May 13, 2015

The REAL Truth About Root Canals

If you have been following my blog, you know that I had a little problem with my tooth that inspired several of my past posts.  That tooth pain all culminated around the end of April with me at an endodontist's office looking like this:

(Trust me, this would have been way cooler and far less painful)

I'm going to be perfectly blunt with my readers. Creating ideas for posts and writing this blog, hell, leaving the bed, after my root canal was a total pain in the ass.  However, I really enjoy providing entertainment for you all.  And for myself.  

Someone has to, right?

Prior to my appointment, I researched a good bit online about root canals, the pain involved, the myths, the legends and the terrors within. Yeah, I'm pretty much a masochist, but I just needed to know.  My dentist told me it was a routine procedure, but there could be some pain because I had a calcified bone which had grown into my root.  The endodontist, aka Jigsaw, told me there was nothing to worry about, I would not feel much pain, take a valium and call me in the morning....or some jazz like that which made it seem like I was being hyper dramatic for worrying.  Not to mention, all the articles online I read, for the most part, described the procedure as "not too bad" and the pain as minimal after the procedure. Sure, there were horror stories here and there, but overall, the consensus was root canals are nowhere near as bad as they appear to be.

And to be honest, I had worked up in my mind this was going to be easy.  I was very, very wrong.  It was more like:

In all seriousness, I thought it was important I described my root canal experience in case someone else like me is out there looking for answers.  I want to preface this by pointing out that all root canal experiences will most likely be different and everyone has a different tolerance for pain.  Apparently, my tolerance is not that high.  However, I do understand some people will think this is being a bit dramatic.   Understand, I have never had any major surgery in my life.   My two major life "surgeries" include some stitches in my ear after a freak accident and wisdom teeth removal.

And, yes, to my moms out there, I know natural childbirth, sans drugs, is much more painful than all my dramatics over tooth pain.  Just so you know, I think women who have natural childbirth are badasses, like daughters of Thanos or something. 

Let's press on to the actual root canal and its outcome.  Once I arrived at my endodontist's office, I knew this "simple procedure" was going to be a lot more than what my endodontist explained when he gave me multiple shots to numb my mouth (shot, after shot, after shot).  Of course, I took a Valium before I arrived so I was rather out of it during and after the experience.  I later learned that immediately following my root canal, my husband was given a long spiel about how much pain I would be in (Hint: A LOT) and I needed to take three Advil every few hours for two days.  The first night, I did not feel much because I was still pretty loopy from the Valium.  I did take a painkiller and I slept.  The next day, I woke up and felt the pain.

But I was like, wait, I thought the endodontist told me this was not going to be so bad....

It was so painful.  Difficult to describe, but imagine if someone poked an ice pick into your gum and then started twisting.  It always became worse pain at night and biting down on anything was excruciating.  I, no kidding, lived off Taco Bell bean burritos for a week.  The only thing that I could handle was mushy food, chewed on the non root canal side of my mouth.  I lived in bed.  Bed, bean burritos, painkillers, bed.  By day seven after the root canal, I wanted to get a pair of pliers and extract the tooth myself.  I regretted ever thinking having a root canal was a good idea. Literally, I was crying to my husband about the pain.

My husband told me the endodontist said the first week would be the most difficult, but by the start of the second week, I would begin to feel better.  And, surprisingly enough, by the morning of day eight, my mouth was not hurting as bad.  I still had the night pain, but none of the constant nagging ice pick twisting pain during the day.  As the days went on, the pain became less and less and now has virtually disappeared.

Would I do this again?

Eh, only time will answer that question. I will be infuriated if I have any trouble with this tooth in the next few years and it ends up extracted. Also, that week of pain was almost unbearable.  When the idea of pulling your own tooth out with pliers sounds like a pretty good idea, well, you get the general idea.

If you do end up having a root canal, please do not be misguided into thinking it will be simple.  Perhaps yours will be, but it could be more like mine.

And finally, as a piece of advice, take good care of your teeth.  Get regular teeth cleanings and go to the dentist.  For years, I avoided the dentist office.  The reason?  No insurance and the dentist  office simply is not cheap.  I regret making that choice.  If you skip the dentist office because you don't have dental insurance, start saving your money and spend it on your teeth.  I think of all the money I have blown at Sephora or on pricey hair extensions that could have been used for a regular dentist checkup.

UPDATE FEBRUARY 2016: My crown is still doing exceptionally well! Unfortunately, I have two other teeth that need to be filled and crowned. Hopefully, I will never have a root canal again! Make sure you find an endodontist you like because I really feel like the gentleman I used lack of bedside manner hindered the process.

Have you endured any painful oral surgery?  Have you had a root canal?  Tell me your experience in the comments!

Still alive after The Reverse Bear Trap Canal,


  1. LOL! I just love your gifs. They made me laugh. I haven't had root canal but I had my wisdom teeth out as a kid before they grew in. I looked like a chipmunk for 2 weeks. That was pretty traumatic considering I had to go to high school looking like that. :)

    1. My wisdom teeth removal wasn't too bad! But yeah going to high school like that would totally suck!

  2. I feel so bad for you but this whole post made me laugh. I seriously haven't gone to the dentist since 2009, it totally FREAKS me out!

    1. Lol thank you!! Oh I knowwwww! I hadn't gone in years and then I started having pain. My husband blames my candy addiction. I have a thing for sweet tarts, nerds, gummy everything. Surprisingly I'm not 5000 lbs lol but my teeth ehhhh hahaha

  3. I haf all my paws crossed I never evers haf root canal treatment!!!!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  4. Oh boy...I had a root canal but it was before I started suffering from anxiety and claustrophobic. I can't imagine sitting there with them in my face for that amount of time now. I also had the gum pulling away from my bottom front teeth, so I had to have a skin graft from the roof of my mouth to that area. It was a bit painful and had to be really careful for a long time so that it would heal and not get messed up. I also avoided the dentist for a long time, and I love sweets. I think I've eaten so many pixie sticks and sweet tarts and smarties that I have burned my tongue up permanently.

    1. My husband has to have that skin graft thing done! I'm scared for him! But his pain tolerance is like 5,000,000 times mine.
      I love sweet tarts!! I miss them so much. Halloween is my weakness all that know I mostly buy it so I can have it lol.

  5. Love how you delivered this. First the laughs, then the cringe. I hope I never have to go through this. Having my wisdom teeth removed was bad enough...! Glad you're on the mend!

    1. I hope you don't either! Wisdom teeth were so much easier than the root canal!! I'm getting my crown done this week and then it's all over. Ugh

  6. Everything was wonderful. We found our new implant Medicine Hat


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