I went to see an endodontist last week, where I learned that an endodontist is a dentist who specializes in root canals. I also learned that the excruciating pain I was experiencing was caused by a molar that had died, so at least I got more for my $80 co-pay than a definition I could have Googled for free. I was glad to finally have a diagnosis, but before the endodontist got very far along on his “you need a root canal” speech, I cut him off.
I know, it was rude of me, but I didn’t want him to waste his time. I told him point blank that I only came here to find out what was wrong and now that I found out the tooth was dead I was just going to have it extracted. I meant it, too.
I have long held the personal policy that I am not a root canal kind of girl. Its not that I am afraid of dental procedures. Trust me, I’ve had way more than my share of them.
My portfolio is quite impressive, including having six wisdom teeth extracted, plus six other teeth that I guess I didn’t really need, not to mention orthodontics in my teens and then again in my thirties. As if that wasn’t enough, I also had my jaw realigned in an attempt to resolve TMJ issues. Obviously, I wasn’t a coward. I just didn’t want a root canal.
Mr. Endodontist, aghast at my response to his art form, asked me why I was so adamantly against them. I replied with the utmost confidence and conviction that I am a natural girl and that a root canal just seems awfully invasive. I was surprised when he challenged me by explaining that extractions are actually much more invasive than root canals.
Upon consideration of the facts, I had to admit he had me on that one. Still, I wasn’t going to give in so easily. I was experienced at sparring with medical professionals and countered with, “True, but you are in the root canal business. Of course you would try to sell me a root canal!”
I am proud to report that I held my own for quite a while. That is, until he succeeded in persuading me to save my molar. So, tomorrow morning I am going to receive endodontic therapy. Maybe if they had called it that all along, instead of a root canal, I wouldn’t have been so against it!