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illustration of tooth

Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Did you ever know – I mean just KNOW – something was wrong with your body even though a doctor didn’t believe you? Well, for me it happened with my dentist.

I go to the dentist for a cleaning every six months and I’ve lost track of how many times I told him I had occasional pain in my lower back tooth when I bit down on it. He kept taking x-rays and telling me he couldn’t see anything. He poked around at the appointed tooth in an effort to reenact the pain, and when that was unsuccessful he asked me if I was sure that was the tooth that hurt. When I responded that no, his picking at my tooth didn’t hurt, and yes, I am sure that’s the culprit, he instructed his dental assistant to note in the file that we should keep an eye on it. Since I am so diligent about my dental visits and this happened several times, I am guessing this went on for about two years.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago when the pain transgressed from occasional to I can’t eat on that side of my mouth anymore, I became more insistent that something was wrong. This prompted another dose of radiation, which again showed nothing. Dentist Know-It-All finally admitted that an x-ray may not pick up a hairline fracture in a filling that large. He reluctantly agreed to remove the filling and investigate further. How thoughtful.

During the appointment this morning, it was clear he still had doubts. He kept hammering at my tooth to confirm it was the miscreant until at last he received affirmation when I cried out in pain. He felt better. How nice for him.

He removed the filling and lo and behold, found a fractured tooth exactly where the pain was. When he removed the filling, the tooth came apart. Apparently the metal was the only thing holding the tooth together. He congratulated me on pinpointing the source of my pain and exclaimed that it must have really been bothering me. I’m not an aggressive person, but let’s just say he was lucky that I was not in a position to verbalize my thoughts, grab those sharp instruments or raise my hands.

Know your own body. If something doesn’t feel right, remember that you’re the boss.

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