that blasted tooth

6 Jun

for over a week we’ve known that jillianne has needed a root canal on that front tooth (which i now know is #9 {#9…#9…#9})

after her 2 month check up on the #9 tooth, it was clear that she had to have a root canal. we called the referred endodontist who doesn’t happen to service kids under 12, but they referred us to another office in their group who does work with 8 year olds.

referrals: 2, root canals: 0

we went to that appointment on tuesday, where the endodontist confirmed that the nerve was dead and she did, indeed, need a root canal. BUT they don’t premedicate, so they referred us to another office that is 45 minutes from our house.

referrals: 3, root canals: 0

did you know it was this hard to find a pediatric endodontist? in a city with 4.3 million people? and did you know that some endodontists (you know, those people who drill into the center of your tooth? where the nerve is? repeatedly?!?) don’t use any pre-medication?

on kids!?!?!

we decided to call our dentist and see if they had any other recommendations since we were going to have to go to the really-far-away endodontist for yet another consultation before we could even have the procedure done. two days of driving, just driving for an hour and a half is just too much.

they gave me a number. i called. no dice. they see kids, but don’t use pre-medication.

referrals: 4, root canals: 0

when i called our dentist, yet again, the lovely gal at the front desk got on the horn for me and called around. she called me about 30 minutes later with a referral who worked with kids (score!) and, more importantly, uses nitrous. (double score!) the best part was that they could get us in that afternoon for a consultation and possible root canal. (triple score!)

referrals: 5, root canals: 0

this endodontist told us that, not only, was the nerve dead, but there was an abscess, as is evident in the x-ray:

x-ray on #9
that’s a big abscess

he said we could start today, but it may take 2 visits. i wasn’t sure why, but went along with him, hoping that we could have this behind us as quickly as possible.

yea, right.

the hygenist quickly set her up with the nitrous and we waited patiently for a very scared 8 year old to be in a frame of mind to have someone drill on her tooth.
ready as she'll ever be
here she is with the mask on.

and here’s her tooth isolated so they don’t fool with anything else. it’s kinda cool that they can do that.

the tooth is isolated
ready to get to work

he used approximately 472 different drill bits to work on cleaning out the canal and explained it to her by saying it was like brushing the inside of her tooth. she was clearly uncomfortable and kept flinching ever so slightly when he would drill. when she moved he had to stop so he didn’t hurt her, but we got her to keep her head still finally. she still had some pain when he drilled deeper into the root, which was a little troubling. he gave her a third shot of novocaine directly into the root canal and told me that if that didn’t work we’d have to finish another day. while we waited a moment for the meds to kick in, he mentioned that she was possibly having a panic attack, which i didn’t pick up on. was she scared out of her gourd? yes, undoubtedly, but i wouldn’t have thought she was on the verge of a panic attack. then again, i’ve never seen anyone having a panic attack.

he kept working and we quickly realized he was going to have to wrap up for the day and reschedule for another day. her pain just couldn’t be managed.

once they took another x-ray on the hollowed out canal, we turned off the nitrous and i thought she was going to pass out. her eyes rolled back 3 or 4 times and she told me she was really sleepy, but it quickly went away and she was just dazed.

we checked out with a new appointment in 2 weeks and a prescription for a strong antibiotic for the infection. turns out the abscess is so infected that the novocaine wasn’t working. we’ll try to get her healed a bit and come back when the infection has had time to calm down. we will also pick up a mild sedative the day of her next appointment which should practically put her out so that they can work without worrying about her moving.

i’ll be asking for a liquid sedative since we’ve had a horrible time with the penicillin in pill form.

she’s been chewing them up.

ugh.

she refuses to swallow them with water or food, so i let her. i just need them in there so she can get better and we can put this behind us.

and while we might not get this smile back

teeth before

we’ll get a healthy one that won’t need anymore work done on it.

until she gets braces.

oh, yes. she’ll need braces to line up the tooth someday. the endodontist told me so.

oy.

referrals: 5, root canals: 1/2

to be continued…

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2 Responses to “that blasted tooth”

  1. harriet June 17, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    you poor family! What a trial to have to endure.

  2. Dana - Old Red Barn Co. June 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    oy indeed. poor girl!

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