When we last left our heroine in her dental adventures, she was was being hit on after having a horrible dental experience. That experience as well as a not so horrible experience follow. (And then I promise no more teeth talk til January.)
So I explained that I had a horrible extraction, but I didn’t give you guys all the lovely details. The tooth in question had a temporary filling put in 2 years ago. I was supposed to go back in a few weeks and have it replaced, but I was incredibly poor. So I let it go and go and go. Eventually, sometime this spring, the temporary filling completely fell out. This sucked, but I was even poorer than before, so I could do nothing about it. While on vacation, part of my tooth broke. And eventually another part and another part. So not only was there a big hole in my tooth, but now the walls were a’ crumblin’.
I didn’t know exactly what an extraction entailed, but I figured they needed something to grab onto and I really didn’t leave them much.
So they gave me some novocaine. After a few minutes, he asked how far over my lip was numb. “Um, it’s not?”
Cue more novocaine.
“How about now?”
“Yea, still nothing.”
“Well my tongue is numb, but my lip is not.”
Cue some poking around “Can you feel that?”
I couldn’t so everyone assumed we were good to go.
He started and I couldn’t really feel much, but I could feel a little. I figured it would stay that way and if I could avoid another shot and waiting any longer, go for it.
The tooth began to break when he tried to pull it out and THAT? I felt.
He’s trying his damndest to get the tooth but it’s just not working. At this point, I am full on crying my eyes out, because I can feel every little tug.
He goes to get an instructor to finish and I felt the entire thing. Any small amount of numbness I had before had completely gone away. They broke the tooth in half (felt that) to pull out the first side (felt that) and the second side (felt that). They then had to get all the little pieces out that had broken and I felt everything. At one point the dentist took his hands out of my mouth and I said “That really hurts.” But I guess at that point they were almost done, so they just kept going.
I have dealt with my share of physical pain in my life. When I had pleurisy and gallstones I thought I was seriously going to die, that’s how bad I hurt.
But this pain was unreal. My eyes were clamped tight, I was squeezing the hell out of my hands and at several points my vision went completely white.
Afterwards I had makeup smeared everywhere, blood smeared around my mouth, my eyes and nose were all puffy and red. I walked through the waiting room and some girl yelled “Damn! You look hurt!”
Understatement of the year.
My dental appointment today, I was not looking forward to. After the halfway unpleasant root canal and the insanely painful extraction, I figured getting a filling replaced wouldn’t be too much, but my body loves to trick me.
I sat down and the kid pulls up my x-rays which, zing!
By the way, the tooth on the left is gonzo. The shining star of a tooth is today’s culprit.
The roots are all lovely thanks to the other week’s root canal and that solid white mass is a filling. (Botched dental job when I was 10, reason why I am terrified of the dentist still.)
After reading the chart and talking to the one instructor, they realized that the kid that did my root canal had filled it with some super duper strong stuff and they could potentially just KEEP that there and put the crown on later! I was so excited to hear this!
Today’s dentist had to go check with other dentist to make sure he got all the decay out (and while he was gone I took that picture) and when he came back he says, “Well…” (shit.) “He left a cotton pellet in there, and that can’t stay…so we have to do it anyways.”
Sigh. I told him it was okay, that I had already resigned myself to getting a filling, so let’s get at it.
He told me that since the nerve had been removed, I shouldn’t feel anything, so he wasn’t going to numb me at first, but if I felt anything or wanted him to, he would.
So he went at it, and while I knew he was in my mouth, I couldn’t feel a thing, so I just let him go on his way. There was one unpleasant moment when he was doing something with a bigger drill, but it was unpleasant like nails on a chalkboard is. It didn’t hurt me, I just didn’t like it. Eventually he got all of the temporary filling out, found the stupid pellet and stuck a post in and filled me back up. (I’ll need a crown at some point.)
Some man down the hall was asking a thousand questions about what they were going to do to him. He said something like “Some people like to know.” I said, “I don’t, I don’t want to hear anything. I trust you, just do it and I’ll open my eyes when it’s done.” Then he told the dentist next to him that I was the best patient ever.
After he finished, he had the instructor come back and the instructor told him my tooth was gorgeous. I’d never heard anyone say that about any of my teeth before, so yay!
Afterwards he was talking about plans for the rest of my teeth (some small cavities) and maybe putting in an implant for the one tooth and I felt really sad that I picked some random dentist through my insurance. I bet there’s no way I can switch to the Pitt Dental School, but I might call tomorrow and give it a shot.
Best dental experience EVER.