Good News! A Root Canal!

So last month I went to my dentist for a routine appointment and my hygienist gave me an A+, but then when my dentist went to take a look, he discovered a crack in one of my teeth.  He told me I would need to make another appointment to come in for a crown.

So on Tuesday I went in to get my crown, and after being there for about a 1/2 hour through numbing and drilling, he said, “Uh oh.  There’s something here we hadn’t anticipated.”

(Don’t you love it when doctors says stuff like that?)

He said that when he drilled in to take out the old filling to replace it with a crown, he saw the root was exposed, so I would need to go to an endodontist to have it cleaned out before he could crown it.  So his office called a local endodontist and said I could come right over.

As I was preparing to leave the office, the receptionist said, “Give us a call after you get your root canal so we can reschedule your crown.”

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?  No one had said anything about a root canal!  I flew into a panic, didn’t know what to do.  Was there an alternative?

After stressing and driving around like a crazy person for about an hour, I rescheduled the appointment for Friday morning and went home to do some research, and freak out a little more.

I found out the only alternative is sometimes you can seal off the root, and then cap it.  Other than that, the only alternative is to remove the tooth, to prevent infection.

My dentist called me later in the day, concerned why I didn’t take the appointment they had set up for me.  I said, “You didn’t tell me ‘root canal’.”  He said yeah, sometimes when they use that word people go into a panic.  (oh really?)

I said “I wasn’t ready.  I needed to do some research first.  How about the option of sealing off the root, and then capping over that?”

He said, “That’s what was done the first time, and the filling was put over that. But I wouldn’t recommend that again, if it were my tooth.  Besides, I’ve already begun the root canal process by removing the pulp from the tooth.”

I asked, “Does the pulp ever grow back?”

He said, “No.”

So this morning, I went to the endodontist for the root canal.  Before he started the procedure, he said “I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to do this.  There’s a crack in the tooth and I’ll have to see how deep the crack goes.  If it’s too deep, we can’t do the root canal because there would be too much risk for infection getting in.  So if that’s the case, we’ll have to send you to an oral surgeon to have the tooth extracted  (i.e. ripped out of your head).

About an hour into the process, he gave me the good news, “The crack’s not that bad. We’re going to do the root canal!”

YAY!  Break out the champagne!

It’s all relative, isn’t it?

(btw – it wasn’t that bad.  Only 2 parts hurt; the numbing needle in the roof of my mouth, and the bill)

2 responses to “Good News! A Root Canal!

  1. Isn’t it funny when really, really bad things like root canals suddenly become good news? Haha. When I was a little kid and had to get tooth work done, my dentist would always say, “Don’t worry, any poking you feel is just my fingernail,” while all the time I was watching her pull the numbing agent up in a five-foot needle. As far as I’m concerned, the needles are ALWAYS the worst part. Glad you didn’t lose your tooth!

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