The Friday of my dental follow-up arrived (see Dental Freak-out) in which I was scheduled for likely extraction and implant. I had steeled myself for tooth demolition and construction work. I left a meeting early to make sure I was on time. On my way, I ran into a friend, and told her where I was headed.
“Are you crazy? Pulling a tooth — they shouldn’t need to do that. They can save almost any tooth these days. What kind of dentist is this? Have you been to an endodontist?”
I didn’t know what an endodontist was. My dentist’s specialty was cosmetic: read, implants. Endodontists specialize in root canals. My friend used to work as a dental hygienist and is very knowledgeable about dentistry. And I just happened to run into her now… Hello, God?
Her take: “You don’t want an implant. That’s a foreign body inside your body, permanently. Unless you absolutely have too. You need a second opinion.”
“But my appointment is in 15 minutes!”
“Don’t go,” she advised.
While I stressed, called my husband and fretted, she made a few calls and got me the name of a good endodontist.
I cancelled the appointment when I was already five minutes late. They were not happy.
The endodontist looked at my teeth. “I can see why the other dentist was worried. That tooth is dead. But you don’t want an implant back there — it’s the back molar, and too close to the sinuses and the brain. Anyway, I can do a root canal right now. Have you out of here in about 30 minutes.”
And, after a relatively painless procedure (how amazing is that?), it was done. Whew. What a relief. Much cheaper too.
The endodontist has now referred me to a good general dentist. Much more work is yet to be done. Ugh. But at least I’m in good hands now.
Thank you God. You sent me my friend in my time of need. Thank you, thank you! Help me to be a friend to others in your name. And please stay with me through all this horrible dental work. I’m still scared. Amen.