Teething troubles

I went to the dentist this afternoon for a regular check up.

As expected, most of my teeth are in good shape.  However, the one with a filling is continuing to cause problems.

I first started getting problems with this tooth just over a year ago when it suddenly started to ache.  At the time I wasn’t registered with a dentist and hadn’t been for several years ever since my previous dentist had gone private and I’d been unable to find another NHS dentist with vacancies.  This sudden toothache gave me the impetus I needed to renew my search for one, which had lapsed somewhat, and I managed to find one (in my own town, no less) who agreed to put me on his waiting list.  Because it was unlikely that I would actually get to book an appointment for several months, I was advised to contact NHS Direct for emergency dental treatment to take care of my toothache.  I did this and had a temporary (or semi-permanent, as I think it was officially called) filling put in by another dentist further along the coast.

When I finally did manage to get onto the books of my local dentist and have an appointment, he did a routine x-ray of my teeth and discovered a big hole in my tooth hiding behind the filling.  Although the tooth wasn’t actually hurting me at all at the time, I took the dentist’s advice to have the filling removed and replaced with a permanent one.

That was last November and the tooth has mostly been fairly well behaved since then although I did start getting some pain in it shortly after Christmas, which prompted an emergency appointment with my own dentist.  He put some kind of varnish on the tooth, gave me some sample tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste to use and told me to come back if the problem persisted for more than a few days.  Fortunately the Sensodyne seemed to do the trick and I didn’t need to go to see the dentist again until my routine check-up today (which had been brought forward to 6 months from the last one, instead of a year, since I’d had the filling).

I mentioned to the dentist that I’d noticed a slightly sharp corner on my filled tooth and he took a look at it and said that the filling and the tooth itself were both slightly broken.  Apparently this means that the filling needs to be replaced so that decay won’t set in again behind it.

The bad news is that it means I have to go back for another filling in about 3 weeks’ time.  The good news is that, because the first filling is less than a year old it’s still under warranty and I don’t have to pay to get it replaced.

Last time, when I had the temporary filling replaced by the supposedly permanent one in November, it was my first time under the dentist’s drill (and with the attendant injection etc.) so I experienced a certain amount of trepidation due to the uncertainty of what to expect.  This time I know just how uncomfortable it is (I wouldn’t describe it as particularly painful but it’s certainly not what I’d call a pleasant experience) and I’m not sure whether that makes it better or worse.

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