You are right. I had forgotten that fact, but I have had a root canal with out anesthesia or even Novocaine. I saw that discussion on Oprah, but it did not dawn on me until you reminded me. Good point.
I'm almost positive that the cases you mention must be egregious exceptions to some rule that I should know about, because root canals are unequivocally painful without anaesthesia. I consulted a dentist about this: any dentist performing a root canal without anaesthetics would most likely have their license revoked. Moreover, the idea behind not giving an addict (especially a cocaine or crack addict) novocaine is that there is a small amount of, I believe, epinephrine in it, which can cause a heart reaction in someone with an addiction to stimulants. HOWEVER, it is absolutely critical to recognize that the sheer trauma of such blinding pain would cause someone with a sensitive heart to have a heart attack. It is infinitely better to risk the effects of a small amount of epinephrine rather than sending a patient into cardiac arrest.
Having known a number of dentists and a number of addicts, I can promise you that Frey has earned himself absolutely no credibility in my eyes. For that, this book disgusts me, because it's not the truth. And if it's not the whole, unadulterated truth, this man is making money from pretending to have experienced extreme trials, which is horrific.
I have had a root canal also. I did have anesthesia. The time before the root canal was far more painful! It kept me awake at night for a week, after the root canal I had some soreness, but no more severe pain. My dentist said the anesthesia is necessary depending on how long the person has waited to have the root canal done. The longer, the worse it is
Yes, root canals are horribly painful. I have had two performed before. One was with correct local anesthesia and the other without. Local anesthesia is the kind where it is given to you like a shot, inside the mouth. You stay awake but there is a numbness throughout the area where the shot was given. There was a general soreness from the tooth when I had correct anesthesia. You can still feel slight pain when the tooth is drilled. When the dentist files the hole he has just drilled, your nerve is exposed.
But the second time I had a root canal I was given incorrect anesthesia by a dentist that I have since never seen. He placed the needle incorrectly when he administered the anesthesia and so I felt every vibration when he drilled my tooth, and I then felt spasms of pain when he filed that hole he'd drilled. Why? Because he would accidentally poke my nerve when he was filing inside that hole. You can only imagine the pain that I felt, because my nerve was only partly numb. I was screaming at the top of my lungs and hyperventilating. The dentist had to put a temporary filling with a numbing solution so that I could go home and calm down. He finished the procedure with proper anesthesia the next day. I stopped seeing him because of this, and later on when he gave a root canal to my brother on the wrong tooth, everyone we knew who was seeing him followed suit. I have never pursued a lawsuit, but I bet that my brother and I would have had one hell of a case.
I have had all dental work since I was 14 done without local anesthetics. (I am allergic to the preservative, and even though it comes in preservative-free forms--the allergist has told me not to use them.)
I have 9 crowns. 3 were done without ANYTHING. As soon as I first heard Frey interviewed on Oprah, I thought that his description was suspicious. Upon reading the book, which has even MORE detail, I was VERY skeptical.
Most of my pain is alleviated during dental procedures by nitrous oxide. I am trying to think of a reason that Mr. Frey could not have used nitrous oxide, as it is provided by breathing and I am thinking that epinephrine would not be delivered in that way. Maybe I am wrong, but it just seems overly dramatic.
The other events are equally unbelievable, as any rehab that allows the forbidden (although clandestine) trysts with a woman and never catches that would be censured. Mr. Frey may or may not be an addict; he certainly does not seem to me to be on ANY of the 12 steps.
I believe his works should be labelled as fiction, for they certainly do not seem to be representative--although they are somewhat entertaining.
I do not know where some people dig up their information or what but until they are 100% positive WITHOUT a shadow of a doubt or "been there done that" they can not be CERTAIN of anything! It is only their OPINION or HEARSAY! I have never taken drugs although I have close family members who have & I do know that drug addicts "embelish" or "lie" about most everything! I also know for a fact that you CAN have a root canal without any because I have had several root canals & YES the CAN be VERY painful & I have had some done that WERE...but I also have had TWO done without any anesthesia & it did not bother me at all! I was very shocked to even find out I was having a root canal on one times because I did not feel a thing! To be truthful I will say one of the times I had a root canal without anything that particular tooth had already had a root canal done on it once before & had to be re-done. I hardly think any Dentist would AUTOMATICALLY get their license revoked for NOT giving a person drugs that were not needed any more than they would get their license revoked if the anesthesia wore off sooner than it should have. Could it happen that he would lose their license for it? POSSIBLY if someone with enough money & a good lawyer sued him but not LIKELY! The main point is...Insisting that something could not have happened that way because you heard otherwise does NOT make it true there are EXCEPTIONS to EVERY RULE! As far as the book goes...NO one in their life can say that they have told everything that happened in their life at 100% accuracy. We all MIX up the facts & figures all the time without meaning to or without even realizing it. Drug addicts are worse at it because they are living in a lie the whole time they are addicts & yet you expect them to all of a sudden know for certain what is fact or fiction because they became sober? To them it is all scrambled up between fact & fiction. We KNOW this! What should be asked is not whether the book was 100% true or not but if it was a good book & MOST IMPORTANT did the book help even ONE person. That is what is most relevant not whether there was any "embelishments" or "untruths" in the book. He was a drug addict - what do you actually think you were reading about - a Saint? The book was great, a good read, & helped me understand my family members who became addicts.
I believe it depends on the situation. I had to have a root canal due to a chipped tooth and toot became exposed. The root wasn't at all dead. I had anesthesia. It started to wear off before the dentist finished. There was definitely very noticeable pain. Until then (and my second) was a breeze because of the anesthesia.
I've had two wisdom teeth cut out of my mouth with nothing but a little Novacaine (and Novacaine is not an addictive substance btw; it's just a local anesthetic). This procedure was done in the Netherlands, where this is common practice. I doubt they'd give you anything special for a root canal either.
I have had four root canals and believe me, not always is the "root" completely dead!! Yes, if it was dead, it would not hurt for them to drill into the tooth, UNTIL he reached the nerve that runs past the bottom tip of the root inside your jaw, that is still alive! But if your tooth hurts, most likely the inside of the tooth where the pulp is (also called the root), is dying. As it dies, it becomes infected. Bacteria produces gas as waste and the gas builds up inside of the pulp and sometimes out of the tooth into the bone holding the tooth. This gas has no where to go, so pressure builds up inside your tooth and that causes the pain! That's what that yucchy smell is when the dentist drills a hold in the tooth and releases the gas or sometimes even puss. Infection also causes inflammation, which causes pain as well. The bacteria in your tooth can reduce the effectiveness of the local anesthetic, making it difficult to numb the tooth. I have experienced this and was screaming in the dentist chair for 45 minutes because the tooth was "hot" (infected) during a root canal. The pain is absolutely horrifying as James Frey explains. Sorry for the length, had to straighten that out!