Monday, 16 February 2009

Day 139 of 365: Root of the Problem

This is where I spent 45 minutes of my life this afternoon receiving my first ever root canal - The Dental Surgery in Quinton. Turns out it was my bottom right molar (broken last June) that was the culprit of the pain, not the wisdom tooth, as previously thought.

Since late last Thursday, I have been slowly deteriorating and feeling like my brain was leaking out of my ears at one point. The pain was absolute torture...and from what some Google sources have told me, worse (in some cases) than actually being in labour. I began taking Nurofen Thursday night and through Friday. However, by Saturday night, the pain was no longer mild and it reduced me to absolute tears. Poor Matt felt so helpless with me curled up in the fetal position clutching my head in my hands. First it would start in my lower jaw and go into the roof of my mouth before shooting a sharp pain into my ears and then behind my eyes. Every now and again the pain would change course and shoot down through my neck and back up into my throat before finishing in my temple with a throbbing force leaving me feeling as though my head was in a vice.

*insert virtual feeling of migraine + ear infection + ice cream headache + fever + strep throat + being punched in the lower jaw* (THAT is how it felt)

The only way I could sleep was being doped up on Paramol and 400mg Ibuprofen whilst lying my head on top of a sock-covered, scalding hot, old malt vinegar jar filled with water (which hubby was lovingly re-heating through the kettle every couple of hours).

I was able to get in to see the dentist yesterday, who prescribed me some Amoxicillin, (see day 138) and from there an appointment was made again in Cradley Heath for a possible extraction this morning. When we got in, the dentist took a brief look and suggested we go to his other office in Quinton as they have NHS capacity and it would cost us less. Before we left, he suggested that I have my broken molar extracted and assured me the wisdom tooth would then move into its place. Upon being seen by the dentist in Quinton, he had an alternative plan. First, he said if the molar was extracted, a replacement tooth would be necessary. Then he suggested an X-Ray to see how poorly the molar actually was and then determined there was an 80% chance of saving the tooth with a root canal. My appointment was immediately booked for 2:20pm this afternoon.

Thankfully Matt was allowed to go into the room with me. The dentist was fantastic and honestly restored my faith in dentistry. I didn't feel ANY pain whatsoever and the worst part of it all was attempting to have a flip-top head and keep my mouth open for him to work. I go back in next Monday to have my gold crown fitted and that's that...all done...fin! I'm not sure how I feel about the crown itself being gold, but I was assured it is stronger than the enamel version. I keep telling Matt that if I'm going to have a gold tooth, I need to also accompany that with a diamond-encrusted grill as well. Sadly, he thinks I'm joking.

Photo: Dr. Teeth - Muppets


FutureMrsC said...

I'm glad you're dong better, Meg. Sorry you had to go through all that! I agree with you though gettin' that grill. It's gotta be an American thing. :p

UK Christine =^..^= said...

My root canal took like 4 hours!! I am so jealous.. lol The dentist would come in and do a little bit of it and then go back and help other patients while I 'rested' my mouth and then he would come back and do a little bit more, etc... Like I mentioned before when I was going thru this pain for a week I could only sleep by using an airline pillow and sitting up in the bed. I was prescribed Tylenol 3 w/ Codeine but it did nothing! So they gave me Vicodin and I was all excited cause people get high off of this stuff it must be good.. did not even touch the pain!!! *ugh* Finally the only thing that would make me sleep was a Vicodin, 2 liquid Advil caps and two swigs of Nyquil. Can not believe I survived. I was even doing home remedies online to try to stop the pain that I felt in my ear.. things like taking tea bags and heat them in olive oil and stuff it in your ear. Nothing helped! lol My replacement is enamel, would have been cool with gold. ;)

Marsha said...

Oh, that sounds terrible! Glad you feel better now.

Kris said...

Oh, poor thing! I totally feel for you. I've had two very painful toothpains both of which led to needing root canals and crowns.

How did you feel about your NHS dental experience? I've heard scary things about the NHS dentists and that they tend to want to just extract everything rather than deal with the actual problem.

Meg said...

The first dentist suggested an extraction...but then he referred me to his other office which deals with NHS patients and that dentist said there was an 80% chance to save the tooth, since it was a necessary tooth. He was really gentle and explained everything he was really eased my mind and I'm honestly very pleased overall.