On Root Canals

Hi, me again! Same gal, one less living tooth.

Wonderful visual for all of you, I hope. I also hope you’ve had good Labor Day Weekends/following weekdays. I did! I didn’t want to post on Monday like usual because I hoped none of you would be on digital devices on account of it being a national holiday, but I also didn’t want to post on this coming Monday on account of it being 9/11, so here we are.

Now that we’ve gotten all of that out of the way, let’s talk about root canals.
Actually, let’s talk about dentists.

So I’m terrified of the dentist. Literally terrified. I would rather spend an entire night locked in a room with a creepy looking clown thing reading off every Facebook post I thought to make in 2007 than go to the dentist. That terrified.

I write and talk and try to advise people on how to live happy and well and most of that advice – coupled with every reassurance I give potential employers about my reliability (I am very reliable potential employers if you’re reading this just stick with me until the end here) – is based on the idea of conquering things that scare you. Don’t let fear run you dry. Learn to love it. Learn to accept it. Fear is good.

Naturally, I had avoided seeing my dentist for about a year until last Tuesday.

I brush and floss twice a day! Okay? I’ve been at school! I don’t even like candy and I’ve literally never had a cavity in my entire life. (okay, maybe one, but that’s not the point)

The point is last Tuesday my lower right tooth started to hurt for absolutely no reason at all. And last Wednesday? I woke up in throbbing pain at 4am with the worst gut instinct I have had, to date.

“Maybe I should call my dentist”

After a few X-Rays, more than a few tears, and a confusing train of conversation, I left my primary dentist’s office with an appointment that day for an emergency root canal.

Now for any of you actual adults reading this who can properly deal with stressful situations/have lived through worse scenarios, I can understand if you’re rolling your eyes. It’s a root canal, no big deal, could be worse.

I am cognisant of my luck in terms of life. Grateful that, thus far, not much has rivaled the past week in terms of pain. However, terrified of the dentist. This outcome was quite literally the absolute worst case scenario in my brain. It was one of the very reasons I avoid going to the dentist as much as possible! This!!!

Turns out, teeth can decide to literally decease on their own. Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either until my mouth was drilled. It’s possible, it’s actually not always preventable, and it’s thankfully, fixable.

In  my case, my little right tooth’s passing on wasn’t preventable at all. No amount of candy, lack of flossing, or deterrence of dental visits could have truly prevented the act of getting a root canal.

And honestly, I’m kinda thankful for it all.

Today, I’m returning to my dentist to fill the tippy top of my little right tooth. In the past week I have had three appointments at the Endodontist (Dr. Andrew Bradley, one of the nicest doctors I have ever met in my entire life, who’s job is to save little teeth!!).

Some longer than others, only one novacane-free (why is that needle so long can somebody please get on this), all calmly and expertly explained beforehand. I was treated with the utmost care, patiently listened to until I completely understood what would be done to my little tooth, I felt safe.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this, it’s normal to be afraid of things. Fear is empowering and interesting and complex but most importantly, it’s scary. It’s normal to want to avoid something you are afraid of. However, just like my first dog’s relationship with our vacuum (RIP Chance the best dog in the world) not everything you’re afraid of is all that bad, when you really look at it.

Cut yourself some slack, breathe deeply every once in awhile, and if one of your teeth start to throb, call your dentist.

Talk to you soon,

Catherine

 

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