Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Root canals are so much FUN

It wasn't my first root canal, but my previous dentist gave nitrous oxide for the procedure, so I don't remember much of it.  That was a more typical procedure (root canal, crown prep, temp crown, permanent crown).  For my tooth today, over a year ago it was a broken tooth, but my dentist did not believe it was damaged deep enough to require a root canal.  We went straight to a crown.  Every few months, the tooth became painful and I was placed on antibiotics, which would clear it.  And give me a yeast infection.  Every single time.  It's great being a lady.

We were trying to avoid the inevitable root canal because we didn't want to drill through the permanent crown. Well, on the fourth course of antibiotics, the decision was made that we were going to have to do the root canal.

So that's how I ended up in the dentist's chair this morning.  I halfway expected nitrous oxide because of my previous experience, but I was curious enough about the procedure to not be disappointed that there was no nitrous.  So first I was numbed up pretty good.  My dentist is really good at numbing you.  I never feel the injection, which I can't say about every dentist I've been to.

After I was good and numb, he drilled through the crown and the tooth.  After that, he located the canals, filed them out, and took an xray with files in place.  The xray was the most problematic part because I wasn't allowed to close my mouth, so they had to hold the film in place, and try to make sure they were capturing the full depth of the canals on xray.  It took a few tries.

I did have to get additional injections to numb my mouth again toward the tail end of the procedure, but otherwise the root canal was uneventful, thankfully.

Something strange that my dentist did that I wasn't expecting is that he left the pulp chambers open for drainage, which means there's a giant hole in my tooth.  He did pack it with a cotton pellet soaked in eugenol (clove oil), but otherwise, it's staying open until we do the filling next week.  The way it was explained to me is that because this tooth has been infected so many times, he wants me to finish my current course of antibiotics before he seals up the tooth.

After my dentist appointment, I did go to work to allow my employee to take a lunch break because my other employee is in training this week and could not cover lunch today.  I was completely numb and felt like I kept having to explain my face to everyone.  When the campus dean came back from lunch, I was pretty much kicked out of the building, which was honestly really nice.  It is nice having someone in a position of power realize that sometimes work is not the #1 priority and getting rest is important too.

I'm lucky enough to have hydrocodone to help with the pain, because it feels like I've been punched in the face.

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