Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Wanna be Sedated

Before I start this I feel like I need to warn you that this post is not for the faint of heart. No gross dental detail will be left out.

Yesterday I went in for my first-ever root canal. I was terrified. I've been hoarding babysitting co-op tickets for the last two weeks so getting Claire taken care of was not a problem. I should have done my wiki research but, to be honest, I didn't even know how a root canal worked (and after seeing those terrifying pictures maybe it's best that I didn't do the research). I just knew that almost everyone who had had one had a horror story and the only crown I've ever had was HORRIFIC. I also had terrible dental experiences as a child and on more than one occasion I have seen blood spatter all over my dentists' glasses.

When my dentist went to numb me up I said, "which of my anesthetic options will make me remember the least of this experience?" He smiled and swore that I wouldn't feel any pain. I said, "will I see any blood spattering on your glasses?" He laughed and then said, "let me get you a little something." He called to his nurse and asked for a Vicodin and a Valium. Done and Done. Sedation dentistry means that you can still hear the drill and smell the burning smell but you don't care.

My dentist took a picture of what was left of my tooth under my ill-fitting crown so he could show it to me. It was gross. But not as gross as when he opened up the tooth. The nerve was badly infected and an awful dead-animal smell filled the room. The dentist then said, "Yes, that's infected. Can you smell that?" I. Was. Mortified. and totally grossed out (this was also after he had told me that he once had to ditch a blind date because he could smell that she had periodontal disease--not just bad breath, he clarified, but periodontal disease). It was kind of the equivalent of letting a stinky fart and then having someone point it out. How can I ever look him in the eye again?

The good news is that the dentist told me that he couldn't believe I had lived with the pain for that long and even though my jaw is sore, I already feel better. Overall experience was just not that bad. I'll take a root canal (with a little Valium) to the kind of pain I was in last week any day.


  1. Oh Sallee, how many people can make me laugh out loud and cringe at the same time? That was an awesome story. Awaiting the next!

  2. that was it? I was expecting so much more detail! I'm glad you took care of it. I was just on vacation with a friend who works in the dental profession and the whole time I just felt like I was a hillbilly, because her teeth seemed so clean and white all the time. I must have brushed them a billion times last week.

  3. Marcey...A tooth that when drilled into emits enough terrible dead-animal smell to fill an entire dental office and you say, "that's it?" What have the Brits done to you?

    @Mish--don't worry, there'll be more to come. With $3000 worth of work to be done I certainly have a few more visits coming. YIKES

  4. I have a permanent retainer on the bottom teeth. Floss can't get to the gum line. So my dentist had to DIG DIG DIG the plaque out. It hurt so badly I couldn't even kiss my hubby last night or bit down without wincing.

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  5. This was quite an experience for you, considering all the pain you've felt. Being sedated is what I think most people want when going through this procedure. Well, who wouldn't, right? Just thinking about the pain you may feel makes you cringe. Anyhow, I'm glad that it's all over now for you, and I hope it will continue to be that way. Pearl @ SummerBrookDental.Com