Root Canal, Part 1

So at lunch today I got, um, debrided. Not as fun as it sounds. (Definitions: pulp, debride) Basically, it’s the first half of a root canal: they drilled through the tooth enamel and basically took out the top of the old, decaying nerve. Apart from a mild discomfort in my jaw, pretty much all the pain is gone ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t even taken any painkillers since I got back from the dentist. Hooray! Thanks go to Mom and Mavis, both of whom pushed me to get it treated sooner rather than later. The second half of the treatment will take place on March 3rd (my originally scheduled appointment), where they’ll drill out the remaining bits of dead nerve.
Considering I’ve already eaten on the tooth (by mistake, mind you) and it didn’t hurt, I’d say that was $37 well spent. Can I just leave it at that? Ha, ha. Yeah. I’m likely going to need a crown on the tooth too. I was researching prices on these things today; root canals on rear molars generally cost more than those on frontal teeth because of their increased complexity: there are usually three nerves (canals) in lower molars and four in the upper ones, compared to a single in a frontal tooth. Depending on the dentist, a root canal for a rear molar can run between $550 to $860; root canals on rear teeth are typically followed by the placement of a crown (cap), since the resulting tooth is structurally weaker; these typically cost between $600 to $1050, depending on whether you get porcelain or gold. You might be surprised to learn gold has a benefit over porcelain besides attracting the bling set: gold apparently wears at the same rate as tooth enamel, unlike porcelain (which is much harder). Who knew?
Since you’ve put up with my less-than-easy-reading for the last three posts, here’s something you might enjoy which you may not have seen: a half-hour interview with Clerks/Chasing Amy/Dogma creator/director Kevin Smith discussing his connection to that enduring Canadian melodrama Degrassi:


5 thoughts on “Root Canal, Part 1”

  1. Your tooth must be really badly decaying. I had millions of root canal but never need a crown afterwards, only fillings.

  2. Millions eh? ๐Ÿ˜€ Well, I’m not certain if it’s going to be needed or not yet — but I want to be well-informed if that ends up being the case.

  3. what causes the nerve to die anyway?
    the whole thing just sounds painful. poor teeth

  4. if the nerve is dead, how can you feel it?
    silly question but I’m really too lazy to look it up ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Hil — basically, it was a cavity left untreated for too long. About 3.5 years ago I knew I needed a cavity on the tooth filled; my dentist did x-rays, but couldn’t figure out if I need a root canal or not, so we took a chance and drilled a bit; as it turned out the cavity hadn’t reached the nerve, so I took a chance and got it filled w/o the root canal (this was helpful, because I was no longer under my parent’s insurance, and being a part time employee at the UVic for six years earns you squat in terms of dental coverage). Well, I guess the molar finally came back to haunt me — this time, though, I was armed with MetLife ๐Ÿ™‚

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