Today, a marvelous and extremely professional full-scale dentistry practice spent time listening to me, evaluating my input, and doing a deep and time-consuming examination. And then they dug in ~ literally! ~ to fix my issue. It turns out that I had a crack in a back molar, a condition that doesn’t show up on x-ray and requires an intensive visual examination. Cracked molar syndrome is hard to diagnose and requires a dedicated, thorough professional to find it. The crack extended to the nerve cavity, my whole tooth was dead, and the infection was into the bone. I had a root canal today and got a crown, and am so very happy to finally have: a.) a medical staff that cares enough about figuring out and solving the problem to spend time on it (I was there for 5 hours) and b.) a solution! I didn’t realize how much the chronic pain in my jaw was weighing on me.
There’s no “poor pitiful me” in this saga, simply a realization and cautionary tale that you have to aggressively seek solutions these days when you have a weird or unresolved medical issue. The burden of investigation and tenacity about solving the problem has shifted from the medical professional to the patient. Sometimes you have to seek help from multiple sources before you get an answer. And you have to listen to your gut. I somehow knew that my problem wasn’t just grinding my teeth or wasn’t anywhere close to being fibromyalgia.
My jaw is throbbing a bit this evening from the oral surgery and the infection from living with that cracked tooth for over 7 months, but my heart is soaring with the knowledge that my issues have been diagnosed and addressed. The oral surgeon even called me at home at 7 pm tonight to make sure I was doing ok. Really! When was the last time that ever happened, a medical professional calling you at home to make sure you’re ok? I’m jazzed about that charming “bedside manner”.
I still have a crisis of confidence in the medical profession in general as a result of all this, but the Stephens and Gatewood Dentistry Office has my complete confidence.
This will be me again, soon! A nice lady in her early-to-mid fifties with a pain-free smile.