The Good News is I Didn’t Need a Root Canal

I’m back from my trip to the endodontist. (I’ve decided part of getting older is discovering the need to go to doctors with new names, some of which show up as typos on spell check.) Since I live just south of the middle of nowhere, it took an hour to get there. An hour of driving alone in the car, anticipating a fun root canal.

Not exactly my idea of a good time.

When I got there and was finally being seen, the endodontist went through a few tests. She took new x-rays. She mulled them over. She poked around in my mouth with a sharp pointy thing. (I’ve decided this is part of the allure of being a dentist: getting to poke around in mouths with sharp pointy things.) She used the same pointy thing to dig into the base of my tooth in a way I’d rather not experience again. Then she said, “I’m going to put something cold on it. Let me know if you feel anything.”

Reader, I felt something. A lot of thing. Thankfully it dulled down after the initial jolt, though I can still feel where my gum met the pointy thing.

“Here’s the thing,” she said. Note to anyone going to medical people. Nothing good typically follows this phrase in that context. By saying “Here’s the thing,” you automatically know there’s a thing, and more than anything, you would rather there not be a thing to begin with. But here’s the thing. “Your tooth is cracked, and the crack goes below the bone line. I could do the root canal now, but there’s a good chance after it’s all done and you’ve got the crown, that you need to have the tooth extracted anyway.”

“What are my options?” I asked. Options are good, right?

“You could have it extracted right away and skip the root canal.”

I went with the first choice, because it wasn’t much of a choice. What it means is that my tooth is not out yet. I need to schedule that. They recommend I then get an implant. They drill into my jaw and insert a post, and then attach a fake tooth to that. It sounds awful. Did I mention I’m a baby when it comes to tooth pain?

So . . . yeah. That was my Thursday. How was yours?

4 thoughts on “The Good News is I Didn’t Need a Root Canal”

  1. Steve Steinbrueck

    Implants aren’t awful, but they are expensive and take months from start to finish…I have three.

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