Dental Brinkmanship

I Was Taking a Big Chance

I Was Taking a Big Chance

Just before I was about to leave for Iceland, I noticed that I not only had a cavity, but that it felt big enough to park a Chevy Suburban with room to spare. Moreover, when I ran my tongue over the spot, it felt sharp. I knew there wasn’t time to get the problem fixed before liftoff on June 19, so I took a big chance. After all, the worst that could happen was that I would have to see an Icelandic dentist.

On Saturday and today, I saw my own dentist; and he confirmed what happened. My crown on the second last top molar was breached both from the top and from the side. What I was feeling with my tongue was the sharp edge of what remained of the crown. There was a 50/50 chance that I would have to see a consulting dentist on an emergency basis for a quick root canal. Fortunately, Dr. Sun informed me that there were a few molecules of tooth tissue separating the cavity from the molar’s nerves. I lucked out.

This morning, he built up what was for all intents and purposes a new tooth on top of the foundation rubble that remained of my molar. First, he put in some insulating material called dycal to prevent the nerve from being irritated by the reinforced concrete with rebar that formed my repaired tooth. Later, he will replace the broken crown with a new one made with industrial diamonds.

All in all, I think I got off rather cheaply.