I never thought the day would ever come that I would want to throw a “welcome home” party for my dentist. However, as he gets back to his office today after a late summer vacation, I will be the person who will be happiest to see him.
A week ago Saturday morning, I was awakened about 5am with a horrible toothache. I really had no advance notice that it was coming. My tooth had felt a little uncomfortable earlier that evening. I brushed and flossed and headed to bed. All day long Saturday the pain continued. It would come in waves…about every 5-7 minutes and the pain would last about 30 seconds. As the day passed on, the waves of pain came sooner, lasted longer and grew in intensity. If I didn’t know any better I would have told you that my mouth was in labor and that I was about ready to give birth to a molar or bicuspid.
By Saturday evening, the pain continued and I noticed that the tooth was turning a grayish color. I was now beginning to realize that this was not going to be a normal toothache. I got very little sleep due to the waves of pain that kept coming and found myself in at the office even earlier than usual on Sunday. Preaching during the first service that Sunday was literally excruciating. Every few minutes I would get hit with severe, throbbing pain and I would have to try to not show it while at the same time attempting to focus on what I was saying. By the way, what was I saying that Sunday?
After I got done preaching first service I went straight to my office to call my dentist and see if there was a way I could track him down. The answering machine at his office told me that he was out of town and would not return for over a week. Just my luck! He did leave the name of another dentist who was on call for emergencies. I was now officially calling this an emergency. I was able to call this dentist at home, catching him right before he was leaving for his church. I told him of my symptoms and he informed me that it sounded to him as if the nerve in my tooth had died. He went on to say that the treatment would probably be a root canal, and if that didn’t work, an extraction of the tooth and a bridge replacing it. He went on to tell me that the greater problem was the obvious infection that could spread to my other teeth and into my jawbone.
The dentist was kind enough to call in a prescription for me for an antibiotic and gave me verbal instructions on the doses to take immediately. I was appreciative of the time he spent with me on the phone. He told me that it would take a good three days before I would notice a difference and that the pain would get worse during those three days. He sure was right about the pain getting worse. He then told me that he would be praying for me during the second service that God would honor me as I preached the Word in spite of the pain. He then said that I should get into my dentist as soon as he got back so that he could decide if he would deal with my tooth or send me to a specialist. This Monday my dentist returns. Believe me, I can’t wait to see him. The only pain that may be worse than what I have been feeling may be the one I will feel all the way down to my wallet and credit cards when I see the final dental bill! Welcome back, Doc!