- Snip -
of you who have read Book 1, you will recall that I had
rabbited on for a while about a brief uninvited guest of
dire unrelenting discomfort at the er, end, of the first
Book that is. If you hadn’t, basically I had become
stupendously bound in the outputs department because of
medical stupidity and almost lost my eyeballs for popping
out from the pressure.
I had a somewhat similar brief uninvited guest of dire
unrelenting discomfort during my third year at university.
Although completely unrelated to the dire um, end of things
in the first book, it did serve to put me into the dental
history books in an ever so slightest of ways.
University of BC had just opened a new faculty of dentistry
the year before in 1962. Since it was all new, the faculty
could choose just about any topic they wanted to do for
research. Among academics that was the, drool way to go. So
among other things, the department had decided to look in on
the still very experimental and still always popular
procedure of root canals.
family dentist was also on staff. He would do three days a
week at the university and two days at his practice just up
at Tenth and Sasamat Street not too far from where we lived.
His research was root canals and his patients were his lab
suggested I try a root canal on one of my back teeth, no
guarantees. Having nothing to loose but the tooth which was
otherwise already lost, I said “why not”. Probably the one
expression in the entire English language most people would
like to take back.
original root canal procedures were a very long and very
arduous process. Nothing like the streamlined long and
arduous procedures of today. Don’t forget it was through
guinea pigs like me that the streamlined long and arduous
procedures of today were eventually evolved.
couple of weeks he was about two-thirds of the way through.
After another two hour session of drilling with those little
twirly fingery things, he put in a tiny paper cone of
disinfectant, leaving just enough sticking up to grab onto
in the next session. Then he sealed the whole thing off with
a plaster cap.
reason it was taking so long was that at the time they still
didn’t have a clue to what the parameters of safety were for
infection. Don’t forget, these teeth nerves have a direct
connection to the brain nerves for no reason that anyone has
ever been able to figure out. So ‘better safe than sorry’
seemed to be a lot more prudent than ‘Hi guy, how was your
pabulum this morning, Here, let me wipe away some of that
drool’. So they were taking it a bit on the ultra
morning, I chomped too heavily on something which broke the
plaster cap, driving the hard little paper spike right down
into the open nerve sitting eagerly waiting at the bottom of
the tooth root. I went straight up in the opposite direction
through the roof of the house.
wasting a second trying to decide whether I should try and
tough it out or not, I went straight to the dentist.
Fortunately he was still on office mode. I ran into his
office with tears squirting out of the corners of both eyes
screaming, “umph umph umph”. He took one look at me and
asked if I’d jammed the spike into my nerve.
frantically mumbling, “umph, umph, umph”. He put me in the
chair and pulled the spike back up in no time, resealing the
cap. It subsequently went immediately into the procedural
record to always make sure the plaster cap after every
session is adequate enough to handle any um, hard biting
- Snip -