root root root for the home team
whirrrrr! "Um, Amy…" She paused. "I really don't like what I'm seeing here.""So wha do you thinh we sh…"
(It's hard to talk with all that equipment in your mouth.)
"Well, I've popped the filling out. When it broke, decay set in under it, and I've definitely drilled past the nerve at this point. It's definitely extending into the roots of your tooth." She wheeled around and considered last month's x-ray for a moment. "The problem is that your roots on this back molar are very, very curved. This tooth came in at a pretty steep angle…" She stared at the x-ray for a few moments and fell silent.
"Technically, it is possible to attempt a root canal on this tooth, but if this were my tooth and my decision, I probably would not do so. It would be an extremely tricky root canal, and one that I'm not equipped to do here. I'd have to send you to a specialist for it, and even he will likely tell you that he may get into the roots of the tooth and discover that it has to be extracted anyway."
"It needs to come out. In the end, it's the saner option."
"Can't say I'm surprised."
"Would you mind if I step outside for a moment and call Dr. Toney? I'm booked this afternoon, but I think he might be free. He's based out of the Arsenal and pinch-hits for me sometimes on emergency extractions."
(At this point I'm thinking, babe, I've got a back molar with a gaping hole in it - I'll agree to damn near anything at this point to make sure that the nerve in question is taken care of before the anesthetic wears off.) "Oh, sure. Give him a call and see if he's free."
A few minutes later: "I don't suppose you're free at four today?"
"Might as well get it over with. I'd like to have my usual Wednesday dinner with friends, even if I can't eat everything we make."
"Excellent. I'll give you some really long-lasting anesthetic, you go wrap up whatever you need to do today, and be back here in a few hours."
ETA to happy drugs: three hours.
(If ever there was a night to call me, tonight's probably it.)