Thursday, June 06, 2013

getting to the root

I thought I was starring in Wildcat.

Which was odd because I was sitting in a dentist chair in Manzanillo for round two of my root canal.

And it wasn't because the musical's run ended badly.  Or that I had transformed into Lucille Ball.

It was the drilling.  Lots and lots of drilling.  If my appointment last week could be characterized as clearing the land, yesterday was all about drilling out the fillings from the previous root canal.

I should note my dentist was not looking for a gusher. She was a bit concerned when I told her that I felt some swelling around the tooth and wondered if there could still be some infection.  She hoped not -- because if the tooth was infected, it was too early for a root canal.

That is where the handy instrument at the top of this post comes in.  Once the filling material was out, the dentist started filing away to clean out the canal.  I was hoping that she would not encounter a renegade nerve because we were running bare.  She did not give me any anesthetic.

The machine is designed to show her where the files are in relationship to the canal.  The trick is to get in far enough without poking through the other side.  It had a beep similar to the reverse warning on my Escape.

Then we hit a gusher.

I caught a whiff of it in the air.  The scent of death -- well, at least, decay.  Then a bit of pain.  And a slight gasp from the beautiful -- and very professional -- dentista.

She showed me her file.  Just a bit of -- hey, we are all adults here; why try to bowdlerize the tale -- pus.  That is what smelled.  Then, a little more dribbled.  Then a steady stream.

During our half conversation (I was wearing a rubber dam that made keeping up with my side of the conversation a bit difficult), she told me she had considered recommending an extraction after she had cut off the crown.  Now that she was through the old fill material and had opened up the infection to drain, she was pleased she had stuck with it.

She packed the canal with an alkali powder to counter the acidity of the pus, put the temporary crown back in place, and told me to return in another week.  She will then clear the other canal to be certain the infection is gone.

Of course, that also means there will be at least two more dental visits to get a new crown.  Even we republicans are willing to take on such monarchical affections.  After the gushers stop.  And Cy Coleman stops playing "Hey, Look Me Over."

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