Well THAT Was Fun. Um... No, Not Really.

I had my first root canal today. My first experience with an endodontist. The first time I've needed work done on my teeth since I graduated college *umpteen* years ago. Okay... I did have two silver fillings removed last year and replaced with the ceramics ones, but that doesn't really count. That was elective. This surely wasn't.

When I had one of my fillings replaced last January, the dentist warned me that there was a chance I might have to have a root canal as the surface area she had to remove and fill was quite large. Though at the time all I heard was "wah wah ... wah wah ... future root canal ... wah wah ....", and saw the $80 price tag to change out the fillings. Inspite the costs being unbelievably low, the dental care really is top notch here.

For over a year my tooth seemed just fine. Until recently when it started bothering me a little when I drank cold drinks. So I waited to see if the pain would subside. Which it did for a few weeks ... and then started bothering me when I ate soup or drank my hot cappuccinos. And then it started bothering me whenever I ate... which is pretty much all the time.

I made an appointment for the Saturday that Matt left for D.C. (and left him with the 3 kids for a few hours while I went to the dentist and shopping... my little send off gift to him). The dentist did a few "tests", took an x-ray, and confirmed that the tooth needed a root canal. Oh. What. Fun.

So I went in today, armed and ready with my fairly high pain threshold and my iPod to block out the sounds. The shot of Novocaine seemed rather quick, but I instantly knew that my lips and tongue weren't getting as numb as they should have. Only when I attempt to rinse my mouth with water and can't feel my lips or the water pouring down my chin (a la Bill Cosby's stand up comedy routine from the early 80s), do I know I'm sufficiently numb. And I was right. The first minute or two of drilling didn't bother me, but as he started getting into it and bearing his weight down on my tooth did I start to wiggle... to squirm... to finally raise my arm and call, "Uncle!"

So I got another shot of Novocaine. Five minutes later we were ready to proceed, and all seemed to be fine ... until I started smelling the burning of my tooth. And then I got queasy. No matter how loud Coldplay, Simon & Garfunkel, or Miley Cyrus played (gotta love the shuffle selection on the iPod), my heart was pounding hard and I knew it was mere minutes before I was going to pass out. Of course, I attempted to tell the doctor that I needed a minute at the very same time he was telling me he only needed 10 seconds to finish up. See... he was just about to pull out the pulp. The part that had me seeing the entire milky way galaxy. Game over.

I started hyperventilating in the chair, and asked him to lean me back immediately. My face was flushed. I needed to control my breathing. I needed to calm down. He gave me about five minutes to lay there and relax. I needed six. Maybe seven.

We continued the process. Him drilling, cleaning, pressing, and suctioning. Me listening to Taylor Swift, Black Eyed Peas, Billy Joel, and Jack Johnson (don't laugh - you too would totally remember what you were listening if you were trying so hard to block everything else out so you didn't hurl...). Soon enough he was done, and minutes later took a quick x-ray to see if all looked well enough to fill my tooth. Aside from the delays, the process was quick and easy. Once the x-ray was sent from one room to the other (did I mention the technology here is a-may-zing?), the doctor determined he could finish filling my tooth. More yukky smells of burning, a slight bit of discomfort when he pushed into my tooth, and ten minutes later I was out the door.

Less than an hour of work from start to finish. And with today's exchange rate cost me ... only $136!! Even better, if I send it to my insurance provider, I'll probably get a majority of the money reimbursed.

Five hours post procedure and so far no pain. For that price maybe I should have a few more done before I leave. Though next time I'm totally taking a Valium. No I'm not kidding. About either...


Mom24 said...

Well, I'm glad it's over and I hope the tooth doesn't bother you from here on out.

That sounds pretty awful, at least it was cheap--It easily would have been 10x that here.

KP said...

I knew you would survive!!!! Congratulations... you've now fulfilled my mantra: "Come to India, have a root canal!!"

Bfiles said...

so sorry you had to go through that. Same thing happened to me. I just couldn't take the anxiety, the dentist had to give me some laughing gas or something to calm me down. But $136? WOW. Mine was over $1k. Enjoy that!!
hope it's all smooth sailing from here.

Unknown said...

Does NOT sound appealing regardless of how cheap it was... UG.. Hope it all goes well.

Anonymous said...

I am totally a root canal girl ... in fact, I think I only have 3 teeth that are as they were when they came in.

Dentist offices make me cringe ... and reading your post made the hair on my arm stand up.

I know they are sooo reasonably priced here ... but I can't bear to make the appointment for the two that I need to have done.

Sigh ...

Good for you to take the pain and get it done!

Kristen said...

Wow, it's so hard to picture the dentistry there being top notch after seeing so many of the other crazy images from your life there, but your pic of the office looks quite nice :)

I'm glad to hear that it's over and hopefully you'll not have to deal with anything from here on out.

Daniela Swider said...

Wow, good for you for having it done there inexpensively. 'Cause it's unpleasant no matter where you do it but at least you didn't pay an arm and a leg to get tortured.

And yey for anesthesia! I have had 4 root canals done years ago without anesthesia and let me tell ya, it compares to child birth.

I had a root canal done here in the US crapily and I paid $1,500, so now whenever I need dental work, I take a mini dental vacation to Bulgaria and get it done there for $130-$150 (including x-rays and crown). I get my teeth fixed, I spend some time with my family for less than what I'd spend on the root canal here in the US.

Anonymous said...

It's Friday, and that means that the Weekly State Department Blog Roundup is up - and you're on it!

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Anonymous said...

I am sorry to inform you that you were an innocent bystander in a train wreck of a post of mine this morning!


My apologies... :) Don't hate me! I just couldn't resist!

Unknown said...

Yeh they're no fun are they. But then this year I graduated up to an implant....and trust me, it's a whole other level of dental discomfort!

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