Monday, June 05, 2023

Root Canal

     Friday morning, I spent three hours in a chair at the endodontist, getting a root canal.

     Or, as it happens, most of a root canal.  My teeth are weird, with higgledy-piggledy roots that rarely go where skilled dentists expect, and this tooth -- my farthest back, lower right, number thirty, which does not say good things for my dentition -- was pretty unfriendly.  And it already had a cap, so the specialist had to work through a smallish opening to avoid weakening the cap. 

     He found one (1) calcified, unhappy root and cleaned it out, spent time searching for any others, looked at the X-rays, looked at my tooth again and sent me off to the fancy 3-D imaging machine.  Even with it, the other bad root was hard to locate.  By the time he'd spotted it and found the proper angle of attack, it was time to fill the excavation and schedule me for another session.

     The interim condition is less than ideal: having been drilled on, cleaned out and filled, the tooth is more sensitive than before and the filled area is not quite full to the top.  So it's a good thing my next appointment is for Wednesday.


RandyGC said...

Had one almost 20 years ago. Hopefully the last one I will ever need.

Hope the Wednesdays appoint goes smoothly and you recover quickly.

Mike V said...

Oh crap! Those are not fun under the best of circumstances and yours sounds worse. Pain meds are your friend in these cases.

Anonymous said...

sounds to me like you'd better find another endodontist; RCT should be totally painless except for the first shot and should take one hour with a skilled operator with minimum post-op pain

Roberta X said...

Anon: that's exactly with the endodontist told me to expect, too: no pain, about an hour. He looked over the X-rays my dentist sent and set to work. And worked. And worked. The tooth had a crown and he had to work through that, which makes things a little trickier since they try not to make the hole through the cap any larger than it needs to be.

My teeth are unusually difficult to image, jammed closely together in the lower jaw especially and the roots are very distorted. After an hour and a half, he'd found one (1) root and sent me off for fancy imaging. On the first look-through of that, he found the off-center, small nerve in one more root, but there was no more time. When I came back five days later, he'd found them all and it still took over an hour to get the remaining three roots located and the nerve channels cleaned out and treated. I'd had nasty inflammation off the end of at least one root, and that was probably the "this could really hurt" feeling. It never did, though there's still a tender spot along my jawline that I'm keeping watch on.

I have lousy teeth. I didn't take good care of them as a child and I couldn't afford to go to the dentist as a young adult. As a result, I'm pretty used to a background level of tooth pain and sometimes I miss things or understate them when reporting symptoms.