Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I Had A Root Canal

I can now cross "Endure a painfully invasive dental procedure" off of my bucket list. A few weeks ago, I was noshing on a bacon cheeseburger and felt one of my back molars crack. I writhed in pain, cursing the Son Of Baconator that brought me to such a low ebb. A cursory examination involving three mirrors and several weird arm contortions revealed that I had cracked my tooth bad enough to knock the filling out. The dentist would later give me three options: 1) Pull the tooth, 2) attempt to refill it or 3) root canal. He advised that I get a root canal, so I decided to go along with his suggestion.

Over the next two weeks, I heard a lot of horror stories about sadistic dentists, botched procedures and stingy Novocaine treatments. Meanwhile, I tried my best to educate myself on what a root canal actually is. I'd heard a lot about it on tv, where it's fodder for situation comedies, but I really had no idea what the procedure entails. In short, a root canal, more technically known as endodontic therapy, is a procedure in which the dentist drills down through your tooth into the dental pulp tissue . The dentist drills out the pulp and then pulls the nerve out through the root canal. Once that's done, he fills the tooth with a polymer substance and attaches a temporary crown. You get the permanent crown a few weeks later.

The Implements Of Torture
I had resigned myself to enduring the procedure and mustered up the courage to sit in the chair despite my expectation that there would be a tremendous amount of pain involved. Watching the dental assistant lay out the tools that would be used in the procedure didn't help. There was no going back. The dentist shot me up with Novocaine and went to work. He only make me scream in pain twice. Most notibly, it hurt like a bitch when he got down to the pulp, as a bunch of pressure had been released from the tooth. He took the time to shoot me up with more Novocane. Overall, though, it was a relatively painless experience. I honestly felt more pain from the tongue depressor and the bite guard than I felt from the actual procedure. It was slightly worse than getting a tooth drilled and filled. The only other complaint I have is that my temporary crown feels weird and is raised slightly above where my actual tooth was, so I am having a hard time being comfortable when I bite down on my back teeth.

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