Root canals have a bad rep. Like, a really bad rep. And that’s not very helpful when you’re already a little (read: a lot) anxious about the dentist.
So imagine my relief, recently, to find out the treatment is really no big deal. Despite my conviction that I was probably going to die, and despite the look on pretty much everyone's face that also said I was probably going to die, it was actually grand.
The worst bit, for me, was the anticipation of enduring something really, really awful – and that just didn’t happen. This is the post I wish I had read before my treatment, and I hope that somebody somewhere finds it when they need it.
So what is a root canal, anyhow? The treatment is used as an alternative to extraction, to repair and save a tooth that is badly damaged, infected or decayed. I went to Dr Victor at My Dental clinic, because I had a great experience with them in the past.
The only bit that hurt, even a little, was the pinch from the anaesthetic needle. When that kicked in, I felt no pain at all.
After numbing the tooth, my dentist applied a thin sheet of rubber over the relevant part of my mouth. This allowed him to work on the affected tooth while covering those adjacent to it.
The next step is drilling an access hole, so that the infected pulp – and the nerves within it - can be removed. Finally, a temporary filling is applied into the canals of the tooth, until the tooth is crowned or permanently filled in. I’m still at the temporary filling stage, but I’ve had no subsequent pain, and my tooth is functioning as normal.
It took about an hour, and I repeat: I felt no pain. Plus, the team at My Dental are lovely, which makes a massive difference. See the picture above? I took that before my last appointment. And I’m smiling. Sometimes a photo really is worth a thousand words.
There’s loads of info about root canal treatment on their website, so do pop over and check it out if a root canal is in your future! I promise: it's no biggie.