The other day I went to the dentist. Not my dentist of many years but one of my clients in whom I have complete confidence and for whom I have considerable respect. That respect has been enhanced by my experience as a patient rather than as a consultant.
As it turns out my left mandibular first molar was cracked. Hard to tell if it was cracked clear through or just has multiple partial cracks. The imaging just wasn’t good enough. It actually stands to reason that tooth would have a problem. I had a cavity filled in that tooth ten years or so ago, the most recent one I’ve had. Prior to that I’d had a cavity filled perhaps 35 years ago. I don’t have a lot of fillings but as it works out two of them were in that tooth.
The conventional treatment for a cracked tooth is a cap and I’ve now got a temporary cap. The permanent cap will be the newish ytterbium-zirconium oxide kind. Much superior to the old porcelain caps with metal substrates. Or even the old-fashioned gold caps.
We’re keeping our fingers crossed about the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. So far, so good. The tooth feels odd and a bit uncomfortable but I experience no pain when chewing and it’s not sensitive to hot or cold. I have some degree of pain on that side but that may be because of the work that was done or, typical for me, pain memory. I’m still taking NSAIDs although I really dislike taking pain medication or any kind.
A couple of interesting things. When I received the dental anaesthetic my shoulders began to twitch. I suspect that was a result of the epinephrine. Today I have an ache behind my left shoulder blade that I suspect is related to the adrenal gland there. It’s my understanding that adrenergics stimulate the adrenal gland and my lethargic, old adrenals aren’t used to the work.
Also, since the procedure I’ve been sleeping through the night, something that’s been pretty rare for some time. That makes me wonder if late at night I hadn’t started grinding my teeth and, when I encountered severe pain, awakened.
This is the first major dental work I’ve ever had. Nothing more prior to that than a very few fillings and most of those were fifty years ago. It’s unknown territory for me.
I’m pleased to report that the other day was the best dental experience I’ve ever had including ordinary cleanings. I told the dentist so and he was visibly pleased.