Monday, May 16, 2011

The Fine Art of Endo.....and Other Various Tortures.

Please tell me, after seeing my status earlier (if you did), that you knew this was coming.  It has been an excrutiating 24 hours and I just had to share.  Here's the Reader's Digest version - boy breaks tooth, tooth aches, boy goes to dentist to find out there is an abcess forming, boy waits, boy bites on something, boy, oh boy, oh boy.  That's it.  The tooth broke a few weeks ago.  I went to the dentist and she told me she could save it but, yes, it would need a root canal.  This procedure in dentistry in known as Endodontics.  The other name for it is "Waterboarding's Second Cousin".  If you have ever had an abcess you can relate.  Being a hygienist, we were taught the questions to ask and the tricks to use to determine, prior to using an x-ray, if the tooth might be "hot".  Is it sensitive to cold?  Not a real good indicator.  Is it sensitive to heat?  Great indicator.  How about percussive taps?  Percussive taps are when the doc or hygienist flips the mouth mirror around and uses the end of the solid stainless steel handle and 'taps' gently against the tooth.  So, is it sensitive to that?  Let's put it this way - when he walked in the room, I told him, "Doc, I know what you're going to do.  Let me tell you it's sensitive to my tongue tapping it."  For the record, my tongue can't tap anywhere nearly as hard as stainless steel can. (Go ahead, finish snickering).  At this juncture, the doc decided he knew enough.  I only got worried when he told me of the decay he saw on the adjacent teeth.  Really?  Can I see those x-rays?  Ah, I think I see the problem, Pal.  2006.  What say we take a peek in my mouth and check to make sure that tooth is still there.  It's not?  How 'bout that.  Why not compare it to the....there you go - the x-rays from two weeks ago.  I felt like we were looking at a copy of Highlights Magazine and you had to pick out the differences in the two pictures.  No, no...I always perspire like this - keep going.

Then came the injections.  I got 4% Citanest, 4% something else, and 2% Lidocaine.  Seriously.  He explained them all...even down to the vasoconstrictors.  Umm, hey doc?  REALLY DON'T CARE - MAKE THE PAIN STOP!  Whew...okay, I'm back.  Then, after the second injection, he asked if I felt that on my tongue.  I thought he meant the tingling, numb feeling so, of course, I said yes.  Here's where he pulled his Jason Bourne impression.  It felt like he had ripped the electrical cord from a lamp, split the wires, flipped the switch and, with a sly smile, held them to my tongue. "What the...," I politely inquired.  Ah, you felt that one, huh?  Yeah, bub...I felt that one.  That was me hitting the nerve, nicked it actually, with the needle.  Really?  How 'bout we don't do that again?  Ever.  Jesus, it was like a dental student working on me again!

Finally, he gets into the tooth, the pressure is relieved, I can tell it was infected (mainly because he gave me a play-by-play of the...never mind), and he proceeds to disinfect and close the tooth.  Here's your antibiotic, here's your pain meds (which you won't need), here's the appointment for next week.  Bingo, Bango, Bongo, Done.  Easy, Peasy, Lemon Squeezy.  Yeah, except I am sitting here typing and the novocain has worn off.  It is aching.  It's time for my antibiotics.  Maybe, just maybe, it's time for one of those pain pills I won't need, too.  So the moral of the story is what?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Seriously, if you have a pain like this, go to the dentist.  Do Not wait until it gets this bad....please.  They can make it better, I promise.  They give 'scripts, to.  Work with me here.........

Until next time..........


  1. I feel for you - I DO!!!!
    I tell Dr. Reese (who I love) I should go to schools and tell kids WHY you 1 - brush & 2 - go to the dentist!
    You would NOT believe all the work I have had done - and yes, as I said, I LOVE Dr. Reese. Never judged or was critcal of my situation. Once again - sadly, it came down to single father, 5 girls, 1 job, etc. You know hte story. But thankfully - in my early 20's I was able to get TONS of work done and can now eat,and breathe painfree (at least my mouth).
    So - yes, I understand my dear Dave - POP THEM PILLS !!! WOOHOOO

  2. LOL I feel you Dave. I had the root canals too. Unfotunately I have not taken care of the teeth as I should have. Now that I have the dental insurance I am sure whatever dentist I choos will be rubbing his hands together and sat PAYDAY!!! Take care and yes take those pain meds you dont need LOL