Tooth Or Consequences

After making an appointment for an emergency dental appointment and just trying to survive with pain for the day, I arrived for my late night appointment with Dr. Pantangco at On Demand Dentist. Thank the maker for such a 24/7 business of emergency toothache relief. His office was very modern and high-tech with me filling out forms on both an Asus notebook with a touch screen as well as on an iPad. He even had Foursquare check-in for discounts and accepted Google Wallet payments.

His stand-up X-ray machine was much more convenient than the older methods of clamping your teeth down on uncomfortable pads. He also had a giant high-def 3D TV on the wall above the exam chair, which unfortunately was static the whole time with a promo shot of the Green Lantern movie.

That Dr. Pantangco was available on this same day was the good news. The bad news, which I wouldn’t learn until the procedure started, was that it was one of the most excruciatingly painful events of my life, none of which were Dr. Pantangco’s fault. I would have enjoyed the distraction of even watching Green Lantern.

I had three major factors going against me during the procedure: 1) the tooth in question was what remained of an old root canal and crown that had broken off years ago and had left half of the metal post still lodged in my tooth and jaw which helped fuse the tooth to my jaw, 2) that there was a large infection at the root of the tooth that unfortunately could not be anesthetized because of an acidic PH factor ineffectiveness between the infection and the lidocaine, and 3) that he noticed right away from the X-rays that I clench my teeth a lot, which sets my teeth even further into my jaw.

After an hour of me sweating, shaking, panting and writhing, and him injecting, digging, scraping, cutting, drilling, pulling, burrowing, carving, wrenching, torquing, cleaning, plowing, plumbing, grade-checking, jack-hammering, mining and silently cursing, it was over. My shivering and astronomically high blood pressure lasted another ten minutes.

Not the kind of experience I was hoping for but it had to get done. I just wish it would have been on someone else.

6 comments

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    • Lisa on May 12, 2012 at 10:57
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    Thank you for that squirm inducing dental description. Motivation to keep on flossing and brushing multiple times daily so I don’t ever have to go through that! I’m so sorry you had to endure that, hopefully the pain is now gone.

    1. I apologize, Lisa. I just needed to vent my pain online. And speaking of pain, it is not yet gone because of a second, adjacent tooth that is also infected, which actually hurts a bit more than the first one.

      I can’t wait to eat shredded beef tacos again someday.

    • Mary on May 14, 2012 at 09:40
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    Peter, that sounds so terrible! I’ve never seen the inside of your mouth before so thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Hope you are feeling better really soon.

    1. Thanks, Mary. And sorry for the intimate oral portrait. Sharing my experience with images just felt like a need that, much like a cavity, had to be filled.

    • Heather on June 2, 2012 at 07:42
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    I was sweating reading this! What an awful experience. Hope it’s feeling better. I hate the dentist…smell, chair, equipment, flavors, building, making the appt, driving them, noise, grit….all of it basically.

    1. At times I was thinking about poor Lauren. I hope she never has to go through this. The dentist told me he would NEVER recommend a root canal and crown. I can totally understand why now.

      It never bothered me to go to the dentist. Not even for the shots. This visit may have changed that sentiment slightly, although I think I’ve now gotten over the worst. (Fingers, eyes and legs crossed.)

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