Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Root Canal is a cruise...

..... and I can't help saying that. Monday, I had my first root canal treatment experience.

The general update that I have received from friends about root canal treatment is that it is a painfully traumatic experience. Last year, after all the praises on my dental health, the dentist informed me politely that I needed one root canal treatment. I was mortified. All the horrific stories that I had heard from my mother, my friends and more recently SH came rushing in. I did not want to see the dentist anymore and kept cursing the last dentist, back in India, who was responsible of this calamity. Five years ago, I had two of my teeth treated and instead of of the expensive enamel filling I opted for silver filling. That was the wrong decision. One of the filling came off two years later. That tooth went from bad to worse and now I needed a root canal. I never had the time and reason to go to the doctor once I came here for my Masters. I had a student medical insurance which did not cover dental and eye care. They were not compulsory insurances and I never purchased them.

With marriage come expectations and insurances. House, fire, earthquake, life but the one that absolutely eats our paycheck is the medical insurance. The first year of our marriage we visited a doctor maybe once. But during tax season when I realized how much we were donating away to the medical insurance guys, I was flabbergasted. Firstly, I changed the health plan from PPO to POS. Because, SH put his foot down against the HMO plan. POS was not so bad and since the Stanford Hospital is so close to our house, I was sure we had good medical personals close in our hands. Our family doctor was picked from Stanford. And the one complimentary dental inspection was done at someplace that was within the medical group.

This year we changed our plan to PPO once more because SH pleases so. Under the PPO plan, you get to pick the best of doctors and dentists, of your own preference, anywhere within US. SH did the picking and we went. The dentist did his routine check up and asked me to see a endodontist. I had never even cared to know that dental surgeons who specialize on root canals are known as "ENDODONTIST". All the horrific stories that I had heard came rushing in. When I told Ma about my oncoming root canal date with the surgeon, her 5 seconds pause followed by cooing sympathies were enough to shake my roots (no dental puns intended!!).

But, I kept repeating that it will not be difficult for me and it wasn't. In fact it was like a dream. The doctor was more like a Resort Spa masseur than a Doctor. I don't think the doctor would like this comparison but I cant get a more apt comparison. I was about five minutes late for the appointment. So they made me comfortable on the dentist's chair and then gave me the required compulsory forms to fill. It looked and felt more like I was their for a facial rather than a root canal. The X-rays we taken by the assistant. I have a tiny mouth and so x-rays of my back tooth are always uncomfortable. Once we got over with that and the form fill ups. The doctor came in. He asked me the usual questions if my teeth were sensitive? My last dental visit? How long before I knew about my cavity. And I told him the story of my filling, falling off and my consequent visit to him.The doctor made me very comfortable as I told him about all the painful stories I had heard. He assured me that root canal is not painful and I must let him know. The doctor gave me two injections. After waiting for 15 mins for the anesthesia to take effect the doctors started the process. For the next 40 min I just sat there and it was a cruise. At one point I just closed my eyes and was on the verge of dosing off. I woke up only because of the laughable thought that I was actually relaxing while a root canal was taking place on none other but me.

What an experience!

In the end doctor told me, you have been a wonderful patient and I said, no you are just awesome. Of course he found it funny. I came out to the reception area and SH looked critical,. He couldn't believe I was laughing and talking to the doctor, the assistant, the receptionist. He wanted to see my tooth and make sure that work was done. The doctor came to assure SH that root canal is not that bad.

And then I looked at the bill. The bill for my one root canal was enough to buy me a round trip ticket to India and back on Singapore Airline, Economy. Good that about 80% will be paid by the insurance. And even better that we had decided on having a annual medical account. SH told me that he had paid less than half of the amount on his root canal some 4 years back and that experience had made him averse to dental routines. I had not a single painful second. SH seemed more shocked than relived. He was so shocked that he asked me to drive his green car.
Even after the anesthesia wore off I did not feel pain. I was allowed to eat anything and no restrictions..
Quite uneventful and comfortable can that be said about root canal? Yes, I can.

Is there anyone out there who agrees with me?


chandni said...

ugh ugh

haven;t got one ever and wish to God I don't have to.

just the idea sounds painful!

Spontaneity and Afterthoughts said...

Haha!! I know... everyone will agree with you. My experience was different, so had to jot it down.
Thanx for coming by.