Monday, November 03, 2008

The Big Digital Has a Toothache

So for about the last year or so I've been having pain in one of my molars and my dentist and his team of assistants have been unsuccessful in fixing it, to the point that for a long time I just gave up on it, and avoided eating chips or at least chewing them on that side of my mouth.

Anyway, about a month ago I had a regular check-up, and the assistant suggested that probably I needed to get a crown on that tooth to fix the problems, so I reluctantly agreed, thinking that if I could get it fixed and be able to eat normally again that would be worth whatever trouble it would be to get it fixed. The first step was getting a temporary crown put on, and then waiting 3 weeks for the permanent crown to be ready. With the temporary crown on, the problems I'd been having continued, but I wasn't surprised because the temporary was modeled after the original tooth. Anyway, I got used to taking Ibuprofen a couple times a day.

Finally, it was time to get my permanent crown on, and that day went pretty well, and the dental team assured me that it might be sore for a day or two, but that it ought to start feeling pretty good soon. This was about 4 days before my defense. I was still noticing some pain in a couple spots and maybe some problems with my bite that were affecting the tooth behind the crown. But as I had my defense coming up, I put that on the back burner for a couple days, and as you may know went on to successfully defend.

The next day I called and scheduled an appointment to get my crown adjusted. Unfortunately it would be over a week until I could get in have that done, but I figured I could tough it out. A couple days later, I was still having a lot of problems, so I called again just to see if there was any way I could get in earlier. Turns out they had had someone cancel that day and I was able to go right in and get my crown looked at.

After checking my bite and making some adjustment, things felt better and I was optimistic that the problem might have been fixed. I ate lunch that day (this was last Thursday) and didn't have any problems. Then that afternoon I just happened to bump my tongue against that tooth and noticed that it was pretty tender and sensitive. I thought maybe it was due to the drilling that had been done on it, and hoped that it would get better as the day wore on. Sadly that was not the case. The tenderness of that tooth continued throughout the day, so much that I called my dentist that night to see if he could look at my tooth again on Friday. Turns out Fridays are dentists days off, but he said he'd be willing to come in after a training that he had in the morning.

Friday morning I woke up at 3:30 am, because of the pain in my tooth, and after taking some Ibuprofen was finally able to get back to sleep for a couple hours. Then I woke up and sat in semi-pain for most of the day waiting to hear back from dentist around 3, when he'd told me that his training would be ending. 3:00 came and went, no call. Finally at 4, I tried to call him. No luck. Finally at 5:30, he called me, and let me know that bad news -- that he had gotten severely ill and was home in bed.

We talked a little about my pain and he said it might be an infection of some kind, or it might be an abscess. Either way he phoned in a prescription for Codeine and Amoxycillin which I went and picked up. I should mention at this point that I hadn't been able to eat solid food since Thursday at lunch, and I was now being told that the earliest I'd be able to get in to see him would be Monday morning. Let's just say at this point I'm tired of eating soup and Instant Breakfast.

Anyway, just called to find out when I could get in, and after trying to push me off to tomorrow morning, I was able to get an appointment for 2:30 this afternoon. Sadly, it sounds like I may be getting a root canal on this tooth that I just paid a lot of money to get a crown on. I hope this is the last time I have to deal with this tooth, and maybe this dentist as well.


Chip Chief said...

heavens to betsy! at least your program has good dental insurance.

Matt and Marti Jo said...

Jake you really should have called me! I am really smart when it comes to teteth. I was sad when I was reading your blog because from your symptoms before you got your crown I would think that they would have had you get the Root canal before you got the crown! Who is your insurance? maybe you should come to my dentist:) I do know a really good endodontist though so if you need someone to do your rootcanal he is really good!

Rachel said...

Three words that will change your life: Dr. Jason Skinner. He's very concerned about patient comfort. I, as the patient, am also very concerned with my comfort. It's a match made in dental heaven.

Sorry about the toof. That's a drag. :(