Friday, March 20, 2009

In Which I think Root Canals Suck.

Root canals suck.

There. I said it. And I don't mean that they suck in a painful way, because getting two impacted wisdom teeth removed with only local anesthesia? That REALLY sucked in a painful way. Root canals suck in a different way. They suck in a way that makes you feel like a fool because you could have PREVENTED THIS. Instead, you voluntarily pay whatever your insurance doesn't cover to lie on a chair with your jaw pried open, drooling all over yourself.

And it sucks. Particularly when your eyes are open and you're staring into the focused face of your dentist, your mouth hanging open and a sucking mechanism stuck to your tongue. He nearly straddles you in his focus, and pushes needles into your dead tooth with such force you see him grimace and feel like you're being smothered. The back of your head pushes hard into the cushion of the chair you're strapped in, and you wonder, briefly, how much it would skeeve him out if you just stared at him while he worked on you.

But you'd rather not keep watching all the blood soaked utensils that keep moving in and out of your mouth. So you close your eyes, and helpless, you lie there, and you think, "I did it to myself."

Because if you had resisted that sweet. If you had remembered to floss. If you were like that woman from finance who spent ten minutes each day after lunch hunched over the bathroom sink in the ladies' room, with her toothbrush and toothpaste, this would not be happening. Because preventive care is the best care, and had you just LISTENED in health education, you wouldn't be here.

You're stuck in that chair, and unlike any other sort of surgery where you can lie there and pretend it's not happening or get knocked out and sleep through the whole thing, all you can do is lie there, glaring at the man who is picking through his collection of sharp things to find another little sharp thing to dig into your open tooth.

Then you hear the grimace, the grunt of your dentist, and your eyes scrunch at the pressure of points digging into your teethy crevices, and all objectivity fades as you realize that root canals really suck. I know I've said they're not as bad as people say they are, but I only meant in regards to pain. Because I can handle pain. But root canals, and heavy dentists nearly giving me a bloody lip trying to dig decay out a teeny weeny tooth? They SUCK.

This could be the overkill of having three dentists appointments that involved either root canals or fillings and cleanings taking place in less than a week talking, but I'd like to think I'm entirely rational about this.


  1. Heh. Root canals are nothing to me now, considering how I've had three oral surgeries since the year began. I'd much rather have a root canal than having my gum cut open and then having to deal with a swollen cheek for a few days.


  2. Well when it comes to that, I'll agree with you. It's all a matter of degrees, isn't it? ;-)