Monday, August 06, 2007

Fun At The Dentist

The tooth that I recently had root canalled has been giving my gyp again.

For the last two months I've been able to crunch ice cubes with no problem, but the merest sideways pressure on the tooth has caused me some pain. I eventually went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago, and was fobbed off with some prescription strength mouthwash that gave me a sore throat and some story about "ligaments", but only after the dentist on duty (not my regular guy) had spent a few minutes trying to lift the crown off again with a slide hammer. She was unsuccessful in her bid to take off the crown, but completely successful in driving me mad with pain and in getting co-authorship rights on several new swear words.

I gave the mouthwash a week, and the tooth another, chewing mostly on the other side of my mouth, but to be honest, the pain only went away because nothing pressed on the side of the tooth. Once it did, it was another trip to ouch city. Action was called for.

I happened to be in the area of the dentist on Saturday and, although I was in my yardwork togs and hadn't cleaned my teeth since breakfast, I popped in to make an appointment. The dentist's staff instgated a different plan, and whisked me into a chair where I tried to escape pleading other appointments but was told I would be waiting "about two minutes" to see the dentist.

Ten minutes later the dentist came in and had a look. He said he wanted to lift the crown, and before I could gainsay him he had Mr Slide-Hammer in my mouth and had applied several hefty, agonising tugs to the crown, which eventually let go of the tooth stub and allowed my head to slam back into the chair pillow. He said he'd be back in a few minutes, and if I could hang around he'd put in a temporary crown. "You shouldn't be here more than 40 minutes" he said.

That was the last I saw of him for almost an hour.

When he finally did arrive, he said he wanted to rebuild the crown and that he felt that would fix my problem. Until that date, though, he would manufature a temporary crown from some sort of body-filler putty. Which he did, and a mere two hours after going into the dentist I was allowed back into the wild.

The new temporary crown is made of something that has odd properties. When wet with saliva it is mirror smooth, but when washed in water or any other beverage it takes on the texture of sandpaper, and has turned the side of my tongue to raw hamburger. On Sunday I was so pissed off that I took some 600 grit emery paper, wound it round a Q-Tip and attempted some D.I.Y. grinding of the surface. It had no effect, except to make my mouth taste of 3-in-1 oil owing to the fact the emery paper was torn from a sheet that had been used to remove some flood-induced rust on a tool. My method includes wetting the wet-and-dry abrasive with oil. This method is not suitable for filing teeth it would seem.

The temporary crown is otherwise a fab thing. I am able to eat with it just as I could with the permanent crown, and I can clean and floss it like a regular tooth too.

And it hurts when I press on the side, just like it did before the dentist "repaired" things.

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