Saturday, May 30, 2009

On having a Root Canal

You know the sayings....when we don't want to do something we say, "I'd rather have a root canal"...or this meeting or situation is worse than a "root canal". Not a very nice thing to say about those dentists or endodontists do the work to prepare and actually perform a root canal.

I had my first many years ago, maybe 25 years ago. As a child, I had had horrific experiences at the dentist. I won't go into it more than to say that we were on a medical card because we were poor and my grandfather had an old dentist friend who didn't believe in deadening anything unless absolutely necessary. By the time I was in high school, they had to sedate me to have any procedures done.

Once I grew up...wanting to be an adult, I attempt to be as calm as I can be. I will admit, I still sometimes have nervous shakes in the dentist chair. It's not something I am proud of, but I do my best to remain calm and take deep breaths.

Anyway, I have been in excruiting pain for over two week. I had a tooth break, my dentist put a crown on it...and about four days later the pain began in earnest. I returned to the dentist, who says, it is going to need a root canal, not exactly what I wanted to hear. Of course, I couldn't get into the endodontist until June 2. High doses of antibotics and pain killers are supposed to help. And they did, for less than a week. The pain returned and I wondered how I was going to function. I laid off the narcotics in order to work...but Advil and Tylenol only knocked it back to a dull roar.

On Thursday, my phone rang early. Dr. Turner, the endodonist had an immediate opening. I took it! Who could imagine that having a root canal could be so exciting. When my face hurt from behind my eye down to to my collar bone...whatever it took to make it stop was a miracle to me.

Dr. Turner's hands were gentle and even with my occasional shakes, he did what he needed to do in an awkward position (it was the farthest back tooth in the upper part of my mouth.) He was efficient and the difference in the pain level was immediately apparent. Sure, there is some soreness from the injections and the position my mouth was in...but not the incredible throbbing pain I had been in.

Having a root canal, was truly a gift. Who would have thought that such a procedure would make such a difference. Not so long ago, or very far away, my tooth would have been pulled. And the instruments that were used were much different than the last root canal I had.

I believe there are many miracles in the world...not the least of which are the ongoing medical procedures that make our lives more comfortable. I forget how often I take things for granted. NOT being in pain is one of them. When I list the things I would rather not do....I do not believe a root canal will be one of them.

Grateful for a good dentist and endodontist...

I am

Graced to Serve.

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