It’s Just a Tooth, Right?

I may have mentioned that I wasn’t on top of my game. I have been feeling sick, tired, lethargic and dull-witted. I thought I was sick, or over did it on Tuesday, or was just run down.

Then I woke up Friday with a ridiculous painful toothache.

Young Woman with a Toothache

Ah-ha!

It’s my damn filling again, causing me headaches, pressure and all sorts of grief.

I promptly took several Neurofen and booked a dentist appointment expecting her to trim up the filling a bit more.

Unfortunately, she told me she thinks I need a root canal.

Ugh! NO WAY!

The reputation of this procedure precedes any logical questions I might need to ask. I bolted!!

When I recover from the shock, I go and do a bit of research.

What the heck is a root canal anyway?

Root_Canal_Illustration_Molar.svg

Basically the idea is that the tooth is infected and the nerve is dying. So they take the top off the tooth, remove the nerve and any infection, and fill the tooth back up with some non-porous stuff and put a crown back on top of the new ‘tooth’.

Essentially they kill the tooth in order to save it.

Generally speaking things go well, but if things go wrong, then there’s more digging, drilling, and ouching, and presumably a lot more cost.

From what I can tell, there are three options (if you don’t include “do nothing and just suffer” which I will not do, because a week of this is more than enough, thank you very much)

  1. Root canal surgery
  2. Remove the tooth, have a bridge built
  3. Remove the tooth and live with a hole

I really haven’t had too much trouble with my teeth. Aside from the fillings you get from the school dentist (I swear many of those are just because they need someone to practice on, and not because of real cavities), I haven’t needed anything other than routine cleanings.

Then in my mid-20s I got braces, and had all four pre-molars and all four wisdom teeth removed. No big deal, no problems.

But in the last 6 months, maybe even less, I have lost two fillings, and had to go in twice over the one that’s giving me grief today.

So, having had minimal dental trouble, and this seems like a pretty serious problem, I have mixed feelings about all this.

On one hand, they’re just teeth, so why be attached to them? Just pull it and live without it, right?

On the other hand, I’m already 8 teeth short and the ones that are left have been with me for most of my life so it’s kind of nice to try to save them if I can. I really don’t want to end up being one of those old ladies with sloppy falsies.

What would you do, given the choices I have?

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2 responses to “It’s Just a Tooth, Right?

  1. It’s not as bad as it sounds. You may have answered your question in your last paragraph. Eating healthy to support your physical activity is really important – and teeth certainly help in that endeavor. Whatever decision you make, wishing you pain-free days ahead.

    • I’ve spoken to a few people, including my mother, who has had 8 root canals, and she says that despite how uncomfortable they can be, it’s probably best to save the teeth I can.
      I’ll be having a more ‘grown up’ conversation with the dentist later this week, to get more information, x-rays and so on.
      And probably a root canal… :/

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