The root canal that lasted eleven years

Ironically, while we were at the local vet with our dog Oscar having his teeth checked I felt a slight pain in my jaw. Over the next hour it got worse and the next day it was excruciating whenever I bit down too hard on food.

A trip to the dentist and an x-ray showed an infection below the tooth that eleven years ago caused me agony with a painful tooth ache that required a root canal. I was dumbstruck. Of all the bad luck, the tooth was supposed to be dead. My dentist said he only saw this happen 4-5 times a year. It’s very rare apparently.

So, my options are limited. I either have the tooth extracted or have an apicoectomy. That’s where they peel back the gum and “a tooth’s root tip is removed and a root end cavity is prepared and filled with a biocompatible material.” I made an appointment for an apicoectomy this morning.

Remember my bad luck? I was referred to a specialist. I was sitting on his chair when he asked what tooth it was. “Lower left 4” I replied, having burned that phrase to memory at my previous appointment. He gave me a look, and went on to explain that there’s a nerve from my lower lip going between teeth 4 and 5 and he’d be working very close to that. In very rare cases that nerve can be damaged and the lower left lip can become numb as a result. It could be temporary or permanent. I’m sure he saw the look of horror on my face.

Getting rid of that damned tooth is looking a lot more attractive right now! It’s always had it in for me. The last time it caused me pain was on the Sunday of a bank holiday so I had to wait until first thing on Tuesday morning to see a dentist. This time we were due to drive down to Ahakista in Co Cork for a weekend away. Thankfully my dentist made time to see me that Friday afternoon, antibiotics slowly killed the infection and my wife was a huge help and comfort. She bought Anbesol for me and that worked wonders to kill the pain as I would always accidentally bite down too hard resulting in muttered curses and shaking of my head to dull the pain.

I think the tooth will be coming out.

PS. Oscar got antibiotics and he’s feeling much better 🙂

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

1 thought on “The root canal that lasted eleven years”

  1. The tooth is gone, long live the tooth! My dentist pulled it out this morning under a local anaesthetic. It was fairly painless, the worst being the second injection into my inside gum.

    I expect it’ll hurt later and apparently I’ll have a low grade temperature for a few days while my body sorts out the good from the bad bacteria in my mouth.

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