It was two years ago that I had some major dental issues. In a short time span I broke not one, but two molars. Not the happiest time ever, but I thought that that would be it for a while. It was, at least for a short while, it was. Then we had this last summer. As you know the focus in July was very much on my MIL, but I had a little dental disaster while she was in hospital. Around the time she went into hospital my left upper molar (#26 for those interested) had an altercation with a cherry pit and the pit won. Initially I thought it was fine….just. A few days later, on the day we heard MIL needed surgery my filling (it had had a root canal and a massive filling in 2005) came out.
So I called my dentist the next day. Of course as luck would have it; he’d just left on a holiday and would be back a day before we’d go on a holiday. So I went to a locum, which could fit me in within two days. I was worried that the molar was beyond repair as remembered that my NZ dentist had said that the filling was pretty much the maximum she could do and that the tooth holding the filling was very thin. However the dentist managed to fill it again but did warn me it was going to be the last time before a crown.
So I left the place feeling happy. Over the next few months however I felt that the tooth was not right. The gums were easily irritated and I needed to floss a number of times a day in order to keep it clean and even mouth water got reintroduced. I knew I was fighting a lost battle. Then early November the not-quite-pain started. The irritation feeling changed and I had the feeling that the filling had come loose inside the tooth. A week later I held the filling in my hand and had an emergency dental appointment. I was convinced he’d say; “we’ll make an appointment to install a crown”. And yes he did say that.
As he did, he checked what was left of the molar and it crumbled to the touch. “Oh no I am not touching that one” were he his next words “It crumbles to the touch. Assistant please write a referral to the dental surgeon, it needs to be cut out.” Well as I was lying down I was at least safe and not fainting but it was a shock. I walked out in a daze and walked home (it was early evening). Overnight I felt that the crumbling had resulted in the molar splitting in two. Not a happy feeling to have a flappy piece of dental enamel swinging in your jaw. The next morning I called the surgeon to make an appointment. The first option was on New Year’s eve! Not doing that. The earliest appointment I could make was January 11th 2016. As said this was early November!
The mere thought of having to walk around with a flappy piece of dental enamel and having to rinse and brush every three seconds to keep any potential infection away was enough to bring tears of frustration and anticipated pain to my eyes. A ruined christmas lay ahead as really eating was not longer an enjoyable occasion. So the day after making my appointment with the surgeon I called my dentist again and explained the situation. The assistant was very sympathetic and offered me to other surgeons to call. She told me that if neither of these two would work to call again and they’d discuss what the options were.
I called a dental clinic with dental surgery option and they had room for me within a week! The next Wednesday my molar was going to be removed. I was so relieved, so happy. A week I could handle and I found myself against everything looking forward to the day. As (un)luck would have it it was a day when SO was away on a business trip. As the clinic was a bit further from home I needed to identify an alternative to transport. In the end I took the trams to the clinic (about 1 hour all in all) and took a taxi back. Expensive but worth it.
The clinic was open, clean and it felt as if they were cutting out teeth all day. A bit conveyor belt surgery 🙂 But I liked that. It made me feel as if it was no big deal and that the surgeon would have had lots and lots of practice. The surgery itself; well the local anesthesia, as expected, was the most painful part of it. The rest painless and swift. Three stitches and some gauze and off I went again. Even the surgeon felt it had been easier than he’d anticipated given the broken state of the molar.
Once home by taxi I walked to the chemist and got myself some prescription mouthwash and painkillers (ibuprofen and paracetamol). After some time the anesthetics started to wear off and I started on painkillers Firstly paracetamol. I had a near liquid lunch (semolina porridge) and started watching TV as my brain was not going to go anywhere else and took an ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is an NSAID painkiller and I suffer a slight side effect that can be completely useful. It relaxes me to a point where I fall asleep. So I slept most of the afternoon, and also through the night. Given that I had no after-bleeding I was pretty OK after the first day and back to fully normal on Friday. As per perfect scenario the stitches were gone by day 10 and all negative effect were also gone.
So utterly relieved and it has made a world of difference as my headaches have gone as well I think ever since the cherry pit incident my body has needed to fight of lingering infections on a continuous basis. What is next? Well three months of rest, at least, for the jawbone to heal. Then we are going to determine if a dental implant is going to be an option. If so that will take a fair few months again, and a fair bit of pain, but at least for now I am happy for the irritation to be gone and I know I can handle the pain of further works