Thursday, February 25, 2016

Emergency Root Canal

Yesterday I had a root canal. I'm calling it an emergency root canal, because on Tuesday morning the ache in one of my front teeth had become a stabbing pain. I took a sip of hot coffee and doubled over, it hurt so bad. I hadn't been ignoring the problem--I'd had some sensitivity in that tooth for a few months, but we couldn't find anything structurally wrong with it at my last cleaning, and it wasn't actually hurting yet. Then while I was in Florida it started to occasionally ache, then to ache quite often, then, on Thursday night, to be a real problem, but my dentist's office is closed Friday, so I couldn't make an appointment until Monday, and couldn't actually come in until Tuesday, when I was home.

On Tuesday my dentist started me on antibiotics and a whopping dose of ibuprofen. Yesterday he drilled a little hole in the back of my tooth, ground out the decaying root and whatever else is inside a tooth, filled it up with something, then sealed the hole. It's hard for me to believe it, but apparently I now have a dead tooth that is just fine, and will carry on with its regular job as though it were still alive. It aches a bit today but nothing like it did.

I asked my dentist what would have happened if I hadn't gotten the root canal. He told me my face would have swollen up until the infection burst itself loose from the bone. Nice. I don't love dentists, but I think I'm starting to appreciate them.

Eighteen months ago I fell off my horse head-first, landing partially on my face. My now-dead tooth was loose for a few days--I could wiggle it, the way children wiggle loose baby teeth, though I mostly tried not to as I really didn't want it to come out. It went back to being firmly rooted but apparently enough damage was done that the tooth died a slow lingering death. I'm curious to see if the tooth next to it, which was also knocked wiggly, will follow suit.

Now I'm off to start yet another revision of the sequel to TWTSML (now officially titled The War I Finally Won). However that goes, it's likely to be better than a root canal.