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Fractured Root

IMG_4484_8729 bw blog

This little guy was my running partner yesterday. He was awesome! Except for the fact that he can out run me…

Thursday afternoon I noticed one of my teeth felt a bit odd…I touched it with my tongue, then my finger and found it a bit loose. This bicuspid happens to be a crown on a tooth with root canal. Hmm…crowns should not be loose. It was Thanksgiving afternoon, so there wasn't much I could do. I also happen to know my dentist's office is closed on Fridays, so first thing yesterday morning, I did what any mature adult would do. I called the dentist.

The "squeezed me in" at one o'clock in the afternoon. I didn't give the tooth a whole lot of thought beyond hoping the crown didn't fall off entirely over the weekend. Worst case scenario I figured was a failed root canal, but even if that was the case, the crown should be just fine. Even if another root canal was necessary, at least I wouldn't have to buy a new crown. Best case scenario? He could just clean underneath, glue the thing back on and send me on my merry way. 

Somewhere between 2008, the Year of Dentistry,  and now I had somehow forgotten my oh so terrible luck when it comes to teeth. I should have run away when the x-ray machine in room number one was malfunctioning and I had to me moved to another room. How could I ever have dreamed of a best case scenario when I came to my teeth?!

"I sincerely hope it's just a bonding issue" said my dentist…ever the optimist.

"Oh, I doubt it's a bonding issue" I answered. "I've spend plenty of time in here with you".

Yes, it did take him a moment to "get it", but he has a great sense of humor.

Next came an exam which consisted of numbing the area then poking, prodding and wiggling my tooth in every way imaginable, then x-rays, then finally a CT scan of my head revealed a fractured root. To the best of my dentist's knowledge (and lacking actual x-ray vision) he believe the crown is still attached to half of my tooth…the other dangling into fractured nothingness. 

So, this means not only extracting the tooth as soon as possible (as in, at 7:45 this morning) but prepping the area for an implant. Personally, I don't mind morning appointments, but I thought I better ask my babysitter…aka Mom. Who happened to be right across the hall waiting to see the dentist. Yes, they "squeezed me in" at 1 o'clock and in some weird twist of fate my mom had a 2 o'clock appointment. And my dad was right down the hall getting his teeth cleaned. It was a regular family reunion.

So, not only do I get my tooth extracted but I apparently have only the bare minimum of jaw bone available in which to lodge this implant, so I get a graft of cadaver bone on one side and perhaps more depending on what he finds.

I asked if I could bring a cadaver of my own in, to save money. He said no.

So I am bummed. New best case scenario is a straightforward extraction and implant. Worst, oral surgery, bone grafting, and other gross and painful stuff.

So I'm throwing myself a pity party. I am not at all happy with the timing of this. Apollo goes back to the ENT December 15 and Lord willing will have a bronchoscopy and surgery shortly after that. I will get the prep work done tomorrow, go back for several follow up visits, let the gums heal for several months and be in the midst of a year long Adventure in Dental Implants. 

Oh, and as far as "why" the root fractured, apparently it just happens sometimes. There was no trauma to the area. My dentist said, "It's like getting struck my lightening". 

So please, whine along with me. Tell me something (big or small) that you need pity for so when I come home I can feel sorry for you too. Let me know I'm not the only pathetic human out there. I'll send some pity your way. I promise.



  1. Angela

    Uggh! I too really dislike going to the dentist. And in fact I just had a crown replaced and I am only 33. I whined alot about it and made my husband and children pray for me….praying for you. Praying everything goes smoothly.

  2. Vivian

    this spring i had the same funny feeling in a cap. i thought he could just snap it off and put some cement on the thing and stick it back on…ah…nope. 4 visits later and 2 thousand bucks later …it is back on. the next time this happens…i will just go around tooth less!!
    thankfully i do have insurance but it still cost me a thousand bucks…ugh..
    so i am right there understanding your pain!
    can this be a “grump pity party”?

