Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Tiny Stone...So Much Damage.

Recently, Geoff and I decided that we wanted to attend a h/schooling conference together...for at least one afternoon.  My sister was kind enough to take the kids for an afternoon (first time with all three!) to allow us to attend.  It felt like it could maybe be something akin to a date for Geoff and me.

I was pretty excited because, although I've attended this conference for the last few years, this was a first for Geoff.  He's not terribly involved in our day-to-day h/schooling initiatives, given that he's out earning the income to enable us to do this in the first place...and sometimes I wish he understood a little more about the industry and culture of homeschooling.  I figured this was a great place to start.

After we dropped off the kids, we decided that a spur-of-the-moment fun kinda thing to do for lunch was to grab a hotdog from one of the downtown street vendors already out in the springy weather we've been enjoying for the past several weeks.  It had been years since I'd enjoyed a hotdog from a street vendor and it was delicious...

...well, it was delicious until my second last bite (which became my last bite).

I bit into a rock.  Instantly I felt something 'give' in an upper right tooth, and I was in immediate pain.  I wasn't sure what to do, so we just sat there for a number of minutes waiting to see if the pain subsided.  It did.  Sort of.  Not back to normal, but enough that we decided not to let the incident ruin our afternoon at the conference.

So away we went.

We made it through two sessions before I had to give up and cave to the resurgence and escalation of pain in the upper right half of my mouth.  It was just before 4:00pm on a Friday afternoon and as we drove sadly away from the conference, I used Geoff's phone to call my dentist of the past many years; apparently, the office was closing soon, they would not be open on the weekend, and they could book me in for the following Tuesday afternoon.  What??!!  I was supposed to wait for four full days before I could have an emergency appointment?  Somehow my usual dentist was no longer so appealing.

Still using the internet access on Geoff's phone, I started calling office after dental office in our area.  Over and over again, I got answering machines with a "closed for the weekend" message.   By this time it was 4:40pm and I was beginning to resign myself to a weekend of big pain.

I dialed the last dentist on the list...fully expecting the answering machine.  But lo and behold the friendliest receptionist ever picked up the phone and clucked her sympathy over my situation.  She put me on hold and ran to the back, where the dentist was apparently finishing up with the last patient of the day.  A minute later, she returned and told me that the dentist would be happy to have me come in and that she'd take care of whatever needed to be done.  I said that we were five minutes away, but I think we were there in just over two minutes!

After filing out the necessary forms, I was ushered to the back.  It was pretty much 5:00.  I spent the next hour in the chair, being x-rayed and treated.  An upper right molar had cracked horizontally across the top, from side to side!!  I couldn't believe it.  They froze me up with four (four!!) huge honkin' needles of freezing (you have seen the size of those needles going in haven't you?) - apparently I take a lot of freezing to actually not feel anything!

They worked at me for a solid sixty minutes before I was considered ready to go.  The dentist told me that there was a 50-50% chance of their fix-it job lasting.  The crack went so deep into the tooth that they couldn't drill down all the way without hitting the nerve.  So they drilled as far as they could, filled it with as much cavity filler as possible, and then filed away at my tooth so that it wouldn't hit my lower tooth quite as solidly as it has in the past (trying to avoid a hard 'hit' on the toothJ).  She told me that if it didn't 'take,' they would either perform a root canal or they would pull it out entirely and set me up for an implant.


With one bite of a hotdog, I transitioned from a person who has never had a tooth or mouth problem in her life to a person with the potential of a tooth cracking wide open and having to receive major dental work.  I'm still in shock about it.

So far, the tooth is holding up, and I'm very grateful for as long as it lasts.  But I tell you one thing for sure:  I will never, ever again eat a hotdog from a street vendor...oh, and I've formally switched to my new dentist.


  1. Oh- I feel so badly for you. What a horrible thing to have happen. I hope that tooth holds.

  2. I FEEL your pain (over and over again)!!!!!
    BTW, if you get pain again and can't get immediate care, try alternating tylenol and advil/ibuprofin every 2 hours. One treats the pain centres of the brain (tylenol) and the other goes to the site of the pain. Apparently by alternating every 2 hours you're maximizing the pain-killing potential of both meds. I've made it through a weekend like this myself, on my dentist's recommendation (though he offered an emergency appointment on the weekend if it didn't work).