The story so far.....I went along to see M at 9.00am today and he x-rayed the front tooth, the one which has been abused a bit over the years - bashed with a bottle when I was being careless, walked into doors, that sort of thing. Then he took another x-ray, since as he rightly said, he didn't want to make a mistake. Sadly, the first x-ray was not poor-quality, it was spot on.
Probably as a result of the 'little' traumas over the years, there was a problem with the pulp and it was causing tooth resorption . Basically, my tooth was dissolving itself from the inside out - nice, eh? If it wasn't treated there were two outcomes - firstly, a hole would eventually form which would allow bacteria into the tooth and an abscess would form. Alternatively (or possibly as well as, I guess), the tooth would be so weakened that it would simple snap off. Hmm, even....nicer....
So, root treatment it was.
'Now', said M.'I only have half an hour. There is only one canal in that tooth. Half an hour is plenty of time for me to remove the nerve pulp.Or you can make an appointment and come back next week.'
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. There I was, no Number Guy, no sedative medication...what to do, what to do....? When the last root treatment was done I vowed to myself that I was not going to waver again. Although there was still a bit of a problem with the last lot of local anaesthetic, I honestly suffered much more in the end due to the fear and anxiety in the weeks leading up to it. So I took a deep breath, only cried a tiny bit, and let him get on with it.
Guess what? This time NO PAIN. Ok, one of the injections wasn't painless, but it wasn't awful. Because the bone in the upper jaw is porous it is much easier to achieve anaesthesia :0)
The down side is that when M was doing the procedure it became evident that a hole had already formed in the tooth. This is probably why I was in pain. This means that instead of having one entry to the tooth through which bacteria can enter, there will be two. When I go back next week he is going to fill this hole with a purified form of Portland Cement of all things.
I have to say I am still a bit shocked - went in for a check, came out an hour later having had a root canal. If it is like the other two, I know I can expect a shedload of pain over the next few days, but then it will go. Now I can enjoy the weekend without all of this hanging over me.
So all is good, but I feel like a rung out rag.