"You have some accessory enervation there, my friend!"

22 March 2007

Translation: "You have an extra nerve that I didn't find last time!"

Yes, once again Gallifreyan physiology strikes, and I wound up rolling sour cherries in the dentist's chair.

Last week I had the first stage of a root canal done, and I've been in a holding pattern ever since while the last of the nerve tissue dried up and was flushed away, so that the core could be implanted and sealed.

Well, as it turns out, things are never quite that simple... Just like my last root canal in Pittsburgh, stage two involves the endodontist taking a set of very small insertable files to the insides of the tooth in question and widening the root canals themselves so that the gutta percha filling will more readily flow into the canals to fill it. Dr. Dellork inserted the files to test the depth of the canals.. and then discovered that I still had some sensation in one of the canals.

When I say 'some sensation', I really mean that I about jumped out of my skin because there is still some living nerve tissue down there. As the title of this post implies, Dr. Dellork discovered the hard way that I've got some extra nerves in my teeth that aren't hooked up to the nerve branches that dentists ordinarily learn about, and so it was never taken offline. This wasn't just a case of hydrostatic pressure down inside the jaw moving stuff around that is never supposed to go anywhere. This was like someone jabbing a small, sharp instrument into one of those places that is never supposed to be invaded. Thankfully, he kept a syringe of novocaine standing by just in case and used it directly on the nerve that went off, for which I was grateful.

The rest of the procedure was mercifully quick and over with inside the hour. I now have a brand-new set of plastic spikes embedded in gutta percha inside one of my bottom-left molars and another temporary filling. I have to make another appointment with the dentist to have a real filling installed. The appointment will probably be for sometime next week - I have to give this new work a chance to set.