The Pre-Thanksgiving Root Canal

*This is dedicated to the hygienist and Dr. Taito, DDS who were worried that I might use this experience in one of my “bits.”  I am.

First, some exposition:  For over a month I’ve had a wicked pain on the left side of my head.  Various doctors have prescribed antibiotics and pain killers to temporary results, but the pain always returned.  Then I thought the source of the pain might be an un-erupted wisdom tooth that, by laying low, avoided the fate of the other three which, after they were pulled, I turned into buttons for a rather Gothic cardigan. 

That suspicion took me to my wife’s dentist.  In a matter of moments he diagnosed the pain that had plagued me for weeks.  “Well, I don’t think it’s the wisdom tooth,” he said, “I think the problem is that you have an enormous cavity in that tooth right there.”  He pointed to the X-ray and a convex area of black among my mouth’s ghostly white, picket fence.  It was tooth #19; the “Robin Yount Tooth.”  He knelt down beside the chair.  “I think this is going to require a root canal.” 

My first cavity ever, and it required a root canal.

Now if you’re anything like me, just the term “root canal” is enough to make you break into a cold sweat.  I know it does me, despite the fact that I’ve never had one.  I considered asking if for another option like perhaps two .38 slugs to the back of the head, but the doctor assured me that he knew a great Endodontist (root canal specialist).

Two days later and one day before the most celebrated mouth holiday there is, I was to receive a root canal.

Here’s what it would look like if my mouth was a cartoon:

Anyway, on the day of the big procedure, I shaved my body smooth, and anointed it with goat’s milk and Lavender.  Then, I kissed my wife goodbye and drove to Dr. Taito’s office singing I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith.

When I arrived at the office, I checked in at reception.  I gave them my name and the staff became very furtive, like they were trying to get a look at me without looking like they were looking.  I felt a bit like Harry Potter when he first arrived at Hogwarts. 

Later, talking to the hygienist, I learned that some of the staff knew my name from WKLH and wondered if I was the same guy.  This is actually pretty common when people put a face to a radio voice.  (The strangest comment I ever received was:  “I thought you would be blond.”  How do you sound blond?)

When Dr. Taito came in, he informed me that he had done a Google search on me, and he seemed impressed by my prolific on-line presence.  Now, you’d think this would be a good thing, being recognized and all, but I immediately thought:  “Crap.  Now I can’t be a wuss.”

I mean, who wants to later be a character in the doctor’s story:

“So get this.  You know that Dylan guy from WKLH?”


“Total wimp.  Cried like a kitten.  We ran out of Novocaine; had to borrow more from another office.”

So every time they asked me if I was okay, I tried to wink like John Wayne…despite the fact that it would cause a single tear to roll into my ear.

Anyway, turns out that Dr. Taito and Advanced Dental Specialists are pretty incredible.  His chair-side manner was a lot like I imagine Oprah’s Dr. Oz.

So I’m finally on the mend.  For the first time in weeks, and on Thanksgiving Eve, I couldn’t be more thankful that I’m now pain-free.  Of course that could be because of the meds.  But I prefer to think that it’s because I’m spooning a unicorn in a chocolate hammock.

Did you know unicorns could purr?  Me neither.


There are 2 comments

  1. dave theune wrote

    I am glad you feel better!! I have had a root canal and felt relieved after it was over.

    On a different note, I just bought some Sprecher root beer and cream soda in L.A. I am so happy.

  2. Tooth pain could be a indication of many alternative things. It can be caused by inflammation of the gums, a pustule ( an infection that develops in the tooth root or between the tooth and gum ), a cracked tooth, a dislodged filling, or the commonest culprit, a hole. However, sometimes a toothache is due to something as straightforward as surrounded food between the teeth. The particles of food can irritate the gums and the pain can radiate into the surrounding teeth.

    Read More from Dentist in Finchley