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Dental Issues

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Back in January, at my 6-month dental cleaning, the x-rays showed I had a cavity. My first one ever. I went along with the suggestion to get it drilled and filled right away, and within two weeks I had some white resin where there had been solid tooth before. Almost immediately, I had cold sensitivity on that tooth. I figured this was part of the healing process – and the internet confirmed it – so I waited.

Two weeks later, it was still there, but not getting any worse. I saw the dentist and they took new x-rays. It showed that the filling was close to the nerve, but it should heal up soon. The dentist said it might take longer than expected because the drilling had gotten so close to the nerve. So I waited.

Last week, I had my next 6-month cleaning. I said that the temperature sensitivity is still there; hot or cold. It’s not debilitating, but extremely annoying. I asked what my options are. I could get a root canal, which would leave much of the original tooth but remove the nerve. Or I could get the tooth extracted, which would obviously leave a gap.

I went with the extraction. The tooth causing problems was my back left molar. It was at an angle in the first place, so it was barely used. I didn’t care about retaining any of it. The dentist didn’t pressure me into the root canal, and I set up my appointment with their dentist that does extractions.

The next week, she looks at the x-rays and asks if I’m sure I want to get the tooth extracted. It’s a perfectly healthy tooth, she says. I explain that healthy or not, there is cold sensitivity that has been annoying me for 6 months and has gotten no better or worse. It has to go. I’m not wasting my time on a root canal that might end up in an extraction later.

She numbs me up and removes the tooth. Quick, painless. I ask her for the tooth. She says she’s not allowed to give it to me, but if she set it in a cup and looked away, she wouldn’t know what happened to it.

After the extraction was paid for, I drove over to my husband’s work and we took a short walk around the towpath trail. My face was slowly losing the numbness. There was some swelling, but not any real pain.

Later, I washed off the tooth that was removed and examined it. At the edge of the filling, on the inside so that when you took and x-ray you couldn’t see it, was a cavity that was the size of the filling. The dentist had missed part of the original cavity, and it either was still there or had spread.

I’m glad I got it removed.

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