Root Canal Derailment

This past weekend, I developed a killer toothache under a crown in the back of my mouth. I had never experienced that kind of jackhammer pain before, and I had to endure it until Monday rolled around when I could find a dentist to see me. Unfortunately, the pain before and after seeing a dentist caused me to avoid reading for most of the week.

I did what I could over the weekend with Tylenol to reduce the pain, but when Monday morning arrived, I was up at 5:30am (after about two hours of sleep) looking for a near-by dentist on Google Maps. Luckily, I found Dr. Brian P. Lloyd, whose office was only a 1/4 mile away from our house.

I walked to Dr. Lloyd’s office at 8:00am hoping to get an appointment for later that day. Belinda and Sandy told me that they could work me in that day, which was a tremendous relief.

Following a barrage of x-rays and inspections, Dr. Lloyd explained to me that an abscess had formed under my tooth with the crown, and that a root canal would be the best solution to repairing the trouble. Unfortunately, they couldn’t see me that day for the lengthy procedure, but he gave me prescriptions for a pain killer and antibiotics to begin immediately.

My root canal was scheduled for Wednesday morning, and it went off without a hitch. Dr. Lloyd and his staff are very professional and friendly. Also, they explain what they are doing throughout the procedure while making sure that I was doing okay.

During the afternoon following the procedure, I felt pretty good–buoyed by the drugs and the feeling that the problem had been fixed–and I got a lot of errands done with Yufang. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how much pain would return that evening and the following day.

On the day after the procedure, I sweated and hurt and slept all day long. However, I felt very much better on the second day after the procedure, which is advantageous, because I needed to go to KSU to help move 30 boxes of donated books.

Unfortunately, the bottom line about this whole ordeal is that I have not done any reading or other concentrating-necessary work all week long. Tonight, a simple Advil removes the soreness in my mouth, so I believe that I can get back down to work.

During my break from reading, I did take some time to get some things done that didn’t require a lot of deep thought. I assembled the Star Wars Lego Midi-size Millennium Falcon kit. I installed Microsoft Windows 7 on my computer in the living room. I got a really cheap futon from Wal-Mart for the living room. I will write a little more about these tiny adventures in subsequent blog posts.

Message for everyone out there: take care of your teeth and see a dentist regularly. My root canal came about due to a childhood filling that got loose and allowed food and bacteria to get under it, which necessitated the crown that I got in 2005. It has been a long process from healthy tooth to root canal, but these things can happen more quickly.

What I would like to know is when will we have nanotech teeth repair? It can be billed as “a dentist in a bottle” or “replace your teeth with just a sprinkle of nano-dentrifice.” Wouldn’t it be even cooler if you could re-grow your teeth as vampire, cat, or shark teeth? Obviously, there would be some downsides to this, but I foresee a lucrative secondary market for this kind of nanotech (as long as it doesn’t cause cancer or mutate into some kind of Greg Bear Blood Music noosphere).

Published by Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.