Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Relief - Sort of.....

I spent three and a half hours in the dentist's chair today. My sore tooth has been root canaled and crowned.

Under normal conditions this is something I would want to avoid. But this morning I was looking forward to it. I have been in a lot of pain for the last week and it wasn't getting any better. If it makes any difference to anyone, the pain was intense enough that it took two ampules of novocane to get me numb enough to start. Then once he started drilling I was still getting sharp stabs of pain. Finally the good doctor had to give me an other injection directly into the core of the tooth. After all that I still had several sharp stabs of pain when he started filing. But at least I didn't jump out of the chair when they hit.

Later in the procedure the doctor, nurse and I learned something new. I had a lot of saliva collecting behind the rubber dam he was using to protect the open tooth. It was difficult to swallow with the dam in place and my jaws wedged open. Eventually I started choking on that saliva. To prevent this from happening the dentist hung a vacuum in my mouth under the rubber dam. This worked pretty well for a couple minutes then the trouble started. When the vacuum wasn't sucking up saliva it was sucking up air. Unfortunately there wasn't any air coming into my mouth because of the rubber dam. So the vacuum was sucking air in through my nose. This didn't seem so bad at first since I was breathing through my nose anyway. Then this constant flow air started drying out my sinuses. After about 20 minutes the sinus cavities on the right side of my face were dry and starting to hurt. Then over the next half hour that hurt grew into a sharp, burning PAIN. I couldn't say anything with all the stuff that was in my mouth so I had to just lay there and wait. Eventually they finished and removed the rubber dam, the vacuum and all the other stuff. The relief was almost instanteous. It took about an hour for my sinuses to recover but they eventually did. When I told the Dentist about this he was surprised. He never imagined that something like that would happen but assured me that they would watch out for it in the future.

So I'm home now. Sore, tired and aching. My tooth doesn't hurt much. But the rest of my mouth, head, neck, shoulders and back feel like I've been battered by a Narn Bat Squad.

President Bush is getting ready to deliver the State of the Union speech and I want to listen. I'll try and write something else later.

1 comment:

Roxanne said...

I just went to the dentist and they used a rubber dam. A week later, I still taste an occasional rubber aftertaste so I came to check the internet to see if others had trouble. I think I swallowed a small amount of saliva three times and maybe it's coming up residually? I don't know. Anyway, when I go back for my permanent crown, I plan to ask them to rinse the dam and suck out the saliva every so often or use an alternative.