I’m a pansy

I'm afraid, very afraid

So my day of reckoning has come–I am getting a root canal. Seriously, this is about as frightened as I get. I think I’m fairly tough with most things, really I do. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, even. But this, this nightmare procedure, shakes me to my core.

It all started with a crown last week. I got to use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for that one. Gotta say, that almost made it enjoyable. But every day since the crown, the pain in my tooth has gotten worse. Apparently it’s not uncommon for a crown to be the proverbial straw for your tooth, leading to the root canal. Honestly, one part of me is looking forward to getting rid of the pain, if only I didn’t have to go through an hour of drilling to get there.

I was hoping to get another dose of my beloved nitrous for the root canal, but apparently endodontists don’t go for that (I guess they want your nose free for something silly, like breathing). So instead I’ll be taking Valium to relax me.

Like any psychotic runner, I asked if any of this would affect runs before or after the procedure, and made sure I’d be able to get in my 10 miler in the early a.m. The good news is that the root canal will not impact any of my planned runs. A girl has to have her priorities in order, right?

Who’s been through this before? Anyone else fear a root canal like I do? 

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  1. says

    I had to have a root canal on the same tooth every three months to clear everything out……don’t worry – ask for NOX gas before the freezing :) you’ll be so relaxed you’ll love it 😀

  2. says

    Ugh, Good Luck today! Never had one, but I break into a sweat whenever I go to get a cleaning. And oddly enough, I always seem to have a bit of plaque on my lower teeth, dentist said it’s because I’m a runner and do so much breathing with my mouth open!
    Molly recently posted..Running With Spatulas Virtual RunMy Profile

  3. says

    Hope it goes well. I’ve never had to have any dental work like that done but it does not sound fun and I’d probably be a pretty big baby about having to get one done!
    abbi recently posted..HAT Run 50KMy Profile

  4. says

    I’ve had one. I to am scared to death of Dentist in general. Mine went very well. I just told the Dentist up front the way I was feeling about the root canal. Told him I some times have panic attacks, so when I tap your had you need to get that crap out of my mouth so I can swallow and take a breath. I get so tense in those chairs. That always seems to help me if I just let them know how I get when I go to any Dentist. Good Luck today. It really isnt as bad as it sounds. I know you will do great.

  5. says

    I have to completely disconnect from reality.. kind of like Sybil ( multiple personality disorder)..I turn into HELGA a big Russian Momma who must have her teeth removed to feed her children and feels no pain…Hoorah for my crazy imagination… HAHA .. sending <3 2U.xo
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Five Bean Salad with Greek FetaMy Profile

  6. says

    If that’s your first RC, your lucky. I had terrible teeth as a kid and teen. I’ve had almost as many root canals as I have cavities. I’ve also suffered through a dental implant. Pray you don’t have to go through that one.
    Other than one root canal I remember, they really aren’t too bad, or maybe, (unfortunately) I’m used the them.
    Have a good 10 miler.
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  7. Jackie says

    I have rotten teeth so yes, I’ve endured root canals. Actually, they were a relief as the teeth were hurting so stinking bad! I don’t go for laughing gas–ever. My dad was an anesthetist and said, “do you know how much anesthesia training dentists have?” So I’ve always bucked up. I had hand surgery with an arm block only–no valium, no nothing. First time for the orthopod and for the anesthetist but they went along with it. I always figure that I’ll feel so much better sooner without all the extra crap and I trick myself into it. Once I let the dentist talk me into taking codeine to “nip the pain at the bud” and would have gone back and punched him if I’d been able to see fewer than 5 of everything! You’ll do great. Just think of all the runs that won’t be affected!

  8. says

    Just the picture of that drill gave me the shivers.

    I had two root canals a few years ago when I knocked my four front teeth out at a bar on New Year’s Eve (and I wasn’t even that tipsy, sadly, more clumsy). Getting the Novocaine shot right up front was the worst of it. After that, I didn’t feel much. Good luck!

  9. says

    My root canal story is horrible. Essentially no novicane or anything since my body somehow refused it when he gave it to me. Felt everything. Sucked big time haha.

    But now NO MORE PAIN :) :) :)

  10. says

    I hate dental work. I just do. I had a bad filling put in once and I still remember the feeling in my jaw. I don’t think they gave me enough pain meds. I was white knuckling that chair till the end. I cried too. The doctor was mean. It was just a bad day. :(

    I”m sure they’ll make you comfortable! It’s a big deal!
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  11. says

    Eeeek! I will be thinking of you. I remember when I was getting my wisdom teeth pulled at a university (to save $) and I heard one of the students ask, “Have you ever done this before?” before going under! I did have a great experience despite the initial comment, no side effects!

    You’ll be in good hands I’m sure!
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  12. says

    I got a root canal 2 days ago and haven’t run since that. My mouth was numb until 10 pm, so I would say it’s a good idea to get your run in before. Yesterday I decided to not run because I haven’t eaten and drunk enough the day before (because of the root canal) and it was very hot. And today the pain is back, so I went to the dentist again. I hope it will be better tomorrow, so I can run again.

    Don’t worry about the root canal. I didn’t think it hurt much, and the pain I had before is
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  13. Abbie Anderson says

    Good luck that is so miserable. Just get the gas and enjoy it!! I love love your site. I’m putting together a huge giveaway in conjunction with a novel about a runner. We’ve received some amazing sponsors for our giveaway and hoping you will be a part of it. Our idea is to promote our book and the products as well as your blog. Hopefully a win win for everyone involved. I sent you an email with more details. If you didn’t receive it please email me at bubcoats@hotmail.com.

  14. says

    I’d think a run beforehand would be a great idea to help steady the nerves. And valium can get rid of the nerves that the run didn’t.

    I really love my dentist – she’s an athlete too. But loving her and loving what she does isn’t the same thing. I totally understand your fear and think it’s rational.
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  15. says

    Seriously i’m shaking in my boots just thinking about the future possibility of every having to have a root canal done. But you are so brave! And much more pain-tolerant than me, friend, so you’ll do great! They let you take vallium before painful dentist appointments? That’s good news. Because I’m honestly going to consider asking for some next time I have to go get something serious done, ’cause I’m just as terrified about those things as you.
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  16. says

    I’m glad to hear you have your priorities straight! I had a filling crack and wouldn’t be able to get it fixed until the day before a race. So, I had to put it off another 3 weeks so it wouldn’t impact the race!! I like my dentist, she’s awesome! Fast, gets it done right and rarely have the residual pain from other dentists (yeah, I have a bunch of cavities…)
    Erik recently posted..Virtual 5k race to beat Cystic FibrosisMy Profile

  17. says

    Dentist’s scare me period. I haven’t been to the dentist in many of years. I’ve avoided it on purposes. I finally broke down and made an appointment the other day to go in for a cleaning and make sure I have no cavaties. I’m scared.
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  18. says

    The very same thing happened to me. Back when I was a teenager, I had vaneers put on my two front teeth for cosmetic purposes. When those started to chip, I had them replaced with crowns, after which I had to have a root canal on one of the teeth. :( But, you know what? It wasn’t NEARLY as horrific as I had imagined! But, really, your guy won’t give you the gas? Mine did. Weird. :\
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  19. says

    I totally and completely fear the dentist. Have since I was a kid. A couple of years ago I had to have a tooth *gasp* pulled and I was in tears before the doctor even came into the room. Awful stuff.

    That said, though, root canals are not like they were in the old days. if you have a good dentist it should be relatively pain free. Good luck!
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