Monday, May 16, 2011

Appointment #14 and my first root canal

On May 6th I went in to begin the long and elaborate process of my first (and only) root canal in my treatment plan on tooth #7. Up until a few weeks ago we had been planning on pulling it, so it was nice upon re-evaluation and additional consultations to decide in fact to keep and reconstruct one more small part of me, to leave me with exactly half of my own teeth when everything is all said and done.
Today marked the switch of gears toward more reconstructive procedures, and a switch of departments after such a long trip thus far, toa chair in Endodontistry, with Rakhee working directly with another student, Shane, who happens to be an aspiring Endodontist himself. It would also be Rakhee's first root canal on a patient.
We began with the most interesting and first symmetrical rubber dam and clamp formation, that one again made me feel like some quirky cartoon like Trapjar from He-man I always watched as a child.

The initial starter hole for the canal was made with a powered drill as I have become well-aquainted with already.

Upon taking further X-rays, it was determined that a depth of 28.5mm was needed to reach the tip of my abnormally long root, so medicine could be applied to the infection. This was accomplished by a long and tedious process of finger-powered drills smaller than a toothpich that unfortunately I did not get pictures of! Grr. They are seriously impressive to me and I would frankly love a set myself! Through a seemingly endless series of increasing bit size for depth and diameter and taking additional X-rays under the close supervision of Shane and a nearby Endodontist, the final necessary depth was reached. I must add, that during the process the sodium whatchamacallit that was periodically used (to irrigate the canal?) was by far the grossest tasting stuff yet to be put in my mouth at the dentist.

Would you believe that is actually the handle of a drill bit with over an inch of it hidden inside my tooth?

Shortly after, medicine was applied a the root, and the canal was plugged with a putty-like material to fight the infection until my next appointment on the 17th. Here are some other random pictures from this appointment. I want to add that for how much I have grown up hearing about the tortures of root canals, this visit was one of my least painful. I'm sure they are probably easier on anterior teeth with only one root, but still. I would rather sit through a root canal than lower molar extractions any day!

There is a trick you can use with most point and shoot digital cameras if you can adjust some of the settings correctly where you can mimic a fisheye lens by holding a peephole from a door in front of the lens. Try it sometime! This is a pretty good idea of my perspective while in the chair on thsi particular appointment.

Oh, are getting such bizarre default pictures fo me throughout thsi transformation! This is among the favorites.

The plugged and temporarily finished tooth. I absolutely cannot wait to get that one last gross remnant of the old me removed! After how far I have come, I am so sick of looking at it! By the end of June I hope to have my last 3 extractions and possible bone grafts taken care of. Counting down the days!


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