(Post 221 of 263)
A month ago, I had a dental inlay put in. It was extremely painful for a couple of weeks and I went through a lot of paracetamol and ibuprofen, but, eventually, I was able to go days without pain. But then I’d bite down on something like bread or hit it with cold water, and boom, I’d get a rush of pain all the way up the nerve through my cheek and into my brain. It was some of the most awful pain I’ve ever known.
I had an orthodontic appointment today, so I decided I’d get the inlay looked at at the same time. The me fresh off the boat from Canada would have kept suffering, terrified of being faced with a root canal or being dismissed as a whiner. The me of over five years here trusts her dentist. She took an x-ray to see if there was any sign of debris left in the repair and only noticed that the nerve was visibly inflamed. She had me do some bite tests and concluded that the inlay was a bit too long, so when I’d bite down, it took all the force of a bite rather than the force being distributed to all my other teeth. She rubbed some lidocaine over the area and then got out the drill. It was all I could do to stay calm — that was not enough numbing for how much that tooth hurt! I was worried for nothing. A couple of seconds of grinding, a few more bite tests, a few more seconds of grinding, and… instant relief. I could not believe it!
She gave me a prescription for anti-inflammatories and told me to come back on Friday to see how I’m doing. I have to go back for orthodontic reasons as well, so it’ll be another two-fer.
I went downstairs to the YZA pharmacy to get my meds. I needed 9 pills and they were out of the box with 10 and had only the box with 20. I did not want to do multiple stops so I said I’d just buy the big box. The pharmacist said that with all the branches they have in Mérida, surely there was another one or two on my route that he could call to ask if they had the smaller one in stock, which would save me $300? I do have one very close to me, so he called them and they had one box in stock! Thank you, Mr. Pharmacist! I was able to pay right there, so when I finally made it across town to the other store, I just had to present my receipt and collect my order.
At lunch, an hour after I got in, I took a chance and tried biting a soft piece of potato on the inlay side. Absolutely no problem! I’m not ready to try broccoli, but just that small thing felt like such a win. The tooth with the inlay is also already more tolerant to cold liquids.
I was braced for worst-case scenarios — having to redo the inlay or have a root canal or even having the tooth pulled, so that the solution was apparently so simple was surprising and most welcome!
Another thing is that I get a lot of medical malpractice work as a scopist and recently I had a pain doctor talking about objective and subjective pain. I’d always been told that my dental pain is subjective, ie. that there was no evidence of it and it could just be in my head. That today the pain actually showed up on an x-ray as an inflamed nerve made my suffering objective pain, and let me tell you, the validation alone helped!
There was no cost to my visit today for anything except the meds. 🙂