My parents used to say I really did have a million dollar smile. It was, of course, an exaggeration on how much they'd spent on my mouth in my childhood. As an adult, save a random cavity between back teeth that I'm notoriously bad for flossing between, I've had relative few dental problems.
I generally like my smile. It's a good smile - probably one of my better features. Of course, the teeth could be a little whiter (which my dentist assures me I would not likely get 'much' whiter from bleaching - and to obtain that chic-let white, I'd need veneers) and I wish I'd been better about wearing my retainer in high school, but otherwise, yeah, the smile is good.
Way back in the day, we realized I was missing permanent tooth though. One of my back molars. No problem. They pulled it before braces, and I've basically had a fake tooth there ever since. Attached to a bridge post-braces. A bridge that I had since like 1993. For anyone without a bridge, that's an insanely long life for a bridge.
We switched dentists this year. Although we loved-loved-loved our prior dentist, hauling the kids to the other side of the metro area was a pain -- and then the dentist's practice got really big, and they opted to cut out their children's dentistry. They'd still clean the kids, but for any dental work -- they referred out. We're a 'family dentist' kind of family. Just like we're a 'family practictioner' kind of family. One doctor for everything. It's really about time management. You tend to do that more with lots of kiddos.
Anyway! The new dentist was concerned about some issues with my existing bridge. It was starting to show signs of its age. I'd already noticed some slight movement. We agreed to go ahead with replacement. Well, between the consult and the first appointment, the bridge failed. It popped right out of my mouth (and straight into Tyler's pizza one night.)
So, with the first appointment, we got a good look at some decay around the tooth. We were expecting it. It happens. The dentist told me at that point, "It's a 50/50 chance you'll need a root canal -- the decay is deeper than we anticipated" So, we popped in a temporary bridge and agreed that at the first signs of pain, I'd come back and we'd re-evaluate. That was Saturday.
Saturday and Sunday, I noticed some pain. I chalked it up to some residual soreness of them poking around in my gums on Saturday. Monday brought a dull ache. By Tuesday, it was a throbbing pain. High sensitivity to cold/heat. Hurt to chew (pressure sensitivity). So, Wednesday morning, I called my dentist. "See you first thing in the morning."
So, at 9:30 this morning, I was in the dentist chair. Hmmm. You likely need a root canal. Grrrr.
Off to an outside referral (who was fantastic) and four hours later I had my very first root canal. It wasn't nearly as painful as people tell you it will be. But, now I'm on 24 hours of "strenuous exercise is a no-no." We were supposed to do 300! again tonight at CrossFit.
I really wanna have a tantrum.