A Dental Nightmare Finally Ends (Or At Least I Can Hope)

(Post 216 of 263)

Today, I had the final appointment for my dental inlay. As long as it heals well and I stop having pain, I shouldn’t have any more trouble for decades!

This video explains the inlay process better than I could:

Last week’s appointment was prep. It took three injections and about 45 minutes to freeze me enough for a 5-minute procedure. In Canada, I know they would not have waited that long. The dentist said that she believes me about that because she has a Canada-trained colleague (who happened to be the one who did the emergency repair) who needs to be reminded to be more patient when it comes to anesthesia because there can be dire consequences to hitting a nerve, the patient jumping, and then the drill causing more damage than it was meant to repair. I was shocked by how much material she took out — I could feel it with my tongue and then I saw the mould she took. The mould was of my whole mouth to make sure that the inlay matches my bite pattern.

The tooth was achy with the temporary material and I actually woke up at 1AM on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in so much pain I thought I was going to have to get myself to a 24-hour pharmacy. Thankfully, after much digging, I found a couple of Advil that did the trick. The dentist hopes that the pain will resolve itself once the tooth heals from all of the trauma of the last few weeks, but she did mention the dreaded R word — a root canal. I’m optimistic, based on the pain type, that I won’t have to go that far.

The inlay looks and feels so natural! For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a huge dark grey filling in the top left back of my mouth. It’s kept me from eating and flossing properly. Now, I yawn in front of a mirror and just see natural-looking teeth!

I’ll be finished with the orthodontic work on this day next month, when I’ll be able to just start wearing my retainer at night. I’m going to give myself a year’s break from dental work and then I’m going to see about gradually getting all my metal fillings replaced with tooth-coloured ones or inlays if necessary. I wish I’d taken care of my teeth when I was younger, but I didn’t have the kind of parents who took care of that kind of thing and then as a young adult I rarely could afford routine dental care, never mind more specialized treatment. I’m grateful to be somewhere that I can take care of such things now, before it’s too late, and maybe I won’t need dentures in the future!