Right on time

The cream-filled center

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 | 03:40 PM | by
You know what's about six kinds of not fun? Root canals.

I had the first part of a root canal last night, to relieve a serious sensitivity in my upper-right canine that's been causing intermittent pain since Saturday. The catch is, we (me, a dentist and an endodontist) couldn't figure out why the tooth was so sensitive. The tooth was in perfect condition, as visual exams and multiple x-rays attested to. No cavities, no decay, nothing. But for some reason, any time cool air or liquid got to the tooth, it lit up in pain. Serious pain.

So after finding no answers as to why and how to fix it, the last resort is just to kill the tooth to stop the pain. It turned out to be the right decision, because once the endodontist starting drilling the tooth out, he found that the nerve in there was not healthy at all.

We still have no idea why the nerve went bad, but here's the best professional guess: I've had a residual cough from a cold from a while back. He says it's possible that at some point I coughed hard enough that the tooth could have shifted ever so slightly, severing the nerve inside the tooth.

So I had the procedure last night, and most surprisingly? No pain. Root Canals have a bad stigma surrounding them, I assume because people associate the pain they're feeling in their tooth with the procedure needed to fix it. But aside from the novacaine needle, there was absolutely no pain during the procedure whatsoever.

Don't get me wrong though, the whole process is still unpleasant. While it immediately removed the pain in my tooth, it's not an in and out sort of deal. You have to go in once, for them to drill out the tooth, then you go back a week later for them to do some more stuff, then you have to wait yet another week to see a dentist to get the tooth finished off. All the while you need to be really careful with the tooth that's just had it's guts removed.

In brighter news, hopefully I'll feel a bit more talkative during tonight's Halo 2 Winter-een-mas GameDay (8PM EST) than I have been the last few nights, because I won't be in pain.