Wednesday, May 29, 2013

An Open Letter to My Dentist

I don’t have my dentist’s email address and right now that’s a good thing.  If I did, he would be getting the following from me. 

Dear Dr. A,

I am writing to you today, less than a week after my root canal was started, because I want to ask you about something that is going on with my tooth.  However, before I launch into the problem, I feel that I should give you a bit of background on the situation.
First of all, in what I am about to write there will be several instances where I will describe something I have done, and your mind will want to ask why on earth such actions were taken by me.  I only ask you to keep an open mind and remember that you have known me a long time so none of this should really be surprising.   

Anyway, until yesterday the tooth in question felt great.  I had even forgotten that it had been worked on. No pain, it was perfection.  In retrospect, I should have left well enough alone, or at least had the sense to let sleeping dogs lie.  I think there are probably a lot of metaphors describing what I should have done, but none of those came to mind until after the situation had developed.

I’m in Maryland on vacation right now, so I have a lot of time on my hands.  I decided to look on the internet and read about root canals and such since I don’t know much about them and I’m having one.....and actually I just wanted to have a whole bunch of really specific questions lined up for my next appointment because learning the breadth and depth of another person's (i. e. your) knowledge on a subject is kind of a pastime for me.  But I digress.

So while looking root canals and other things up on the internet, and drinking a lot of red wine, I discovered that allegedly you can tell if a tooth is infected simply by tapping lightly on the side of it with your fingernail.  This seemed a bit suspicious to me, but luckily I happened to have several perfectly good teeth in my head and one that I KNEW was not doing so well. 

I think you see where this is going. 

Later, as I laid in bed last night, feeling tipsy from the wine, I remembered my internet search and I started tapping on my teeth. Sure enough, when I got to the one that you've been working with, I thought it responded a bit different.  So I tapped a bit harder on all my teeth, and when I reached tooth X, I could definitely feel the difference. It HURT when  tapped on it.  Hmm, this internet theory is sound! The hurt tooth is painful when you strike it.  I drifted off to sleep certain of my new, all be it somewhat useless discovery.

I woke up this morning in serious pain. My little injured tooth apparently didn’t take well to the inquisitive and repeated strikes it received last night.  I rushed to the internet, and after some research, I am now hoping that it’s the periodontal ligament that’s inflamed and not the tooth, but I really can’t tell because I’m not actually a dentist, and the real dentist website doesn't say anything about what to do after drunkenly beating up sick teeth in the middle of the night.   

I now realize that I probably shouldn’t have gone around rapping on all my teeth without your go ahead, so all I can say is, “my bad,” and can you please advise what I might be able to do to make the throbbing pain go away? 

Thanks most sincerely from your too smart for her own good patient, 

No comments:

Post a Comment