Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Tooth be told

I had my first periodontist treatment yesterday. Truth be told, it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected. Still, there are three more to go—plenty of time for expectations to be realised.

When I first talked about the Dental Dramas, I said my first appointment was on May 2. I ended up re-scheduling because in the meantime, I’d come down with a sometimes pretty bad gout attack. The attack was directly attributable to all this drama, since stress is my trigger—and I was definitely stressed out.

I was, of course, particularly afraid of possible pain in these treatments, since I’d never had any before. The periodontist placed small gauze pads soaked in topical anaesthetic on my gums, then later injected anaesthetic. Many dentists have done similar over the years, with one important difference: This time I never felt the needle going in.

Once the actual work started, I kept waiting for the pain, like when a dentist starts drilling before the anaesthetic has taken hold, or when there’s not enough of it. But there wasn’t any pain. I had a little discomfort when he was working on one of my front top teeth, because those gums have always been very sensitive.

As I lay there waiting for the pain, and become aware that there wasn’t going to be any, I because aware that my breathing was slow and relaxed (though my hands were a bit sweaty). That morning, I’d been on concentrating on breathing that way, so I’d like to think that’s why I was relatively relaxed. Maybe it was.

At any rate, after about an hour, the first treatment was done. He told me I might want to pick up some Panadeine for the next treatment, as there are some “deep pockets” on the next part to be done, and I may have discomfort when the anaesthetic wears off. He thought Maxigesic might be enough, though (it usually is for a gout attack, unless it’s especially severe, in which case I use Panadeine; so, I have experience with both strong pain relievers).

The odd thing is, I’m not particularly worried about pain/discomfort after the next procedure, partly because I’m not expecting any during it. Also, I know any discomfort will be because of problems having been dealt to, not problems needing attention. Somehow, that makes a difference.

At any rate, I’m now a quarter of the way through the treatments. The next one is on Friday, when I’ll pay for the first two treatments. “Deep pockets”, indeed.

The image above is a reproduction from the 20th US edition of Gray's Anatomy, and is in the public domain. It is available from Wikimedia Commons. Product names are mentioned for purposes of clarity only, and do not necessarily imply endorsement; I have not received any compensation for mentioning them.

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