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Last December I began to get a sore throat on the left side, also my face began to swell up on the left side too. I had not long attended the dentist so did not think it could be my teeth because I had no pain. The doctor said it was an infection in the ear, nose and throat department and gave me antibiotics, I did think at the time it was strange that only one side of my face was swollen. However after four more visits to the doctor and antibiotics each time, with odd days off work - up to March of this year the swelling kept coming back. I also experienced hot sweats of which the doctor insisted was the menopause. I began to get very run down in my health.
Easter - My husband and I decided to get away from the rat race by taking our caravan to a remote spot in the country, a little field in the middle of nowhere with no facilities. Easter Saturday evening BANG-BANG-BANG in my mouth the pain came with a vengeance. I had to telephone my daughter at home to find the local emergency NHS from our internet connection at home. They gave me a dentist twenty miles away to telephone in the morning. Hours of pain later - which pain killers would not stop - the dentist informed me I needed root canal treatment he offered to do it there and then and described to me what he would do. Drill through a bridge and extract the pulp and nerve. He also suggested that by taking a course of antibiotics - two varieties the pain would ease - rather than using a strange dentist I opted for the tablets and they did what he said.
What is root canal treatment?
The blood or the nerve supply to the tooth becomes infected as in my case it became an abscess and caused a lot of infection and pain. The dentist removes the pulp generally it is not very painful and can be worked
on under a local anaesthetic. The dentist prefers to do this treatment rather than removing a tooth although the treatment does take a long time. I found out later that some of my family who live in affluent areas have actually paid up to £500 for this treatment.
Finally at home I went to the dentist and began the treatment . As I was sitting in the dentist's chair with various equipment sticking out of my mouth the dentist informed me that I would have to pay partly private for the treatment. I gasped inwardly thinking of the cost and what my tormentor would do if I shook my head at that stage. So I just blinked and thought oh dear! I'll argue later if it is too expensive.
Finally she pulled this red wormy looking thing from my tooth and dangling it in front of my eyes told me that it was the blighter causing me all that pain. Then she squirted disgusting liquid in my mouth which made my tongue go numb - it is a kind of bleach. Treatment finished and the cost of £147 paid.
However I still did not feel quite right my 'menopausal' sweats stopped after the root canal which made me think perhaps it was the infection which had caused the sweats. I still had some niggles in the gum especially when I exercised; I had read that this can be common though so I did not think too much about it.
For other reasons I also attend Oral Surgery at the local hospital. Two months after completing my root canal treatment I had an appointment the hygienist said I had a problem with the tooth,I had an x-ray. The X-ray showed that my dentist had only removed half of the nerve and that I still needed root canal treatment and that it could flare up at any time and could cause me untold pain. She told me that if my dentist could not finish the work I may have to have Oral surgery and have the bone cut to remove the nerve. The hospital was most surprised by the poor workmanship of my dentist and wrote a letter to her. I did not know whether I would have to pay for the treatment again. When I went back to the dentist the receptionist assured me I would not have to pay and booked me in for an appointment.
The dentist at first almost denied it was the tooth she had worked on I argued that as I have only ever had one root canal it had to be the one. She quoted numbers of teeth and I quoted pain and the hospital letter, finally she agreed with me and began the work. To begin she anaesthetised my mouth and removed the filling that she had previously put in the bridge and then with a tiny metal file, which looks like a pin, she began digging and scraping around in my tooth. Half an hour she scraped and toiled on this tiny tooth she was complaining that it is not easy to 'redo' a root canal. What could I say with a mouthful of instruments and her hand in my mouth?
Nearly one hour after sitting in the chair she announced it was finished. Later my face was swollen on one side as if I had an orange in my mouth. The pain for the next few days was indescribable - once again I was on antibiotics and other drugs she had given me and also told to take pain killers. I went to work but was in so much pain I had to go back to the dentist two days later. My mouth was so numb that when the dentist yet again injected the local anaesthetic into my gums I did not even feel the needle. The problem she said was the filling, the tooth still needed to drain and if by chance the tooth did not settle she informed me it may need extracting. At the time I did not think about the consequences of that as I have a bridge over that tooth and no doubt that would have cost me a lot of money to have it replaced. Out came the filling and I was sent home rattling like a medicine bottle, a face as large as a pumpkin and feeling totally worn out.
Unbeknown to me the drugs started to have an adverse effect on my body, not only that I could not eat a proper diet as I could hardly open my mouth. I then got chronic constipation. I have never been constipated like this in my life and believe me it frightened me - a whole tin of prunes and gallons of water nothing would work. So I had to be examined (not nice) and given medication for both ends of my body and I had to come off the other tablets for the pain. Then I had pains in my stomach which the doctor put down to an infection and hence more antibiotics. I lost half a stone in weight in a week and was incredibly tired sleeping for hours on end. The doctor told me it was a combination of all the drugs and the fact I could not eat properly. Last week I went back for the final treatment once again poking and scraping with the metal file, I was aware that the dentist's assistant was burning something it seemed she was using something like a Bunsen burner and I was aware of smoke coming from my mouth as the dentist placed something in it- needless to say my tongue shifted rather quickly to the opposite side of my mouth then it was time for the bleach she was very careful with it this time and seemed to use rather a large amount. Touch wood everything is okay in the tooth department now. I am still very aware of my diet and I ended up convalescing for two weeks from work. I still do not know why or how this tooth became infected it just started with a sore throat I was becoming ill over several months with no pain in my tooth whatsoever. I cannot believe that one tooth can cause so much pain and illness.