Monday, July 26, 2010

(not so) Gentle Dental

Today I visited the dentist, and I realized two things: 1. having a baby without drugs is one thing...having dental work without drugs is CRAZY!, and 2. I could NEVER be a dentist!

When I learned that we were going to have to basically undo and redo my root canal because something up there was infected, I was not excited. But I've had a lot of dental work in my lifetime, and I figured if I'd had a baby, I could do this...especially since I had that baby without drugs! Plus I figured it was hurting now, so at least I'd get rid of that pain once and for all! The good news was that since it was a root canal done by him that he was having to fix, he wasn't going to charge me any kind of copay. So, that was nice of him, at least I knew he didn't mess up on purpose to get more money out of me! (although I would never suspect that from my dentist, he's a really nice guy)

I showed up today with my ipod ready for my torture. I didn't know what to expect. I've been on antibiotics for 5 days already, and still have another 5 days to go, so the swelling (and pain) has gone down, but it still hurts. And I was dreading taking the crown off, that seemed really scary to me for some reason!

Instead of giving you the entire long story, I'll just list the highlights:

*in order to get the crown off, the dr. basically had to pound on it over and over (he called this tapping, but I swear my brain was rolling around inside my head when he was done!)

*apparently I had an extra canal for this tooth, so instead of the usual 3, I had 4...and he didn't see this 4th one the first time. Hence the infection. Unfortunately, after finding it, the anesthesia was wearing off and I felt all of the digging.

*My appt. took over 2 hours and at least 6 X-rays...he was very very thorough this time!

*For one of the xrays, I gagged when he put the little film in my mouth...3 times. I finally screamed, "NO!" and he took it out. I had visions of throwing up all over the dentist chair and him having to fish puke chunks out of my open root canal...that would NOT have been fun!

*I think the dr. was trying to pull my cheek all the way to my ear, and I think he got pretty close (this is the only part that actually DID remind me of childbirth...the stretching and stretching and stretching)

*Everytime the dr. would put his hands in my mouth to dig dig dig with that pokey thing that looks like a needle, he would press down on my bottom lip causing my teeth to almost go through it until I could somehow get it out of there and to safety.

*He had some kind of blow torch or something and cauterized my gums. Luckily I didn't feel it, I just smelled the burning flesh and saw smoke coming from my mouth.

*At one point he got so frustrated that he took off his gloves and dove in bare-handed!

*Then the light went out and we had to move to a different room (this set us back a few minutes, but allowed my jaw to retract back into place so I didn't have permanent open mouth)

*He was more tired than I was when it was done.

*Now I know why people choose an epidural...but I would NEVER have dental work without drugs. Oh my!

Now that I'm home and the numbing has worn off there's a little more pain. But it's not really much more than was already there with the infection and such. I really hope he took care of the problem. I'm looking forward to finishing these antibiotics and moving on with my life. This tooth has been giving me pain for 2 years now, it's about time we did something about it, no matter how drastic!

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