February 26, 2008

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Dual Root Canal – An After Action Report

As the headline says, I went in for a root canal. Well, I should say more correctly I went in for a double root canal. Two teeth right next to each other needed the “big dig” (sorry Boston). As a matter of amusement I thought I’d share my experience with the internet at large.

I went to an endodontic specialist (for those who are wiki-impaired, that means I went to a root canal specialist). I was told the procedure generally takes about an hour per tooth, I was “in the chair” for just over 2 hours — for 2 stubborn and problematic teeth — not bad. I won’t go over the details of what happens, you don’t care and I don’t care. But I do have some words of wisdom that may help. First off, Root canals aren’t cheap. On average they are $500-1000 USD — per tooth. Mine was even more than that — ouch. Second, bring music. I’m damn glad I had my iPod, otherwise that would have been a LONG stretch to go. Lastly, root canals aren’t nearly as bad as the horror stories you think you’ve heard. At least mine wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong — it wasn’t fun, but it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever done either. My jaw is sore now (about 6 hours later), and I definitely needed some Advil when the local anesthetic wore off. I can honestly say that the worry and nervousness ahead of time were worse than the root canal itself. It is basically just a serious teeth drilling.

The other major cost is getting crowns. I’ve been told to get crowns because it’s a lot safer and I’m less likely to have problems down the line. So I’ll do it. Of course if my reading is correct, that can be another $500+. Oh what fun.

On a parting note, I have two more teeth that have problems. The endodontists didn’t think I’d need another 2 root canals, but it is still a possibility. I can safely say that for once I’m happy to be going to the regular dentist to get this sorted out BEFORE I need root canals (I hope, I hope, I hope).