I mentioned that we went to the dentist yesterday. My dentist is in the town where we used to live, about 2 hours' drive away. I never changed dentists since I liked him, and finally my husband started going there too after he became exasperated with finding one here that was any good.
About two weeks ago my husband started having a mild pain when he chewed. It wasn't much, and seemed to be localized around an older filling. He figured it might have developed a crack or had been chipped. He called the dentist for an appointment last week, and was told that they were swamped since it was spring break and all the kids were coming in for checkups. If it wasn't bad, they asked, could he wait until this week?
Sure, he said, and made an appointment for the 25th. On Monday they called and said they had an opening on the 24th if he wanted it. We changed the appointment mostly because it was forecast to rain on Wednesday, and we didn't want drive for 2 hours in the rain. Well, that might have been the only good thing about Tuesday.
After we arrived, they took him back and did enough x-rays to make him glow like a lightening bug. They still weren't sure what the issue was, but were pretty certain it wasn't the tooth with the filling, but the molar behind it that had a root canal and was crowned about seven years ago. The dentist poked and prodded and looked at the films some more. It looked like the crowned tooth had a cracked root, and was infected to boot. The only thing was to pull it.
Now, this was the back molar on the side where he had had an abscess in the wisdom tooth next to it about a year before the crown was applied. That tooth had been pulled with a minimum of muss and fuss. In fact, I had just settled into the waiting room at the oral surgeon's office with my book when he came walking out. I thought there was something wrong and they couldn't pull the tooth. No, it was so easy, it took about 5 minutes, and 4 minutes 30 seconds of that was letting the anesthetic take effect. The oral surgeon cut his fee in half, it was so easy.
Boy, that was NOT what happened this time. There were tooth fragments involved. There were stitches. It wasn't pretty. About half the way home the anesthetic wore off and the throbbing began. He felt just terrible. He's not a whole lot better now, with his jaw swollen and still aching.
At least they let him keep the gold crown.