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 🙂 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: