Second Chances sound so right, good, and noble.
But in truth, every moment of our lives is unique and unrepeatable, as is every bit of our chemistry, neurology and anatomy.
This week I lost my lower left molar.
I suppose it did get a second chance the first time it cracked when I was able to deadened its nerves and cap it with a ceramic crown. O did it? It was never the same molar anymore once the dentist chipped at it and then the endodontist peered through a microscope and stabbed repeatedly at the nerves to end their sensitivity.
A dentist’s job is never pretty.
The first prosthodontist did a marvelous job and the crown he placed lasted more than twice his prescribed five-year reign.
To my surprise, when a ache woke me at night and it traced to the region of this same molar, I thought it was the crown that needed some dusting or even a replacement.
It turns out that the shorn and unnerved tooth beneath had probably cracked — again — allowing an infection to begin to fester. The dentist expected a huge abscess, but my gums showed only a small lesion. He washed his hands, rather literally, of such complexity and sent me to the specialists.
I headed to the National Dental Centre. Without a prior appointment, it’s akin to going to the A&E. The dentist kindly reminded me I could do so by citing that the pain was keeping me awake. Yup, that dental A&E.
The x-ray had shown that this molar has three long roots that looked totally hale and hearty. I expected therefore that a surgical procedure would be indicated.
Instead, the dentist, consulted with the endodontist, called my cardiologist, and then proceeded to anaesthetize me with multiple jabs. I did not lose all sensation, so I could feel her use several different implements to try to loosen the tooth. Then she tugged. Her assistant held on to my head as she yanked and pulled. Many attempts on, my jaw ached and I thought it may snap! So I screeched a little, raised my hand and we paused. Undeterred, she said we should try again.
We went on two more rounds. She decided a more experienced hand may be needed so she whispered to her assistant, “assist”.