A tooth shaped whole in my heart

Yesterday was my second visit to the dentist. Ever. I say “ever” because I don’t think the one trip when I was 4 years old really counts. I remember it, but not much was done, and we never went back. For whatever reason, my parents deemed dental care to be unnecessary when I was growing up, and whenever I asked for it, they would find an excuse to not go.

So, yesterday was my second trip ever. Not too bad, really; from x-rays and examination, the dentist found 8 cavities. What he did not find, until he got to drilling the last one on the right side (yesterday), was that one of the cavities went all the way to the nerve ending.

“Oh…”

“What?”

“This isn’t good…”

“What is it?”

“This cavities goes all the way to the nerve.”

“Ah…. what does that mean?”

“Well, it’s *lots of doctory-gobbeldy-gook*”

“Ah…. what does that mean?”

“It’s usually called a ‘root canal’.”

“Oh… well, how much is that going to hurt?”

“It doesn’t hurt at all.” The doctor looks at the clock. “I’ve got some extra time today if you want to take care of it.”

“Eh, might as well.”

So, surprise root canal. Whee! It was actually A-OK. I expected pain, but there was none. Or at least very little; the only pain was a pinch when the needle went in, which hurt a couple of times, but then there was numbness and little else. Plus, they have an LCD screen mounted to the arm that has the overhead light on it, and a list of movies or TV shows to watch and headphones. So as the doctor laboured over my root canal, I watched Hidalgo.

And then went back today. 3 more cavities on my left side, but they were really small and didn’t take hardly any time at all. For having never been at a dentist, it wasn’t too bad… though my gums could be in better shape. I’ve now been taught how to deal with them, and they should be good as new in a few weeks.

It’s a little weird to have my molar pretty much gone. It’s been ground down to a flat, small surface that will receive a crown in January (once my dental insurance kicks back to a balance of $0). It’s weird, but I felt somewhat violated, having it taken from me. Yes, I consented, but that was my tooth, a part of me, and now it’s gone. I can never get it back. I wrote a blog entry a while back that discussed how we cut things off to make ourselves prettier, and it felt the same, only I wasn’t the one doing the cutting. It was forced on me, though admittedly by a disease, and I’m a bit sad that my tooth is gone…

But my mouth is healthy(er), which is awesome, and I feel good about that. Now I need to commence with my 10 minute nightly cleaning routine, which shall continue for the next few months or until I run out of the prescription mouthwash and toothpaste.

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