OK, it wasn't exactly like that but, some years ago, I did have one of those face-rotting toothaches that inevitably leads to a root canal. Last week, my dentist told me that, based on x-rays, the infection seems to have returned to said tooth. Today, I visited the endodontist. After subjecting the teeth in the area to probing, tapping and freezing (was that dry ice?!?), he agreed with my dentist, and laid out three choices for me:
1) ignore the problem, and wait for it to flare up painfully, and inevitably at an inconvenient moment.
2) try a second root canal on the same tooth. However, if the problem is occurring becase the tooth canals are exceptionally narrow and hard to clean out, or if any of a half-dozen other problems occur, the problem will not be resolved, and I'll have to proceed to the next option,
3) submit to oral surgery, wherein my gum will be cut and peeled back, allowing a portion of the jawbone will be cut out or drilled away to reveal the infected root, which will then be excised.None of these options seems remotely acceptable to me. Murphy's Law precludes 1), especially with summer vacation approaching. Do I really want a southern dentist working on my teeth?
* apologies to Herman Melville, and his heirs. My prescience announces option 2) as a waste of time, and who wants to suffer an unneccessary root canal? And finally, option 3) sounds absolutely terrifying. I can barely cope with biting the inside of my cheek, or getting a canker sore. What would oral stitches be like?!
And so, like any good blogger, I turn to my audience. What would you do, gentle readers? Please fill my comments with your enduring advice.
OK, I chickened out. I know y'all are right. I should just get the surgery done. But I've decided to go with the advice of my endodontist, and try the root canal procedure. Wish me luck!