Random Solitary Thoughts

Monday, May 08, 2006

Root Canal Treatment

After an otherwise great weekend, I was packing it in for a day of work today when I felt a slight throbbing pain in my tooth last night. It kept me somewhat awake for a bit before I eventually dozed off. Waking up early in the morning to similar symptoms, I knew that something had to be done. I had to visit my dentist.

Now, I, like most other normal people in this world, dislike dentists. So with much pain and sorrow, I had to drag my lazy arse all the way to the clinic to have the tooth checked out. Turns out to be an infection in the root canal of my tooth. The options available? Extraction, or Root Canal Treatment! Both of which, sounds painful.

So what, you may ask (for those non-medical types) is a Root Canal Treatment? Basically, it's the process of drilling a hole into the tooth, and digging out all the nerves coz the tooth is dead anyway, and removing all the pus from the infected tooth. After that, they'll cover up the hole and your tooth is now officialy dead, but still around nonetheless. Extraction basically means pulling the damn thing out leaving a hole in my grin. Something I'm (since I'm cosmetically lacking in looks as it is) not prepared to lose.

Faced with the obvious (and cheaper) option of keeping my tooth (and grin), I took the RCT.

So the kindly dentist took a few x-rays to make sure that it's safe for them to perform the RCT, coz apparently sometimes the nerve endings might be too long and the RCT might affect other parts of the body. Once it was pronounced safe to proceed, local anaesthetic was applied and the right side of my lower jaw went numb. Even then, the thought of someone drilling a hole into your tooth and dragging the sinews of your nerves out was enough to inflict pain.

Then the drilling began. I hate drills. Thankfully, the anaesthetic did it's job and I was spared much of the pain. Tho when it hit the nerves, I could feel a tingling sensation that was far from sensational. Then came the nerve extraction. The dentist inserted this nasty looking needle into the root cavity of my tooth (yes, I could feel it go every milimetre of the way) and agressively yanked it out (along with bits of pieces of nerve endings)! Now THAT HURT!!!

This was repeated a few times followed by the removal of the pus that had built up inside the root cavity. That hurt too. But after much pain, the treatment was finally completed, for now. The tooth was patched so I could eat again (yay), and I'm supposed to return the next week for more of the same torture. Nice.

Now as I am writing this, my jaw is getting it's feeling back again. Drinking with a numb jaw is difficult. Since you can't feel your lips, you dribble all over the place. And you can't talk properly or even smile straight. I should try going to work like this. Would make for some interesting situations.

Lastly, an ending note to all you readers out there. Brush regularly and floss. And don't bite people.


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