The whole tooth

I had my fair share of teeth problems and dentist visits when I was a kid. Because of those bad memories, because of laziness, and because it cost money, I neglected my teeth shamefully in my twenties.

I eventually paid for it, of course. About 12 years ago when I had a job that provided dental insurance I sucked it up and got a lot of work done: several fillings and two root canals. Since then, I’ve taken much better care of my pearly whites.

Unfortunately, one of those root canal-ed teeth – my lower right back molar – started aching a few weeks ago. An x-ray showed some infection in the root of the tooth. My dentist’s practice has just taken on an endodontist; since I believe in paying extra for important stuff, I booked an appointment.

I was in the endodontist’s chair yesterday. He was great. He tried to pop off the crown but it wouldn’t budge, so he had to cut it off. Then he drilled out the post, drilled and scraped the decay out of the roots, cleaned and disinfected the holes, and put in a temporary cap and molded tooth. After leaving it a couple of weeks to heal, they’ll put in a new root and crown.

It took 90 minutes but the freezing was perfect and I hardly felt a thing. Even afterwards, it barely ached. Just as well, since it’s gotta be done.


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