Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cavity Filling...Again

About a month ago, I had some cavities filled. At the time, everything seemed to go fine. In the weeks since, though, I've had some aches and pains that never happened before the fillings. So I had to make a trip back to the dentist.
It ended up being two trips, actually. Just a day or so after the initial fillings, once the numbing wore off, I realized something was wrong. I gave it a week, figuring that maybe it was just soreness that would wear off, but no such luck. I went back in and saw a dental assistant, who did some adjustments to my bite, and told me things should be back to normal in another week or so.

Of course that didn't happen...hardly worth writing about if that was all there was to it. Another two weeks went by, and nothing really changed. I still had a constant low-level ache, and occasionally there was enough pain to actually wake me up in the middle of the night. Glad there's ibuprofen for a short-term fix! Last week was a busy one (concerts, for instance), so it wasn't until this week that I was able to go back in for another visit.

The visit did not start off well...had to wait 30 minutes from the scheduled time. I'm sure there was a good reason, but it didn't improve my mood. Once I got into the chair, the first thing they did was take a set of x-rays, which showed nothing wrong. Not what you want to hear after a month of problems! It reminded me of my days on the front lines of IT customer service. The customer calls in, reports some issue, but you can't find anything wrong. Too bad you can't just reboot someone's teeth and hope the problem goes away!

Fortunately, it got better. Trying to come up with anything that might help, I mentioned to the dental assistant that I'd had some trouble with food sticking between teeth in the problem area, and also that when flossing it felt like I had a gap (where none existed before those initial fillings). You could almost see the lightbulb go off over her head when I said that. She tried the floss out, and sure enough, there was a gap right by one of the fillings that didn't belong.

Once the problem was identified, the fix was quick and efficient. Numbing shot, a few minutes for it to take effect, and 10-15 minutes of the dentist drilling out the old filling and putting in a new one. Followed by a check with the floss to make sure the gap was no longer a problem. And I'd even remembered to wear my flannel shirt, so unlike the original visit, I wasn't freezing the whole time.

This whole experience is a reminder that dentists are human like the rest of us, and do make mistakes. And that with the right information, they can fix the issue. I'm feeling confident that everything is done correctly this time - I'll know for sure if nothing bad happens in the next week or so.

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