Wednesday, 09 November, 2005

One less tooth

The antibiotics knocked off the tooth infection very quickly and I was feeling fine over the weekend.  The dentist's appointment secretary called on Tuesday to see if I wanted to reschedule Friday's root canal appointment for today.  Better sooner than later, I thought, so I showed up at 8:00 this morning for the root canal.  After drilling out the old filling, the dentist found that the crack extended below the gum line, meaning that he couldn't save the tooth.  After a surprisingly brief bit of tugging and twisting, the tooth came right out.

I don't know what new drug he was using, but this is the first time that I didn't feel some pain when I had dental work done.  The only time I felt uncomfortable was when he was giving me the injection.  Of all the drilling and poking and prodding and pulling, all I felt was pressure and vibration.

So I'm minus a tooth.  Since it's a top molar (all the way back), I'd be tempted to leave it gone except that the tooth below most likely would start coming out.  I have two choices:  a dental appliance of some kind (think dentures), or an implant.  I'll probably go with the implant:  an oral surgeon screws a titanium post into my jaw bone and the dentist then builds a tooth around it.  Not a pleasant prospect, but people I know who have implants say that they're relatively trouble-free.