Thomas McKenzie
by grace alone


Thomas McKenzie's Blog.

My Mouth

Some of you will not be interested in this, but I want to explain why I've been out of pocket for the past couple of days. If you are queezy about medical things, especially about dental procedures, read no further.

OK, here's the deal. Thursday I started to get a little toothache. Friday I was really hurting. So, I took a bunch of over the counter drugs and called my dentist. He is closed on Friday, but he is super cool and called me right back. He called me in some antibiotics, as I have had infections in my mouth before and this felt like that.

Over the weekend, I just hurt more and more. I was popping more and more (legal) drugs. Not chewing on one side of my mouth helped, but not enough.

I went in on Monday morning, and found out that I have a root canal that went wrong. Here are the gruesome details. On the lower left side of my mouth, from the back, I have had a wisdom tooth, a molar, and my "messed up" tooth. The messed up tooth got that way years ago when I had a bad cavity. My stupid dentist gave me a filling, but it really needed a crown. That just allowed the cavity to grow deep and nasty under the filling until, one day, the filling fell out.

I went to the dentist, and he said I would need a root canal and a crown. I was in a ton of pain, so I did it. At the time, I had dental insurance that I was told would pay for half of the root canal. The root canal on this molar cost a ton of money. And, guess what, the insurance paid nothing for it. So, I had this tooth with a hole in it, but it had had a root canal. And I was not interested in paying another big chunk for a crown.

So, I let it go. I figured at some point I would take care of it. Well, that never really happened. Partly because of the money, but mainly because it worked fine and I don't like going to the dentist.

Well, this is the root canal that "went bad." So, the dentist and I agreed that we needed to yank it. I also suggested we go ahead and take the wisdom tooth. That tooth had decay that was going to lead to an eventual extraction anyway. So, I figured, let's do it. Two teeth at a time.

Well, this whole thing involved some serious injections. One of these injections made it feel like a shockwave ran through my jaw. The dentist said this was because he had hit the nerve. OK, after I was numbed up, the extraction began. My wisdom tooth was a bear. Though I talk a lot, my mouth isn't that big. And the wisdom tooth was well ensconced. It was hard to take out, but eventually it came.

That wasn't the problem. It was the "messed up" tooth that created the problem. Because of the hole and the root canal, it had become "brittle." So, it came out in pieces. I counted six or seven pieces. Which is kind of like having your tooth taken out seven times. With tools. Tools like wrenches, drills, needles, and a screwdriver. It took over an hour, and it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. The dentist was good, I'm not blaming him. It was just so, honestly, scary.

So, now I'm home for the second day and I am popping pills. I've been eating nothing but milkshakes for two days, I'm tired a lot, and my jaw still aches.

The moral of this story is: brush your teeth. And floss. And if you are going to have two molars extracted, ask for drugs that knock you out. It is not worth staying awake for.

Me Me MeThomas McKenzie