  3. ssmazzon

    I feel just terrible for you! You can feel sorry for yourself all day today and tomorrow. I had to get two crowns the year I turned 39. TEETH SUCK! AGH!

  4. Ginny D.

    I think I would just opt for dentures and be done with it. I have had 2 impacted wisdom teeth extractions, and 3 root canals done – all since May and have been in pain off and on the entire time. I am one step away from dentures and saying – ‘enough of all this’. There comes a time when trying to save them all is just not worth the time, expense and the horrid pain. I am feeling for you big time. I know what you are going through and it is not pretty. The older we get the longer it takes to heal – one week of healing for every decade old you are. So if you are in your 40s, expect a 4 week recovery from each procedure. Sorry I am not too encouraging. I have been going through it for months now, and am not optimistic about dental work at the moment. Hope yours goes well.

  5. Delia

    You can feel sorry for yourself only if you feel sorry for me, too…I need an implant as well! I bit into a slim jim in August & felt the tooth crack, and then it was loose…after a visit to the dentist I had to drain the abcess (with a sterilized sewing needle) for a month…the infection is gone now but it’s still wiggly…since the dentist said I could wait I guess I’m going to wait until it falls out, hopefully when I’m not on vacation away from home or something! What cadaver were you planning on using?

  6. Christina

    Worst luck that would also be me bird pooped on my diner last nigth :( and teeth wise I only have 4 molars due to jaw reconstructive surgery as a kid in the end implants would no work for my jaw and thusi have learned to live with less

  7. Karen

    My husband recently had a second tooth pulled. He didn’t bother with implants; both were crowns over root canals that cracked and let bacteria in, and he said “Heck with it.” They’re back molars and he says he can chew just fine, and they don’t show from the front, so what’s the big deal? He’s had the worst luck with teeth. As a kid, he needed braces badly but his parents couldn’t afford them. At all. So he had to wait till he was in his 20s and the Air Force paid for them. Even so, he nearly lost his teeth to gum disease (vigilant flossing and Biotene mouthwash saved the day!), and so he tries to be very careful. Meanwhile I got hit with the lucky stick wtih teeth; I’m very bad about flossing and I brush at least once a day (ha) but I have only had teeny tiny cavities, the kind where they don’t even bother giving Novocaine.
    On the other hand, my husband has 20/20 vision and I’m legally blind without my glasses. So it’s all big dice roll anyhoo.

  8. Mali

    “I asked if I could bring a cadaver of my own in, to save money. He said no.”
    This is why I love reading this blog – you made OJ come out my nose.

  9. Elena

    It’s always something, isn’t it?
    Good grief. You’re like the walking embodiment of Murphy’s Law when it comes to dentistry!
    My latest luck-related complaint? The universe seems to delight in finding bizarre ways for me to injure myself. Here’s a riddle: how can a healthy woman in the prime of life possibly sustain a cracked heel bone and 2 bruised ribs, using only a single Duplo block and a staircase? I’ll leave that entertaining imagery to your imagination.

  10. Samantha

    My tale of tooth pity:
    I had an unmedicated hospital birth (which I wanted). It took 36 hours for Kestrel to be born, and somewhere during labor I must have chomped down on a back tooth. When they kept asking me about pain after she was born, I had so say, “well I’m fine down there, but I’ve got an awful toothache.”
    When Kestrel was 6 days old (and just out of the Special Care Nursery from collapsing a lung at a few hours old) I went for a root canal. Half way through it the dentist said, “we can’t save this.” They began an extraction. And despite giving me all the Novocaine they could–I wouldn’t numb adequately. So they pulled that back tooth, with its two nerve roots, clean out. And I felt it all. And the 10 minutes it took was much, much worse than the 36 hours of labor to deliver my 8 and a half lbs daughter.
    And if that wasn’t enough fun…that weekend I hemorrhaged at home and ended up having a D&C on Monday because of a retained placenta.

