Last Wednesday Young Son and I went to the dentist. I was worried I would have to have another root canal because I had developed this tingling sensation around the area of the tooth I had removed last spring. In looking at the tooth behind the gap of the missing tooth, I saw a black spot. I thought it was a filling, but the tingling gave me pause. Was this a cavity? How could the dentist have missed this last spring?
Worry, worry. If another root canal was suggested, I was not going to go through with it. Pull the tooth and be done with it! I can deal with the pain of a pulled tooth. I can’t deal with the extended pain of a root canal, which would lead to a brittle tooth, which would probably break and have to be pulled anyway. (The story of the missing tooth.)
I went to the dentist with no small amount of trepidation. The dental assistant took X-rays (it’s the 115th anniversary of the discovery of X-rays today, according to Google) and said the black spot looked like a filling. She did note a strange little growth toward the top of the tooth, which she thought might be a ligament.
The dentist came in and did a thorough cleaning, including scraping the tartar off my teeth. Let me tell you, it felt like he was scraping cockles off the side of a ship. Not pleasant. I must brush better in the cockle-covered areas.
After the cleaning, he showed me on the X-rays that I had three tiny cavities, all in areas between my teeth. No cavity in the tooth I was worried about, however. That one has a filling already, as I suspected. The dentist told me the growth could be a piece of bone or tooth or ligament that has come through due to the pulling of the other tooth. It can easily be removed the next time I come in.
As for the tingling, which sometimes causes me to clench my jaw at night, the dentist explained that when a tooth is pulled, it’s like pulling a stick out of the sand. There will be a depression in the bone/sand for a while, where the tooth/stick used to be. Eventually the depression will be filled in with bone/sand, but it takes a while. Could it be that the tingling I feel is bone growing into the depression?