Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How to survive your root canal

Looking up ENDODONTICS brings up some horrifying reading, and just look at those DRAWINGS! (screams)


The first thing you notice when entering any specialist's office: how nice everything is. My god, the money. It radiates. My fashionable endodontist (herein known as FE) has beautiful framed jazz posters in his office, what looked to be a Keith Haring coat rack (I didn't have time to inspect it carefully), and in the ladies' loo, beveled mirrors and a solid glass washbasin. The tiles are lovely, and look like marble or stone. I helped pay for all this, I thought.

Baby boomers' bad teeth--all that Dairy Queen crap, Hostess twinkies and Coca-cola, has paid for this pricey office.

I always demand gas forthwith, shocking most dental assistants with my fortitude (pump that UP, girls! MORE!) and astounding ability to withstand copious amounts of nitrous oxide. I assume there is a notation in my file (which I am told is one of the largest in the practice--ta dum!) that specifies "She likes a lot of gas!" or something like that.

FE has weird space-age, scientific tools that he employs, one of which looks like he is in a space capsule, wearing little goggles and looking through a microscope that sits right on top of your face. Meet George Jetson! I always bring some music along, and during this particular sequence I was listening to the Delfonics' "Didn't I blow your mind this time?" ...which, along with the gas, made it somewhat otherworldly and fun, for about 10 seconds or so. It hurt like a mofo, but I really couldn't differentiate the pain of the root canal itself, from the pain I have been experiencing for the past week--all sensation tends to run together into a steady stream of pain, worthy of MARATHON MAN. (Is it safe?)

Left: Fancy George Jetson space-age endodontics microscope.

The noise is positively harrowing, reminiscent of chain-saws and coffee-grinders; then you smell something burning and ... Clorox? Just close your eyes, and concentrate on the Delfonics. (Daisy's advice: nitrous and music, can usually get you through it. No strange or odd music; something familiar.) The filing of the root is where you start to feel, well, nauseated. WHAT is he doing? Oh my GOD.

Apparently, my infection had something to do with the bone (the WHAT? the BONE? Oh, holy Jesus, Mary, Joseph) and might get worse before it gets better. It could become re-infected, since the bacteria in the bone doesn't get oxygen and can multiply quickly, or somesuch thing. As FE patiently explained, I felt dazed. (Bone? Did he say BONE?) I kept thinking about how I'd like to just pull it out, but I couldn't say this to color-coordinated FE with his designer scrubs and shoes. He'd wrinkle his nose at me and make me feel low class. He'd be right, too!


This round, at least, is over.

Can anyone guess the price? The winner gets a free Daisy's Dead Air Bloglines subscription! HAHAHA!

Listening to: Yo La Tengo - Moby Octopad
via FoxyTunes


alphabitch said...

I'm not even going to try to guess. I went in a while ago to a posh dental practice and the estimate (for teeth that look fine and don't even hurt, mind) was over ten grand. It didn't even seem real to me -- I couldn't even be stunned. I went someplace else.

The last time I had the nitrous thing, they put the mask on me and told me to relax and take a deep breath, which I did. "Not that deep," they said.

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Bryce said...

eeeyuck~hope u feel better D!

thene said...

Gah, hope it heals up soon!

I've been told I need a root canal before they can fix my broken front tooth. Back in the UK that would've cost $400 if I wanted a pretty cruddy bit of fake tooth, $1000 for a good one. I won't guess what you paid. :P But I don't mind having half a tooth missing, anyway.

Last time I heard from her, Verte was studying teeth on her gender/culture course - like, we all know they used to be seen to by hairdressers. Hair, Daisy!

Daisy said...

Yeah, in fact, I don't even know the full price yet, because I may need to have my crown repaired.

The Red Queen said...

My worst nightmares (literal nightmares, the kind that wake you up at night) are of having all my teeth fall out. They don't actually fall though, they peel like onions.

I'm fairly young, but I've got teeth like chalk, they break if you look at them too hard. I feel your pain on the infection. Salt water rinsing really does help (it's osmosis! yay science!)

Get better soon.

Suzanne said...

Wow, that sounds like a posh dental clinic! That reminds me of a Laurel dentist who has a lot of new dental tools and equipment in his clinic. I remember I like going there because of the overall look of the clinic and the ever so friendly dentists. Laurel, MD is indeed a wonderful place that my family loves to visit every summer!

Anyway, hope you feel better soon!