  11. Savanna

    Praying that it all goes smoothly and painless!
    Dentist are no fun I have never liked them(excluding my old orthodontist I loved him)

  12. Elisabeth

    Sorry you have to go through this!
    I think what I’m throwing a pity party lately is for the fact that I’m working so much. I love my job but I work nights and I’ve been entirely too exhausted the last few weeks. And I’m a night auditor at the hotel and the only other night auditor lost her job when she pulled a no-call, no-show on Thanksgiving evening. So, I’ve been covering some of her shifts and I’m just tired and I want to sleep but I’m not sleeping much through the day but I get hit with extreme fatigue half way through my shifts and as soon as I get home, I get a second wind and cannot sleep. I just want to sleep! lol.

  13. Melissa

    Hope it all goes well!
    Two people at work just quit, so I’m having to pick up a lot of slack. I work in a doctor’s office and right now is a very busy time with everyone trying to get in before January.

  14. Lorri Dean

    Wow…another thing we have in common. I had a fractured root for over 15 years and finally, after having so much decay I had it (my front tooth), the small tooth next to it and my impacted eye tooth removed two years ago. They also did a bone graft when they removed the eye tooth as it have never come down. I’ve had braces with pontics since then. My next move? Once my bite is aligned, I’ll have 3 implants then wait about 6 months for them to fully take. In the meantime I’ll wear a flipper (I’m thrilled… sigh) and then I’ll get the crowns. So yeah….I feel your pain!!! Hugs!!

  15. Alex

    I’m so sorry! Tooth troubles are never any fun!
    I’m in China, fighting off a lovely flu bug while (trying) to teach 800 elementary school kids this week. I finally had to call in sick today (we have a teacher shortage right now, so you can only call in sick if you’re in really bad shape). Now I have to debate whether to go to the doctor (where I have to convince him to change his gloves between drawing blood from another patient and me), or riding it out. Given that my fever keeps rising (99 Monday, 100 yesterday, and 101 today), I’ll probably have to go in tomorrow.
    Figuring out how to act out my symptoms is going to be entertaining, as I speak 36 words of Chinese (and somehow, flu isn’t one of them)!
    Here’s hoping you feel better son!

  16. Heather B

    Well this is super sucky news…I really hope you don’t need cadaver bone. Blech…it just seems grody, but I guess it beats the heck out of a big empty gap in our teeth. Good Luck!!
    You can feel sorry for me….cycle 13 and still not pregnant.

  17. Cate

    I feel your pain….
    I had the Dentistry Year from Hell last year… never really had any teeth issues before!
    I’m not looking forward to going back again in a few weeks… I know I have to.. but it’s probably, knowing my luck, going to cost me the amount of a small car.

  18. Lou

    That is horrid horrid horrid. I think I started reading your blog during the year of dentistry!! Mind you, I read all so not sure.
    My whine? Every end of semester I find 5-10% of students who have plagiarised. My choice is: let it be (most lecturers do, I think is grossly unfair to the students who work hard and devalues a degree) or follow up on it. If I do the morally right thing (follow up), I spend HOURS of my time following up. In this case, so far a full day. Only to be told I still need to document more for any action to be taken.
    And did I mention this from a uni who has ended my contract? Hmmm….It irks me that honesty and hard work does not get one rewarded. For students OR lecturers. (Ok, in the long term, yes; but not for now.)

  19. Suze

    My dentist is lovely but I see way too much of him. My back teeth are hopeless. Lots of bad dentistry and bone loss lead to some interesting situations. I have lost two teeth and have four crowns and am working on the fifth. I clean and floss etc but I am just so blessed with these problems. I feel for you I really do.
    Hugs to Ellie.

  20. Jo

    I ran into my RV while running in the rain with my hood on. broke my tooth. and had a concussion, that wasnt fun. Also right now I am trying to sort and pack my RV, leaving the rest to be packed by the army. Its a huge pain. Lastly, we have to spend more money than we actually have in order to move to Ak, then the army will pay us back. How do we arrange that one???

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