Sunday, January 22, 2006

Of Root Canal and Cavemen

I’m on almost 180’ recliner and I don’t feel any bit comfortable.

In the past month or so, I have been having pain in my teeth. I could feel a crater had formed in the last molar on the bottom jaw and that had slowly started causing pain. The pain has not been acute, but it was always there to the extent it had become an irritant and kept gnawing. For the first time in my life, I had visited the dentist and she had said that my tooth is as good as gone and the decay has set in to the root and touched the nerve and hence I need the root canal treatment.

Hence, I’m here today reclined most uncomfortably in the dentist with a masked and gloved dental surgeon sternly poring over me, with the spotlight blinding me. In front of me was an assortment of needles, hooks, scalpel, injectors – it looked surreally part and I felt I was the recipient of an inquisition. First she ordered my mouth wide open, studied the situation with a grave disposition and then she set out to work; and did she set out to work… For the next 30 minutes, it was a combination of filing, drilling, gnawing, excavating and all that. Just a bit of digression: apparently every tooth has two nerves in them and they go to the root of the mouth. They are quite sensitive. She was successful in excavating one of the nerves; the other one seemed to hold its nerve against the invasion, which is not good news for me. Every time it was touch by the instruments, there used to be this pain – it is not searing and it is not big – but a pain that encompasses the whole jaw, more like an wholesome pain. For me, during the process, the anticipation of pain rather than the actual pain itself was more painful. She seemed to have the process set-up: drill, excavate, file and return to process – I joked with her, amidst pain, that if she drilled any further, she might even strike oil. I’m sure she enjoyed the joke behind the mask!! This went on for about 40 minutes, during which she realized that local anesthesia might actually be helpful and administered it.

Now, I’m still on the recliner and she picks up the drill one more time – I saw apparitions of Dr.Torturer in “True Lies” and I fantasized that I was Arnold Schwarzenegger. At that point in time, she had broken me completely – I was ready to confess to things that no one knew about me; Heck, I was even willing to concede that I was the second gunmen in the grassy knoll on Nov 22nd 1963. It is in such a state of mind that she had brought me into, when she declared that we were done. I had no idea about that, anyways; Firstly, after the 45 minute drill, I was ready to believe whatever she had said and two I didn’t feel a thing or the pain, since the anesthesia had taken hold of my right side of the face.

As I exit the clinic, I wonder what would have our predecessors and forefathers have done in such a predicament – I’m talking about the cavemen. I picture that scene in my mind: A cavemen in pain with a tooth that needs a root-canal treatment. He goes out to men-only community gathering (called a stag party these days) party around the fire. Downs a lot of liquor (general anesthesia); gets into a scrap with the right person (designated dentist), gets socked across the jaw, loses couple of tooth (general extraction of painful tooth and a couple of others, that could have possibly caused a problem in the future) and finally gets clubbed over his head and loses consciousness (post-operative tranquilization). And when he wakes up in the morning, he probably has a hangover and has no recollection of the root canal treatment.

Let us see the argument on both sides here. On one side, we have the scientific method of filing, drilling, extracting, and so on and so forth. Ranged on the other side are liquor, scrap, stupor… Hmmm, let us see which the preferred option is…

I believe this is a true true example of where civilization sucks!!!

7 comments:

ramesh said...

cavemen were probably more immune to the pains and could bear it easily than the karate black belts who need root canal treatment :)

Anonymous said...

With the amount of natural raw food eaten by cavemen i wonder if any of them ever experienced toothache :)

Tyler Durden said...

G, I told you that you were becoming a fossil ;-) .. see, they are already drilling and excavating .. hehehe ..

EnGeetham aka "My Song!" said...

4Tyler: Atleast they have value in excavating this fossil ! :)

The Soliloquist said...

Good one.. RCT does make one profound!! i guess its more of a spiritual experience that a dental one..

k said...

So did she manage to find any oil? The reclining chair and the drilling seem to bring out the humour in you. You should try this out more often ;-). 'No writer's block' guaranteed 32 times, sorry make that 31. ;-)

EnGeetham aka "My Song!" said...

4Sol: Yes, there was a quote on dental being a mental one by someone sometime ago... memory eludes me now...

4K: No, thank you. If thats the only I am to find humor in life, i'll rather by a dry humorless person.