Friday, August 15, 2008

The root problem

The original plan had been for me to spend ten or twelve days in Edmonton on my own, clearing out Doug's place, etc., but Mary's tooth suddenly went south, and she had to bring the kids up a couple of days early and have me look after them while she went to the dentist. Five times, as it turned out.

After her initial consultation with an emergency dental clinic (something Lethbridge is not large enough to have) in Edmonton, Mary was told she needed a root canal. Although in theory Edmonton's larger population meant a better chance of getting in to see a specialist, in point of fact endontists were all booking months into the future -- which is fairly pointless if you need a root canal, since It's not the sort or level of pain one can easily ignore. Mary held out as long as she could, but ended up in the UofA Hospital's emergency clinic; and then our Lethbridge dentist recommended a colleague in Edmonton who worked Mary in.

We were very impressed by this new dentist immediately, and greatly relieved that he was indeed an endontist when we had all but given up seeing a specialist. He did the root canal, loaded Mary up with heavy-duty drugs to stop the swelling and pain, and we waited for her to get better. Only the dentist phoned back the next day to say that he'd found an extra root on the x-rays, and would have to open her up again. So, it was back to the dentist again. And then, a fifth time, later in the week.

The root problem (sorry about the pun) is that Mary is a mutant: one to two extra roots per tooth. So rather than routine root canals -- no fun at the best of times -- Mary's are always much more complicated and therefore painful affairs. It was only after her third visit to the specialist (and again, I emphasize that he struck us as extremely competent, thorough, and caring) that she finally had any resolution, though the tooth remained tender for days after even then.

No comments: