The most recent experience in receiving pain from a paid professional was in having a root canal – the second one in the same tooth. Yes, no matter what your dentist tells you about it being impossible to still be having pain in a tooth where there is “no nerve left,” it isn’t so. Here’s the deal: normally, a molar has 2-3 roots. However, it can have accessory roots where an infection can get into and be difficult to see – even with an oral surgeon’s super powerful digital x-ray pictures. Over a year ago after a root canal in molar #30, I said “It’s still sensitive” and was told “Oh, it just needs to settle down.” I bought it. Months later, it was even more sensitive, but was told “Impossible – you had FOUR roots irrigated and filled, so it MUST be dead.” Fast forward a year later and I’m saying “Holy Moses! This sucker HURTS!!!” and my beloved dentist shakes his head and advises I see the endodontist who did the original surgery. Dr. Endo took another picture and said “Oh, you have a FIFTH accessory root – with an infection.”
These may sound like reassuring words, knowing that you aren’t crazy and you have a definitive diagnosis, but as you will learn from reading about my other medical experiences, it isn’t necessarily a happy thing. He didn’t take the crown off, he drilled through it and IT WAS THE MOST PAINFUL ROOT CANAL EVER IN THE WHOLE WORLD OF PAINFUL ROOT CANALS. The second day after the root canal felt like most root canals (I’ve lost count of how many I’ve had – four or five? Six?) But the third day was absolutely horrible. And I have a relatively high pain threshold. So I call the doc’s office and tell Miss Bubbles, his happy assistant, “Hey, this isn’t like any root canal I’ve ever had,” and she says, “Have you taken 800 mg. of ibuprofen like we suggested?” (normal is 400 mg.) and I said “Yeah – but it wasn’t cutting it, so now I’ve dosed it with a 7.5/500 hydrocodone I had left over from my ankle surgery (another story), and I’m STILL dying here.” (hydrocodone is a narcotic aka Vicodin, Lortab). She said that her office normally didn’t advise hydrocodone (I forgot to ask how often her office normally did a root canal in the same place a second time), but she wasn’t concerned and assured me I would feel better soon.
It’s been a week, and I am now starting to feel a little better. At least I’m not taking 800 mg of Alleve anymore. Oh, and when you take pain relievers, be sure to eat something with it. Pain medications, be it over-the-counter or narcotics are murder on your digestive system.