Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yay! I had a root canal!

Yesterday I had the third root canal attempt done on the cranky, nasty, MEAN tooth that has plagued me since it decided not to grow into the nice little gap that its predecessor had left for it and rather grow sideways, along the gum line, hoping to never see sunlight. It had to be tortured into submission by way of a tiny set of chain links bolted to it that was gradually shortened every few weeks, link by link.It recently decided to exact further revenge by abscessing.

I am terrified of the dentist. I have that thing where going to the dentist makes you scared and nauseated, then you lie in the chair and they say open your mouth and you have to fight back tears of absolute terror and repress the urge to scream (which is not easy with your mouth open). I have been focusing on trying to be a more responsible person though and that means things like going to the appropriate medical person when in severe pain. So, instead of ignoring the pain in order to avoid going to the dentist, I went to the dentist. Shaking and sweating all the way there. I had a bit of concern when I described the pain and they wanted to see me immediately. I started to try and say things like,

"Well, it isn't that bad. Maybe I just have a really low tolerance for pain..."

"Can you come in at 2:30 today?"

I went (see "responsible person") and they did some x-rays, after which the dentist walked in and said, "Well. You have an abscess. You have a couple of options. One, we can remove the tooth."

At which point, the room started spinning and I'm sure a look of horrorfear slid across my face and I probably stopped breathing.

"Or we can do a root canal."

To which my reaction was actual relief, then horrorfear, then the room started spinning.

"I'll take the root canal" I whispered.

"That's what I'd recommend."

But he couldn't actually do the root canal because the tooth itself is so damaged and full of ill will that it has "calcified" which means he couldn't actually get to the root canal.

So, still in pain, prescription for antibiotics in one hand, phone number for an endodontist in the other and a little dizzy from oxygen deprivation, I drove home and cried for awhile.

The next day, I took a bunch of ibuprofen and called the endodontist for an appointment.

Yesterday was actually the second trip to the endodontist who had the same issue as the dentist and had informed me that I would probably need surgery.

"Yeah. Well. We'll try again. But, there's so much calcification in there...."

The good news is that despite everyone's skepticism and the general stubborn nature of that stupid tooth, she managed it and I don't have to have surgery.

Which is why I'm excited that I had a root canal.