Friday, July 15, 2011

My Mouth is Expensive: Root Canal, Crown, Braces

The other half of my day already ended after I ate my celebratory cake. It was now time to go to my dentist to close my tooth that is receiving RTC for almost 3 weeks now.
Usually, I go there every Thursday at 4pm for check-up if the tooth is already clean and is ready for closing.

It all started when a sudden pain claimed my tooth almost two months ago. The x-ray revealed that it has a pus inside that might be caused by a sudden unnoticed impact. The only solution was either to extract the tooth or to have a Root Canal Therapy. I would have gone for tooth extraction if the tooth were further away on the back of my mouth, but the tooth in question - and the gap it would leave behind, is highly visible when I smile. Besides, I am not a big fan of false teeth (tooth) if ever. And so, I went to my dentist to start the RCT.

Contrary to popular beliefs, Root Canal isn't that painful. Many people rather eat poop than undergo Root Canal (not really). But I don't know if that is because I have a high tolerance for pain or it's because the technology uses a different technique now.

Let me tell you how it feels, so you could hear it first hand.
To tell you the truth, I only encountered two pains from it. The first one was form a syringe when my dentist pricked my gums with anesthesia - the initial step.
After the area is numb already, my dentist drilled my tooth with a small dental hand drill thing. After my tooth was opened, the dentist started 'killing' my nerves. This isn't painful. You would only feel the movement on your tooth like it's being brushed from the inside. After a while, my dentist temporarily closed the tooth and I was done for the day.

You'd feel some tolerable tingling sensation when the anesthesia wears off. BUT as I said, I have a high tolerance for pain, so to some it might not be tolerable for some. For that, a simple pain reliever would do the job. An antibiotic would also be prescribed to you to decrease the pus formation inside.
During the next visits which usually takes 2-3 times, the tooth is on the way to its death and there would be no more killing done. It m means there would be minimal possibility that you'd  feel pain or that the dentist would feel the need to prick your nerves again. It took me 3 or maybe 4 visits before mine was finally closed  because of the persisting bacteria inside my tooth, but at last, the final day came and it was time for closing.

On last day though, since my tooth still has an odor when opened, my dentist used an additional treatment on me (goodbye money, goodbye). It's called Photo San, which costs 1,000 to 1,500 for a 5-second treatment. The main purpose of its existence is to sanitize a certain area and so my tooth was now completely free of any microorganisms. Something funny happened though, after my dentist used the thing on me the other dentist, probably her senior, brought out his camera. He wanted to take a picture of my tooth and how the procedure is done. So as they retracted my mouth more than humanly possible, you know what's the first thing that came into my mind? My mouth could end up on one of their posters!!!! No, that's the second. The first one was -'Holy crap, I hope my nose is clean'.
After 8 pictures (I think), the dentist finally put the Photo San away.

Here came the second pain I told you about. After she put something inside my tooth - I'm not sure my eyes were closed then, I peeked and saw a small red hook-like tool. I felt it on my tooth twice and by god, It was hot and really painful! The pain passed away slowly, lingering for 30 seconds. I think that tool melted away the permanent covering for my tooth or it was the cover. Anyway, the dentist closed the remaining space with the cement they use for filling (pasta).

Next stop? Filing. No, not fill, it's file.
A crown would be installed since my problem tooth was strategically placed to receive pressure when chewing. Besides it being highly recommended around these areas, my tooth is already 70% filling (pasta), so after how many months, without the crown, the filling would eventually chip off and deteriorate without my knowledge and will put my tooth into a dangerous situation. So the dentist filed my tooth away, with a little bleeding and pain. 
What's left with my tooth.
Don't be fooled by the picture though. It looks like a solid tooth, but it's really not. After that, she made me bite that disgusting pink gunk that hardens after seconds. Like a hand/foot print on a cement, my 'toothprint' on that mold will shape my gum's model. The other dentist made her do it twice again, so he could have a sample and specimen for himsef copy. Seriously, shouldn't I receive money for that?

The whole process was so long I thought I would go home with a locked jaw. But I was just thankful that it was almost done and on Monday, my crown would be installed. YES!
Which reminds me, I am a thousand peso short for Monday.

FACT: The most expensive part of my body is my mouth.

Expenses so far:
Up and down braces: I can't remember but I think 30,000 php.
Accumulated x-rays, Cleaning and Pasta:  Around 5,000 php and counting.
Root Canal (twice): 6,500 php
Photo San: 1,000 php
Crown: 3,500                                                      
Total: 46,000 php


Can't wait for Monday and get this over with.


  1. Its' very important to take care of your dental care especially if you don't want them to rot.


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