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Saturday, September 05, 2009


Root canal update

This follows on from my previous dental report.

I needed to go back a few times for the dentist to make and fit the crown. The next time I returned he said he would give me an injection. I said OK. I wasn't concerned if I had an injection or not. I had decided that I would use some relaxation techniques and control the pain on my own.

He jabbed me several times but I wasn't aware of any numbness. He didn't seem to take too long before he started working on my tooth, preparing for the crown. There was some pain as he worked but I did not complain. I used my own techniques to keep it under control. He took a cast to prepare the crown and then put on another temporary crown.

On the way home I could feel a little pain and I was aware that there was no wearing off of the numb feeling. There was no numb feeling! Had he put any anaesthetic in that injection or was it a placebo?

By the following morning the pain was quite intense. It lasted for about a week. I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't want to go back to that dentist, not if he believed my pain was psychosomatic. If that was the case, he'd discounted the possibility that there could be some dental reason for the pain.

I decided I needed a second opinion but I had a complication in that my throat was also sore. A friend had H1N1 swine flu and was in hospital. (Perhaps an overreaction.) On Friday we were chatting online and he said that his symptoms were just a sore throat and a temperature. We've had a lot of hot, humid weather lately and it feels like you have a temperature whenever you are out in it. I decided I needed to be sure. On Saturday I went into town to do my shopping and I bought a thermometer. When I came back I checked and it was exactly normal.

I went to see the doctor on Monday and he said he thought the throat problem was caused by the tooth. He recommend I see a dentist who comes to the university clinic on Tuesdays. She was able to demonstrate quite convincingly that the pain was coming from the tooth next to the one that had been treated. She tapped the treated tooth, I felt nothing. She tapped the next tooth—intense pain. She shot a burst of air at the treated tooth—nothing, the next one—intense pain. She squirted cold water on the treated tooth—nothing, the next one—intense pain. It was pretty convincing.

So, how incompetent is my dentist? Has he been treating the wrong tooth all along? I have no way of knowing but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. What I'm sure of is that he certainly wasn't able to diagnose the real source of my pain this time. The clinic dentist advised that I go back to the root-canal specialist in Khon Kaen and get all the work done by her and that's what I'm doing. The pain has since subsided I might add.

I wasn't able to get into my usual Sunday morning appointment this weekend as the dentist is going to Bangkok. I took a Saturday afternoon slot. But I didn't make it. This morning when I took a sorngtheau to the bus stop there was a bus there when I arrived. But they wouldn't let me on. It was already overcrowded and there seemed to be a quite a few students waiting already for the next one. I joined them. When it arrived about half an hour later it was seriously overcrowded already and there were about 20 or 30 students who were attempting to get on too. I decided to give it a miss. I rang the dentist and booked my usual 10 am Sunday slot next weekend.

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