Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Visit to the Dentist

When I was studying in primary school, there used to be compulsory periodic dental visits.

Students were usually "summoned" according to their register no.

Since "Toh" is towards the end of the alphabet letters, I am the last few to see the dentist.

Friends who were ahead of me would come back with bad reports on how their tooths were plucked out and how stinky & irkful the blood taste in their mouth.

Those frightening stories never failed to send a shiver down my spine...

I disliked the sound of metallic tools being thrown onto the steel tray, the painful pricking of the needle-end to scrap off food particles, and the unbearable knocking on the bad tooth using the tool. *OUCH!*

The only thing I like- Pressing the water button to refill cup.
It was the only way to take a short break before going back to the torture!

Usually, I will deliberately spend a looooong time rinsing my mouth until the impatient dentist said, "Come back, come back!"

Hee... Those were the days...

Last Friday, bcos my temporary filling has worn thin, I gotta see a dentist again.

I had to continue with the previously left-off root canal treatment, in order to keep the tooth.

To benefit those who are new to root canal treatment, I have come up with a simple diagram to explain the steps...

Step 1: An X-ray is taken
Step 2: An opening is made on the crown of the tooth
Step 3: The pulp (or soft tissue) is removed from the chamber and root canal.
Step 4: After a thorough wash up, the canals are filled with an inert material. At the end, a crown is made to cap + steady the tooth.

In case you are unaware, a tooth consists of a crown and one or more roots.
The roots anchor the tooth in the jawbone.

Within the tooth is the pulp (or soft tissue), there are nerves and blood vessels that nourish the tooth.

My tooth decay was pretty bad that the pulp (or soft tissue) was exposed.
When I eat, food particles will hit the pulp- where the nerves are.
That explains the pain.

To solve the problem + save money, I can simply have the tooth extracted at S$90.

But, there is a side effect- neighbouring teeth will move into the space, which will cause a crooked teeth alignment in the future.

As a result, I opted for Root Canal Treatment to keep the tooth.

During the whole process of the treatment, I experienced some pain despite the anesthesia.

The dentist asked, "How do you feel?"

I could not talk except to flash a pathetic look on my face!

He empathized, "Sensitive tooth is it?"

I gave a weak, "resignated-to-the-fate" nod...

"Ooo.... U feel the pressure...?"

He used all the nice & soothing words except the adjective- "Painful!"

I wanted to protest, but I could not talk!


At one instance, I almost wanted to ask for a pen & paper to scribble... "Be more gentle."

All right, all right... To be fair to the dentist, I admit I have a low threshold of pain to this kind of thing.

Despite the "ordeal", I must say this dentist is calm, confident and professional.
He knows what he is doing.

Compared to my other previous dental visits, he is considered one of the best- Dr. Benny Goh, The Endodontic Office.

Overall, I am happy that the whole treatment is pretty successful.

Just one more follow up visit to fix the crown.

Guess how much is the whole thing?

Root canal treatment : S$900
Crown: S$600
Total... S$1500!

S$1500 for a tiny tooth- hidden somewhere at the back of my mouth!

With one hole mended, I burnt another in my pocket...

Hmm... I rather spend it on the talk of town/ church- Blackberry Bold, or a holiday trip, some carefree shopping and blessing people...

Well... If you gotta spend it, you gotta spend it.


Anonymous said...

is your tooth (the one with root canal treatment) painful when biting or after biting ?

i did my root canal recently at the endodontic office Dr Kuah. the tooth feels a little painful and 'tight'. isn't it supposed to feel like a normal tooth ?

what's yr experience, care to share ? thks


Joanne Toh said...


I got what u mean...

Yes! The treated tooth shld feel like a normal tooth.

My bite is ok.
After my dentist Dr. Benny Goh did the filling for me, he will ask if the bite feels normal before closg up the "wound" (layman's term)

Thanks for popping by!

Aurea Robillard said...

Though the dentist gave you some dose of anesthesia, pain tolerance plays a great role in tooth extraction and other dental procedures, too. So how are your teeth now? Well, you survived there and your teeth were fixed. Think of it as a gift for yourself. Hehe!