My visit to the endodontist yesterday (Tuesday) could be described as a success. He confirmed based on my description of the pain and a neat diagnostic trick involving a piece of ice that a root canal was in order. And the endodontist was able to immediately proceed…so long as I paid the deposit and signed my life away.
For a mere $1,450, am now the possessor of a gutted tooth. Although I’m sore, the process itself wasn’t unduly painful or distressing. The use of power grinders/drills was actually rather limited, and most of the process seemed to involve manual work with small needle-like files. I elected to spend most of my time during the process with my eyes closed, so I didn’t attempt to closely watch what was going on.
Looking at the root canal entry on Wikipedia, which includes a picture or two of the files used, I can see the broach file more or less matches what I imagined he was using. A tiny, pin like thing for going down inside the tooth core: it was all done by hand, and he kept asking for different sizes of files, all of which seemed tiny to me. Tiny or not, the endodontist still had to put some elbow grease into the process- my jaw is sore and tired, and my entire face feels worn out.
I guess it will be a week or so before I feel confident that the pain is gone for good. If it is, then the last few days will have been worth it. I have another couple of “ordinary” dental appointments before I’m done, though- how much do you want to bet that another nerve or something will become involved? I hope not…