Ablation versus root canal - Bob right as usual!

OK so I have just finished my root canal treatment and I have to say that fear and anguish wise they were equal but the ablation had longer after effects. However my dentist has still referred me to hospital for an extraction as she reckons it will still be necessary but did the RC treatment to save me pain as there is a year's wait! Turns out she can do the extraction as long as I have a letter from my GP - the problem with NOAC s apparently is delayed bleeding. Considering the problems I had the last time I had an extraction without any anticoagulation I'm a bit worried.....

7 Replies

  • Hi Buffafly, I can understand your concern. Can't think of a solution for you I'm afraid, but hope all will go well.


  • That's a real pain, sorry to hear that. I had a root canal once and it was downright uncomfortable (all that scaffolding in your face!), but it's still there years later. Maybe you won't have to have it out? Nowadays they tend not to favour root canals but mine's not caused me any problems... See how it goes and argue against having it out if the tooth doesn't play up....

  • I have had several root canals done while under Warfarin. No one ever asked. For extractions, my dentist was willing to do routine extractions, provided the INR was less than 4.0. It really is no big deal. Make sure the anaesthetic does not have Adrenaline in it. Modern methods cope with the possible bleeding -- they pack the hole with special dressing. The problem with this is that it can work all too well, and bleeding is reduced so much that the normal coagulation plug does not form at the root of the socket, and then, ouch for a long time! Perfectly safe, just painful, but at least you know it is OK, and the pain will go down after a few weeks.

    Anything more complicated needed a referral, but that is generally true. The first extraction I had in the old days was on the system where they stop the anticoagulant, while in hospital and put you on a heparin drip, then stop the drip for the operation, then restart on the drip + anticoagulant, and let you go home once they are happy you have some protection. The first time, the specialist made some mistakes -- and I had a small leak overnight, despite hours of me / my wife taking turns to put pressure on the plug. So, next day, back to theatre again, and the leaks were cauterised. No harm done except some scars, a bloody mouth, and bloody stools. It was 20 years ago. The minor bleeds took 6 months to stop. I have a high risk of heart infection -- endocarditis -- but such trivial bleeds are not a problem. I learned to cope, mainly with peroxide which gets the food crumbs out of the cracks.

    The second time, same surgeon, whom I actually trusted! He did a far harder job, in outpatients. A root canal had linked to the jaw, and a collapsed tooth meant that each root literally had to be cut out. Lovely job, 40 minutes hard work for the surgeon. INR I think was 3.5 so a nice low number. This time he used the right dressings, and I never had a drop of blood, though it did hurt for a few weeks.

    If you want a quick job, can I suggest you take a holiday abroad, and have it done privately?

    You mention delayed bleeding. This is NOT a problem, since the bleeding is quite public and quite accessible. Pressure pads, or peroxide etc can plug most of it. As my mum used to say, a little bit of blood goes a long way. Bleeding from dental surgery is almost never serious. And modern methods significantly reduce the chances of it happening.

  • Tell my dentist that! Apparently they had a very bad experience and fear being sued. As for the rest of your story 😱!!!!!!! Did I mention I have a phobia of dentistry?

  • It is normal to fear. Courage is overcoming the fear. I used to tell myself that hitting my thumb with a hammer, or banging my head, were routine ouches, as too are bad cramps at night, some of them lasting an hour without relief. Even having root canals without anaesthetic (at my request) was less painful than all those.

    There are advantages living in a country where doctors do not fear to be sued. There is probably a middle path. Personally I have always thought that it should be illegal to sue medical people for profit. Instead, there should be some kind of compensation according to need. Then medics are taken to court for incompetence etc, but the patient does NOT get compensation.

    I also think the paper where you sign to disclaim that you would sue, should be made more effective. I have sometimes asked medics to do things, they refuse for fear, I offer to sign a disclaimer, they still refuse for fear of being sued. And that is plain daft and inconvenient.

  • You may have this matter sorted by now.....but.....when my husband was told he had a 6 months wait for a hosp. extraction I rang the dept. and told them he could come in quickly if they had a cancellation. 4 days later he had a 'phone call and quite 'painlessly' had a large back molar removed. Worth asking if the dept. holds a cancellation list?

  • Thank you, I have had no further trouble since the root canal so no hurry! My dentist is going to review the situation after 6 months.

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