they drill for a lot longer.

      As far as a tooth extraction. I've never had a tooth come out in one piece. And neither has my husband. They alway seem to either break or have to be broken.to remove. I'm sure you probably do swallow some blood but I don't know. They use the suction thing so it wouldn't be much. After getting a tooth pulled it is very important that you maintain the blood clot that develops in the socket. Should the blood clot get loose and is dislodged then you get what is called a dry socket. And they are very painful. I know because I've had one. The only/best treatment for them is for the dentist to put a teeny tiny rolled up piece of quaze soaked in oil of clove in the socket and that stops the pain almost immediately. Unfortunatly it always happens on a weekend when the dentist is not open. LOL So if you smoke you do NOT want to smoke the day you get a tooth pulled. You also do not want to drink with a straw or do anything that causes you to do any kind of suction with your mouth. I think that's it. Let me know if you have any more questions. I'm here for you.

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    • Posted

      Thanks very much for the reply. That's really useful to know about the saliva as I was worrying that I'd feel like I was choking if my mouth was full of saliva. I looked at pictures of the rubber dam thing online and they look very scary. I phoned the dentist yesterday in a bit of a panic as I'm dreading getting either done. She was really nice about it and said I can just choose what I want to do on the day. I'm considering getting the injection, then trying a rubber dam thing on my face to see if I can tolerate it. If I start panicking I'll probably just have to get the tooth taken out. She said it would only bleed a lot for about a minute but my husband had a tooth removed a couple of years ago and his was oozing blood later in the day and at night!! My appointment is not until next week so I think all the waiting for the appointment isn't helping as I keep thinking about it all the time. I'm quite annoyed about the whole thing as I had excrutiating pain with the tooth last year - so bad I feel like pulling the tooth out myself!! My old dentist just filled it but it was still sore and he said it just needed time to settle. He eventually did and x-ray in January and said the root had died and that was why it had been sore then said I'd need it taken out. Why didn't he do an x-ray last year??? Really wish I'd changed dentists before as it could have been dealt with last year and would all have been over and done with

      ?Thanks for all your advice and support!!

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    • Posted

      As for that dentist that just filled your tooth instead of taking it out or doing a root canal he got paid for doing the wrong thing.

      On the dam I would think that the dentist would be agreeable to let you not have it in there if you were bothered by it during the root canal. I've never had it used during a root canal I don't think. I think I only had it used for a filling once. And it was a personal choice. So you might call and ask them if it's mandatory for a root canal. Another thing you might ask them is if you could come in a couple of days before the appointment and have them put it in your mouth so you could get a feel for it.

      As for bleeding after an extration it is going to bleed. But they give you gauze to put in your mouth to absorb the blood. And that helps a lot. But here I'm going to tell you a weird thing to do. After the first hour or two trade your gauze in for a tea bag. And then put a tea bag on the socket to absorb the blood and change it out frequently like every half hour. The tea has something in it that helps clot blood and it also tastes better than gauze too.

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    • Posted

      I spoke to someone today when out with the dog and she said she had root canal on a tooth and was in a lot of pain afterwards and ended up having to get the tooth out anyway! Was thinking of trying the root canal but would hate it if I then had to get the tooth out anyway as would mean two ordeals instead of one. Am now wondering if I should just get it taken out and that would be an end to it. Am thinking that it will probably have to come out in pieces though as half the tooth is a big filling now. Feel very confused now. Thanks for the tea bag tip!!
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  • Posted

    Well that actually did happen to me one time too. It's not that common. But it can happen. And I was pretty p*ssed off because I had just paid for a root canal and now I was having to pay to have a tooth pulled very soon after. And i have to be honest with you and tell you that having a tooth that has had a root canal on it is a whole lot worse than having it pulled when it hasn't had a root canal. The tooth falls apart and the dentist was having to pull pieces of the tooth out. So I thought it was worse having that tooth pulled than the other tooth I'd had pulled before. And the dentist agreed with me that it was a difficult extraction and he said it was because it had had a root canal.

    I my opinion for restoration I believe you're better off with a cap on the tooth then having to have a bridge made for the missing tooth. I also believe it's quite a bit cheaper. You haven't told me if this is the last tooth or if there's teeth on either side of the tooth that will be worked on. Because after the tooth has a root canal or pulled you have to do something to that tooth or that spot. If it's a root canal they simply make a cap if it's a gap then they'll have to build a bridge which is essentially one tooth with two wires that click on to the tooth in front and the tooth behind the gap. Now I don't know what kind of dental coverage you have but with dental coverage mine cost $1,500. That was my cost. The cap for a root canal will not cost near that amount of money.

    So I I think you kind of have to weigh the money with the very low risk of having to have the tooth pulled after a root canal.

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    • Posted

      The tooth is quite a small one (eye tooth) but it sits at a funny angle between 2 other teeth. If I was having it removed I was thinking of just leaving a gap between the teeth as it wouldn't be that big anyway. The dentist had said I could attempt root canal but if I couldn't go through with it I could just go back and have it taken out another time. If it's worse getting it removed when it's had work done to it maybe I should just get it taken out instead of risking there being a complication with the root canal treatment or having a more complicated extraction. I'm in the UK so the treatment isn't that expensive but will cost a lot more for root canal or bridge than just an extraction!!  

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  • Posted

    I think you're borrowing trouble by planning on the tooth failing after the root canal. That's not a very common thing. But if it's an eye tooth also known as a canine then I can see where you wouldn't want to replace that. I probably wouldn't either. It really won't interfere with chewing.

    But it comes down to you having to make the decision yourself. So the question is to pull or not to pull. LOL

    Just remember that it's never going to grow back. And if you have another tooth that goes bad and you have to have that one pulled then that's two teeth gone. When I got to that point I realized I was having a lot of trouble eating. And that's when I started having to get a bridge on the gaps. Because eating with one gap is one thing but eating with a gap on both sides of your mouth that's hard.

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    • Posted

      Thinking about it logically I suppose the only practical reason to keep the tooth is cosmetic as it would look better with a tooth than a space as the tooth doesn't really serve much purpose. I have a couple of really big fillings on back teeth and my old dentist cheerfully pointed out to me that I wouldn't have the teeth forever as once the fillings have worn out they'll be too deep to fill again!!! If I have to get these out eventually I'll have trouble eating too. I'll end up on a liquid only diet at this rate!

      ?

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