Tom's Art Gallery

Root Canal

Medium: chalk
Size: 11"x14"

I have a long and unpleasant dental history, after getting several teeth pulled for orthodontics as a child. The dentist pictured here was one I did not trust at all. After a routine filling, I found my tooth was very sensitive, and he informed me that in the process of getting the filling the nerve was accidentally hit and that I would need a root canal. He blamed it on my nerves -- he said that the nerve was too close to the surface. I'm more inclined to believe that it was his fault -- either he had been careless or maybe it was even purposeful. The root canal probably helped him pay for a nice vacation in Hawaii -- it hurt me especially because I didn't have dental insurance at the time.

During the root canal operation, I stared up at him, and this image froze in my mind. There's something quite disturbing about it all.

Okay, maybe I shouldn't blame it all on the dentist, even if my heart tells me otherwise. I have this explanation of the event from someone browsing this page:

"in many occasions the teeth have several projections called "pulp horns". These projections in particular can get pretty close to the surface and can be accidentaly exposed or "hit" during routine operative (fillings) procedures. Given that this particular tooth of yours had a previous restoration and that the tooth was very "sensitive" during this procedure I can certaintly assume that the nerve or pulp was already showing signs of irreversible inflammation and this tooth was bound to get Root Canal or an extraction no matter what."

Ouch! Even thinking about it makes my mouth sore.