Q: During a checkup, a cavity was spotted on an X-ray. I had zero pain. After the tooth was filled, I began having terrible pain and wound up having go shell out a lot of money for a root canal and now I need a crown instead of a filling. Should I change doctors?
A: Publix reversed the one-way aisle rule for Covid. I had incident where I headed in the wrong direction and came face to face with a woman who looked like her name might have been “Agnes” or “Gertrude”.
She clutched a can of Starkist Chunk-lite Tuna as if it were a revolver. I moved left; she moved left. I moved right; she moved right. She would not let me continue in the wrong direction. We began to circle each other like two tigers in a cage; one eye focused on each other’s “one eye.” After three circles, we parted ways. Escalation avoided. I kept out of the mayonnaise aisle knowing this would likely be her next stop.
Symptoms often do not dictate when a root canal is needed. The most common indication is when your decay is so close to the nerve canal, or pulp, of a tooth, that just the removal of the decay will cause a negative reaction resulting in the death of said nerve canal. When this happens, it is actually better that you get the root canal done promptly rather than wait for a toothache; indicative of an acute abscess.
The other indication is when an X-ray reveals a chronic abscess; a small circular dark area surrounding the tip of the root of a tooth, up into the jawbone. You may have no pain, or just a small pimple that secretes a bad tasting fluid.
To prevent patients from hitting me in the head with a can of tuna, I use an intra-oral camera that takes a magnified live image of the decay excavation, proving to the patient that we have in fact reached the pulp.