This one comes as a mental prompt from gigiss who celebrated his first root canal today. Reading his story, I left him a comment that got rather unwieldy and turned into my first "Jett Story."
My first (and ojala only) root canal hit me at the tender age of 19 when I noticed my bottom line of teeth were getting knocked out of joint. We quickly (and correctly) surmised that my wisdom teeth must be pushing them and so we headed off to the oral surgeon.
Unfortunately after my x-rays he took one look at a bottom tooth and smugly declared, "That is a dead tooth. You're going to have to have a root canal."
This made me angry because:
1. I knew he had more money than God.
2. We had no insurance at the time and the last thing I or my parents needed was a root canal on top of 4 impacted wisdom teeth and yet...they HAD to come out! There was NO way I was going to let my beautiful straight teeth get messed up again!
3. I went to high school with his kids and they were total rich kid brats and the one my age got this girl pregnant and she left the school and he kept swaggering around. (which had nothing to do with the oral surgeon...I just didn't like him much because it seemed his oldest boy was acting like an unfixed neighborhood dog without any repercussions and my hard earned cash was going to this family, so there!)
So, off to the dentist who checked my teeth by putting a piece of ice behind each one...OW. Ow. Ow...and when he got to that particular tooth in question I willed myself to try to feel something...and sadly did not.
He told me he would have to do a root canal and pack the tooth.
I asked him, since the tooth was already dead, why did we have to do anything to it at all? He pointed out a dark splot on the X-ray by the roots of my bottom teeth and told me if they didn't clean that out it would spread to and kill all the rest of my lower teeth.
Root canal it is!
I have to say, for me, a root canal...after all the horror stories...it seemed almost a let down. They drilled a tiny hole at the back of the tooth (one of my lower front teeth) scraped for a really long time...fed some little plastic tubes down it, clipped them off and then filled and sanded the hole. It shows up like a white hot light on my x-rays now.
On my way out I asked the dentist what would even kill a tooth?
"Oh," he said sagely, "There are a lot of things that could...sometimes they get jostled...sudden impacts..."
Much earlier that year I foolishly was playing a pickup game of basketball with a bunch of people at the Institute at Weber State. There was one guy who was playing that really was out of control...even the guys were trying to give him clear berth, he played so aggressively and moronically.
I was under the basket trying to get a rebound when this guy (who could slam dunk) came flying out of the air, plucked the ball out of the air and continued on his "heading directly towards me" arc. His entire weight on his elbow came down on my face which spun me around and send me down to the floor.
I mercifully was knocked unconscious but my friends there said the first thing that hit the ground was my jaw.
I woke up not able to breathe for the blood in my nose...and I remember thinking dimly that the blood that was pooling IN MY GLASSES was stinging my eyes a little.
My friends dragged me off the court, took me to the bathroom and mopped me up and the guys kept on playing. And wouldja believe, this nutbar never even apologized?
I learned a valuable lesson that day. Never play with guys. I don't play co-ed games EVAAAAH...because you either wind up hurt or you don't get to play at all.
Anyway...as for what killed my tooth...that sudden impact to my jaw is the only thing I can think of...which ultimately led to my first canal.