I have been having discomfort on my top left big front tooth since Saturday, 1 September 2007. It affected the entire left side of my mouth. Initially, I wasn’t sure where the pain came from. I endured the pain but it got much worse on Monday (3 September 2007). I could chew and bite using only the right side of my mouth. So, I sent out prayer requests to some of my Growth Group members. I felt better the next day and realized that the main problem is actually my top left big front tooth. Finally, I decided to visit the dentist (the last person I want to see on earth) on Wednesday but all the appointments were booked. I managed to get the appointment fixed on Thursday, 6 September at 5 pm. Yoke Kheng prayed for me through msn before my appointment. Thank God for peace and I was not fearful.
I arrived at around 4:45 pm. The dentist attended to me 5 minutes after that. I told him my problem. He checked the surrounding teeth, knocking each one gently. I went “Ouch!” when he knocked on the affected tooth. He checked for cavity and found none. After the examination, he told me that my tooth is most probably infected. My tooth had been traumatized with much filling in the days of my youth. Now, the nerves inside the tooth are infected. The best treatment for it is root canal treatment or endodontic therapy. I was told that I need 2 – 3 sessions to complete the procedure. The dentist also explained briefly the steps involved, and the best thing is that the entire treatment will be pain-free.
What is a root canal treatment?
A root canal treatment is a treatment used to repair and save a tooth that is badly decayed or becomes infected. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp (tissues) is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned, filled and sealed.
What happens during root canal treatment?
A local anesthetic is given.
An x-ray on the affected tooth is performed.
The pulp is removed from the pulp chamber and root canals. Tiny instruments are used to clean the root canals. A temporary filling is placed in the opening to seal the opening and protect the tooth between visits.
In the last session, the temporary filling will be replaced with a permanent filling.
My x-ray showed that there is a hairline crack in the tooth. The dentist asked whether I bite anything hard before I experienced the pain. I told him that I couldn’t remember biting anything hard. He said that the crack will not affect the root canal treatment, and so he began the drilling and the cleaning. The whole treatment took less than 30 minutes. I was a bit nervous but it was indeed pain-free. The left side of my upper lip was numb after that. At the end, I was given some pain-killers to relieve the pain. I took one dose of it before dinner. It was slightly painful.
The dentist explained that I should crown the tooth after 6 months. Crowns are type of dental restoration which, cemented into place, fully cup over the portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum. The dental crown becomes my tooth’s outer surface. If I don’t crown my tooth, its colour will grow darker and eventually become black as the tooth is already dead. So, crowning strengthens and improves the cosmetic appearance of my tooth. Animated Teeth
Because it is my front tooth, it is recommended that I crown both of the big front teeth. Otherwise, my teeth will look funny – one big, one small, and different colour. The whole procedure will be painless but my pocket will definitely feel the pain.
My next session is on Tuesday, 11 September 2007. The pain is still there – need to endure for at least 2 more weeks. I am beginning to master the act of eating using only the right side of my mouth. I can’t eat anything hard. Sometimes, I just swallowed the food without chewing it properly. I need to brush my teeth really carefully and gently as well. A slightest touch sends an excruciating pain throughout my whole body.