On Losing A Tooth and Counting My Blessings

I meant to put up 2 posts every week on my website but last week was an exception of only 1.

It wasn’t because I was running out of idea. Rather it was because I had the impending tooth extraction procedure and the whole week was a rather lousy week for me.

Suffice to say that I have and have had a rather bad luck when it comes to having a medical procedure done. Things don’t always go smoothly or there is that bit of a complication. The extraction was not an exception.

A procedure that was meant for an hour ended up being 5 hours (with breaks in between). I came out alive (and also battered, bloodied and bruised). As horrifying as it was made out to be, I was comforted that the professionals really tried their very best out of a rather messy situation.

A swollen cheek and 3 stitches later (and a still 0.2mm root bit left that can’t be taken out at all), I am hopeful that this experience may have made my life more meaningful. I would rather count my blessings than dwell on the “it could have been…” situations.

As the dentists (yeap, 2 of them worked on my tooth) and the rest of the staff that day commended me on my bravery during the grueling 5 hours, I would like to think that I had no other way but to be brave despite the anxiety and uncertainty that engulfed my mind during certain periods.

And I say to myself every single morning, to always count my blessings.


The Tooth Conclusion

If you’ve followed my tooth journey here, here and here, you would know that by now I should have ended my journey and a conclusion of some sort should have happened.

Sadly, it ended with a disappointment as the root canal treatment could not be completed successfully.

By that I mean the dentist could not get as deep as they want to in one of my four canals. If I choose to seal the tooth up without really clearing up the last bit of canal, there is a chance that it might flare up in the future.

Disappointing. I was slightly depressed and sad for a few days after my last appointment.

So I opted for an extraction because I just want to get rid of the problematic tooth if it can’t be saved.

Then guess what..to extract the tooth will require more time just because of the crooked root.

Yes, that crooked root has been the bane of my misery. It was because of that root that I couldn’t get the root canal treatment completed successfully. Extracting it won’t be easy either.

Can I be annoyed any further because of this tooth of mine???


My Root Canal Adventure (III)

Continued from here

Why I chose root canal:

1 . I want to save my tooth as opposed to having it extracted. A loss of tooth may not be a big deal at first, but it will alter the space or gaps between the remainder teeth. A missing tooth can weaken the overall structure of the mouth which will lead to more issues later on in life.

2 . The cost of replacing a tooth with an artificial one is more expensive compared to saving the tooth by root canal. It is not only more expensive, but also time consuming.

So there you go, the story of my root canal (appointment 1) session. I have 2 more appointments to attend to and another 2 for a crown on my tooth. Stay tuned!

My Root Canal Adventure (II)

Continuation from Part (I)

Since I have not met anyone who has done a root canal treatment before, I don’t know what to expect or how to deal with post-treatment.

Will it hurt? How is the pain on a scale of 1-10? How do I manage the pain after the treatment? Those are among the many thoughts I had while I was going through my options.

The total cost is going to be a little over $1500 and because the treatment is included in our private health insurance, our out of pocket cost is signifacantly reduced. The treatment is divided into 3 appointments, so I had to pay a small-ish amount of money each time.

I think that was enough information for me to proceed with my decision and I made an appointment to see the dentist for my first session.

I told myself that I wasn’t going to Google anything about root canal because I don’t want to scare myself. Eventually I did search for more information about the procedure but I kept the reading to a minimal.

I was anxious on the day itself. My main concern was will I be able to keep my mouth open for the entire duration?

To my relief, I had this thing called a bite block inserted into my mouth and basically it keeps my mouth open throughout the session without me having to put much effort into opening my mouth. I was so relieved!

The dentist had to take 1 last x-ray of my gum and tooth before proceeding so that she could see where the roots are.

Then the dentist injected the numbing chemical and in my case she went right to the back of my jaw and about 10 minutes in I could not feel any sensation on my left jaw. Although 5 minutes into drilling my tooth later I could still feel some sensitivity, which was proceeded with more of the numbing chemical.

The dentist inserted a metal square-ish thing to isolate my tooth from its neighbours. It was then attached to a rubbery sheet to further isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth.

Extirpation. That was the word that was printed on my first appointment receipt. What it means is the removal of the nerve of the tooth. The pulp, nerve and tissues are removed using a small instrument. I remember peeking from time to time and I saw the dentist using very thin and short filament that looked more like the craft pipe cleaner!

So more of that vigorous in-out motion and more of the craft pipe cleaner looking things. I think the dentist then proceeded with putting in anti-bacterial and anti-inflammation medication in my tooth and ended with a temporary filling.

It did not hurt at all during the procedure.

Did it hurt afterwards?

No, not on the tooth itself. There was a slight pain but it came from the point where the dentist injected the numbing chemical. And the next couple of days, were just slight discomfort but nothing that requires extreme pain relief. The dentist said, if it hurts too much a normal pain relief medication is sufficient. But it should go away on its own and should not cause more pain that before the procedure.

Why did I choose to go for a root canal treatment? That will be my next post!


My Root Canal Adventure (I)

I’m not a big fan when it comes to a trip to the dentist.

So when I finally decided on going for a root canal procedure, it was after a long thought process.

Root canal, or Endodontic is a treatment used to repair and save tooth where the nerve become infected or injured.

In my case, it all started a few years back with a crack on the tooth. My tooth had no other issues until after that crack that just happened while I was eating my meal.

Back then I decided on repairing it with a filling that could keep the tooth together. The dentist recommended a further crown in the future as I was still pregnant and he did not want to do any intrusive procedure until after I’ve given birth.

I did not do anything else even after given birth because life just got in the way. Caring for young children was intense and I did not have any help with looking after my children.

So when my tooth started to having more issues since early 2017 (such as longer lasting sensitivity) I had to think of  a solution and after numerous visits to a few dentists, I decided to do a root canal and a crown to cap the tooth.

Root canal, appointment 1. Before going in.

To be continued…