Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Dental Drama

Several years ago I had a root canal (not fun) in response to an infection that killed the nerve in my No. 6 top left tooth.

Soon after my procedure a little lump appeared in my gum that swelled when I was stressed and subsided when I was chillaxed (I am exploiting that word this week).

Having faith in the human body's intelligence and one's own immune system, I interpreted my flaring lump as a reliable warning system. It forced me to take things easy when I was revving out. Though I must confess I was a little surprised that over the many years of numerous health regimens, my body was not able to kill it off completely.

Then last week, I went to the dentist for a completely unrelated incident. As it turned out, my lump was more of a concern than I thought. After taking an x-ray for a whopping AUD$6.90, Dr. Ang told me that the infection that killed my nerve was not completely annihilated during the procedure. Tragically, it is now harbouring above the root and beneath my gum in the form of a something that looks like a cyst.

She then proceeded to tell me that I had two choices;
  1. To remove my tooth completely and clean up the damaged tissue. Then after a minimum of three months healing time, get an implant for several thousand bucks. Ouch.

  2. Have dental surgery, which involves a procedure so horrible that I couldn't possibly traumatise you (or me) with the details. Let's just say they'll be getting in behind my gum to clean up the tissue and kill the infection before sewing me back up again. Gross.
Unable to decide, I opted to make an appointment for today and took the weekend to ponder. I spoke to Pat and he said "Save the tooth" without realising what major dental surgery it involved.

When I went in today, we discussed several worse-case scenarios for either option and I still could not decide which way to go. Then alas, an option 3 was born. After candidly admitting that "If you've had it for this long, a little longer won't hurt" Dr. Ang suggested that I consult an endodontist in KL or Australia.

After consulting Google, I discovered that an endodontist specialises in the pulp (tissue) around the tooth and not the actual tooth.

While I still have faith in my body's own immune system, I think it may be time for me to assist its dental battle and call in the experts. I'm also applauding myself for questioning Dr. Ang to the nth degree, which produced a third option - consulting an endodontist. As a result, I have a new course of action whilst simultaneously expanding my vocabulary through the discovery of another dental profession.

Until tomorrow, if you don't like option 1 or 2, then keep going until you reach option 3... and who knows what you might discover.

Grace xx

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