Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Dead Tooth

I had a root canal yesterday. I haven't had a cavity since I was a kid (and only 2), but my wisdom teeth grew sideways on the bottom and one of them broke into the enamel of the molar next to it and the poor tooth got a cavity below the gumline. I was supposed to have the root canal done the month I was buying my house, but it stopped hurting, which I'm sure was God's blessing, so I didn't get it done. Suddenly, a week ago, it started throbbing in the middle of the night so I had to get it done. I was again blessed with the fact that no further decay had occurred during this time period of over a year.

The endodontist I was referred to also turned out to be extremely good and gentle. It was as pleasant an experience as it could possibly be. It seemed very high tech and totally cool (please forgive the California Valley Girl vernacular) and so interesting that I wished I could have watched in a mirror. I'm going to try and find an online video of a root canal to watch.

Psychologically, it was bizarre for me to have my tooth killed. I was reassured, however, once I saw how deeply the root was buried in my jaw bone. The first picture is the before x-ray. The tiny dots on the left of the tooth show where the gumline is. The second x-ray is after the procedure. The space in the middle of the tooth is cotton and the temporary filling is the solid white part. The cotton is for the dentist to use as a guide to stop drilling out the temp. filling so he doesn't disturb the permanent fillings in the root. My dentist thinks he can fill the tooth rather than crown it. I certainly hope so since the difference in price is about $800. I think the root of the tooth now looks like it's got Barbie legs in it.

1 comment:

Cheryl Clark said...

I just got my first and hopefully only root canal this week. I wanted to see it too! I kept trying to see in the light any kind of reflection. I just went to the dentist to get my temp filling replaced and the scariest thing was seeing the drill come at my mouth and no shots needed to numb it up. I thought, "Man, this tooth better be dead because that could really hurt."