I’ve been having sensitivity in my teeth for about six weeks: the root is exposed on tooth #30 (lower right) from overeager brushing, a filling in tooth #3 (upper right) had gone bad after 24 years, and a cavity was forming where teeth #2 and 3 met. Four weeks ago I started going to a dentist who was recommended by a friend from the British embassy.* The office was very clean, the equipment very high-tech, etc., but after four visits the dentist still hadn’t been able to resolve the problems, and in some respects had made them worse; so I got a dentist recommendation from our own medical unit and visited there today. The new dentist poked at the lower tooth and found a spot where nothing had been treated – the torture scene from Marathon Man obviously came to mind – so he undid the work the first dentist had done on my lower tooth to remove an amalgam that had been placed at the root, in order to put down a coating of some kind, and he then restored the amalgam. There’s still some work that needs to be done on it, so it actually feels a bit worse than it had, but he’ll finish up on Wednesday and then work on the top teeth.
The worst of it, however, was that he injected me with a lot of novocaine, and it made my lip swell a bit after I left the dentist’s office even as the numbing effect grew stronger. I sat down for lunch with a swollen inner lip and no sensation in the right side of my jaw, and thus began consuming the inside of my lower lip along with my doner sandwich. It has not been a good day.
*My friend actually has nice teeth, but the irony is not lost on me.