The best two words in the world.

Oh I savor those two little words: root canal.

Said not tongue in cheek.

The story of the infected tooth has taken yet another twist and turn — not unlike the files extracting pulp from their canals.

As regular readers know, several days ago was initiated another round of antibiotics to squelch the infection.

The swelling in along jaw and cheek since has been substantial.

I’ve progressed from resembling Alvin the chipmunk with a noticeable thick jowly pinch of inflammed flesh to Marlon Brando in “The Godfather” with a half bag of cotton balls stuffed in.

Not good. And, alarmingly, despite antibiotics.

Last night’s not good. A cocktail of antibiotics and Ibuprofen has no effect on reducing pain and inflammation.

Ditto applications of heat and ice.

Only one surefire solution and it’s lookin’ damn better with every passing minute but I’m not ready to pick up those pliers just yet.

So I do all that’s left short of a home extraction: wedge a green teabag between gums and cheek and hope for a turn to better by morning..

Boy am I disappointed when I awaken, trepidatiously peek in the mirror and see a person staring back with right cheek near maximum swell and lips now but little lines sunken in puff.

I hit the phone even before the microwave button to boil water for the coffee.

“Good morning. Endodontic Associates.”

“Hello. When’s the soonest I can see the doctor?”

“We just had a cancellation for Monday morning.”

“What time?”

“7:45 a.m.”

“Ouch. Anything later?”

“The latest is 9:15.”

“I’ll take it.”

Thus it is that come Monday morning, I’ll be at the endo’s office 30 miles away in my pajamas for a long-overdue and wholly-welcomed root canal.

I won’t share what I’m doing to make it happen. I don’t like it one bit.

However, the seriously deteriorated condition of the tooth, the firey force of the infection, the considerable and progressing bone loss, the swelling and malaise all add up to a recipe for extraction if it’s not taken care of NOW.

There’s more.

I informed the receptionist of current worsening conditions.

After discussion, she put me on hold.

“I consulted with the doctor. He instructs doubling up on the antibiotics as the dosage is low.”

(That the identical dosage was effective a month ago but not now suggests either increased tolerance (unlikely) and/or progression of infection (likely).)

“Will do. See you Monday. {unsaid} In my pajamas. On some Valium.”

Sweet music to my ears molar: root canal!

Addendum for the dental innocents: A root canal does not assure success or resolution. Conditions not evident on X-rays and discoverable only after the treatment is begun can render it undoable (called an incomplete root canal and billed accordingly). So hold all applause until after Monday morning when we’ll know for certain whether treatment can be completed and tooth saved.

In honesty, given the severity and state of things, I won’t be surprised if the news is bad, necessitating extraction.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 15:13:10

    Thank goodness you’re finally getting that tooth taken care of(and BTW,I’d never heard that green teabags are good for a toothache!)


    • allycatadventures
      Aug 19, 2011 @ 15:28:20

      @Anonymous – I’ve experimented with a slew of known home remedies and a couple that aren’t. 😉 Needn’t be green tea, black will do. Might soothe your standard toothache; with severe ones, not so much. Best and only true remedy remains a filling, root canal or extraction.


  2. trayflow
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 16:07:04

    Let’s hope it is better after your visit and that it doesn’t become a more drawn out issue. Sending positive vibes your way that the weekend isn’t too excruciating.


    • allycatadventures
      Aug 19, 2011 @ 17:08:42

      @trayflow – Thank you. My ominous hunch is Monday will not be the last of this and the less-desirable fate awaits. To be honest, I’ve contemplated canceling the last-ditch effort to save it and going directly to extraction and all that follows in replacement. A very very tough call; more to be revealed Monday.


  3. countrybydesign
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 20:14:17

    Hope everything works out for you. I had a wisdom tooth pulled a couple of weeks ago. It was cracked into two pieces. Decide I could live without it. The process was much less painful than I had expected. Perhaps you will have good luck, too!


    • allycatadventures
      Aug 19, 2011 @ 23:16:26

      @cbd – Ever the optimist aren’t you! 😉 Having had eight teeth, including four impacted wisdom teeth, and as many root canals, I can attest to extractions being comparatively painless procedures. Monday promises to be as much fun as a barrelful of rolicking monkeys. A barrel studded with nails.


  4. lexiemom
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 21:25:38

    I’m glad you figured out a way to get it done. Prayers go with you!


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