"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes
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Monday, December 01, 2008
My. Jaw. Hurts.
I understand now why dentists get a bad rap. I have never had to go to the dentist for anything more than a cleaning and the occasional filling and, therefore, have always enjoyed my visits to the dentist. I even looked forward to them. Walking out the door after an hour in a comfy kicked back chair with the squeaky cleanest teeth was actually something I liked to do.
That was all shattered today.
I went to the dentist today after putting off for too long getting a crown on a molar that broke of when I bit into a piece of candy at Christmas. It has never bothered me, never hurt, nothing...which is why it wasnt on the top of my priority list. I did try to get in to my dentist in Ohio this summer to get it fixed, but he doesnt like to play nice with my insurance and we couldnt get it done before I came back to Alaska. So, anyway, it's been broken for awhile and I knew I needed a crown. A crown is put on in two phases. The first phase is when they clean up the old tooth by shaving it down, digging out the old filling if there is one (there was for me), getting out any decay, and then filling it in and building it up if it needs to be. Then they make a temporary crown for you to wear while the real porcelain crown gets made. They also take a bunch of molds and impressions of your teeth so that the crown will look and work just like your old tooth. Then in 3-4 weeks, you go back and have your real crown put on.
Well, today was phase 1 for me. The dentist and everyone was shocked when they got the old filling off and found a bunch of decay under it....all the way down to the root. He said if I would have waited any longer, I would have needed a root canal. Yikes! So, he sawed, drilled, and grinded until all the decayed tooth was gone. He got all the way to an exposed root, but said that it should be ok. He had to put pins into the tooth so that the build up material would have something to bond to and then worked in the build up material. Then they had to file and shape that. Then came the temp crown that also had to be filed and shaped. All in all, I was in that dentist chair for nearly 3 hours and I AM IN PAIN today. My whole jaw and neck hurts and I have the most massive headache ever.
That is definitely not to say that my tooth hurts, because it does not. I never once felt anything while he worked on my tooth and drilled, poked, prodded, filed, and sawed. NOTHING. not once. Not even the shot when he numbed it. Didnt feel it. What I feel is the soreness from holding my mouth open for so long. The ache in my neck from holding my head in strange positions. The headache from the strain on my jaw. I am in pretty miserable shape right now and just plain worn out too. I'm going to bed and hope I feel better in the morning. This is a long week with robotics and I will need all the energy I can store.
What are your views on going to the dentist? Love it or hate it?
I'm a high school science teacher currently living my dream of teaching out in bush Alaska. I'm always up for new adventures and like to travel anywhere and everywhere. This blog is a way to keep in touch with friends and family, journal about life, and share my experiences with the world.