Thursday, December 4, 2008

Missing Tooth

Okay. A couple of weeks ago I went to the dentist with severe pain in my right lower 1st moler (that's the very last moler). The pain was so excruciating it radiated all the way into my ear and down my neck. I could barely talk. This all happened on a Friday. So I made an appointment with a local dentist and wasn't able to get in until the following Tues. So I medicated myself with a gajillion Advil and was good to go for the weekend.

So I go in for the appointment and the Dentist, who was super duper nice taps my tooth and asked me if that hurt? To my surprise it didn't. So he tells me that the tooth is dead and we'll have to perform a root canal in order to keep it. He took an x-ray and saw that the tooth was definately abssessed. However, there was a very large space behind the tooth which he was very concerned about. He wrote me a prescription for Vicadin (yeah!) and I made an appointment for the root canal with his colleague.

The following week I go in for my root canal and while the dentist is shooting me up full of novacaine he notices that there is a much bigger problem going on than just a dead tooth. I know this because his assistant says, "Is that what I think it is?" and he says "Uh-huh." He then says, "I'm going to let that (the novacaine) set in for a few minutes and I'll be back in a few minutes." Feeling half numbed already, I look over at the dental assistant and say, "I ate a granola bar right before I came is that what you saw?" She just laughed at me and said "He'll be right back to talk to you about it." By this time I'm feeling a little nervous.

So the Dr. comes back in and says, "Okay. So we have a bigger problem here..... blah blah blah.... dead tooth......blah blah blah..... 12 mm pocket around tooth filled with puss (I know. Gross.)infected jaw bone caused it....... blah blah blah..... have to pull your tooth out." "WHAT?????" I said completely shocked. "What do you mean you have to pull my tooth out?" He explained that it could be either an endodontic or periodontic problem. An endodontic problem would mean that the problem lies in the bone meaning the tooth would have to come out and there would have to be bone grafting and a tooth implant etc... If it was a periodontic infection the root canal would do the trick. However, from the looks of things he strongly felt that this was an endodontic problem. He was very nice and very logical, however, he wasn't going to be pulling my tooth out today. That I knew for sure! So I had him call my brother-in-law who is an excellent DDS in Oregon. Yes. I actually had him call my brother-in-law in OR and explain the situation to him. So he did and they both agreed that since the origin of the infection was unsure we should go ahead with the root canal. After all, this may save the tooth for a few months or maybe indefinately since they were unsure of the origin of the infection. However, since we had taken so long to decide what to do, my dentist could only do half of the procedure today and would have to finish up the following week. Oh joy. At least I wouldn't be in any more pain.

I get the root canal completed the following week. Ten days later we head up to Oregon to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and her family and my brother-in-law who is the dentist. Up until a day prior to our trip I was pain free. And then to my dismay the pain started to come back which meant it wasn't the tooth. It was the bone.

So I went into my brother-in-law's office kicking and screaming and had my tooth pulled and the bone grafted. In 6 months or so I'll be going back for an implant. I'm so bummed. I'm even more bummed after having seen my tooth and seeing that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It was all the stupid bone's fault. And there is no explanation as to why the bone went bad either - just something that's very rare. Furthermore, to make matters worse, I had the tooth pulled the day before Thanksgiving which made my Thanksgiving meal not as enjoyable as it could have been.

My son has a loose tooth which means he'll be losing a tooth soon too. So he said to me, "That's okay, Mom. I'm loosing my teeth too." Cute. But not so funny.