Friday, April 27, 2012

The gift of pain

Anyone read the book "the gift of pain"? I don't agree with some of its principles, but one thing I agree with it is that we need pain in our body to tell us something is wrong.
That is the principle applied by the dentist I saw.

Apparently, having pain in your tooth during the drilling process is a sign that the dentist is hitting near your tooth's root. Now, nobody's ever explained this to me in all my years of going to Dentists. All I knew is that you drill my tooth and it will hurt.
Hence a lot of dentists use painkillers to dull the pain for patient's comfort.
It turns out, according to the Dentist I recently saw, that is a shortcut that can do a lot of damage to your teeth later on. If the Dentist doesn't know he's drilling down into the root of the tooth, it is possible he may damage the root and kill the tooth. I never knew that teeth were alive in that way.
But apparently, you can heal a tooth if you don't damage the root of it. And that's what my dentist did.

He explained that a lot of dentists just treat cavities like a road pothole; you just drill down and fill the hole. according to modern dental science, that's a pretty sloppy way of healing your tooth. When dentists drill willy nilly and patients feel nothing, they may already be damaging you more than you know... thus necessitating the need for a root canal later on or a complete extraction and implant.

So he really encouraged me not to rely on the pain meds. You know, it turns out, the pain wasn't that bad when the dentist knows what he's doing. When you feel the pain coming, just tell him and he backs off knowing that if he drills further, he could be damaging the root of the tooth.

It's all fascinating new knowledge for me and I love it when I learn something new each day.


  1. Ha sorry pal. I at one time knocked the the needle out a dentist hand because he hit a nerve. The pain did not a thing for me except to avoid this person in the future. I was suppose to come back to take out the stitches ...never went back. LOL You have gusto and I admire you for that but most people want the meds. He can kill what ever he wants in my mouth but pain is not my friend. Signed....Miss probably toothless future.

  2. I hear ya. :)
    He does real good dental implants as well.

    The funny thing was... I was thinking we sort of developed this weird S&M relationship because he would back off whenever he got a reaction of pain. It's not that he would continue to grind on. That's the bad practice other dentists do.
    Another first was he put some medicine into the cavity and then covered it temporarily and told me to wait a month. In that month you can do whatever. But the medicine is supposed to remove infections and regrow a bit of the inner section.
    So a month later, I return for an encore.
    The temporary patch is removed and the permanent filling is installed.
    Anyway, yeah, the tooth is now nicely patched and healed now. Ready to go again. :)