Friday, January 14, 2011

The end of root canals

It dawned on me the other day that I have only been to the dentist’s office three times in the last two years+ and each time it was for a routine teeth cleaning visit. 

What a pleasant change that is.  Time was – not so long ago – when I had root canal treatments about as regularly as an avid runner buys a new pair of trainers.  I have so many root canals my dental X-rays look like the Mississippi Delta. One – the only? – good thing to come of this is that I found an excellent endodontist in the process. The guy is an artist -  I experience almost no pain - and he is fast.  In fact I put a stopwatch on him once – with his knowledge – and he finished off a simple one-canal treatment in about 20 minutes.   It takes rather longer to do the complicated treatment associated with molars which may have as many as four channels.  The piped classical music helps – nothing like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to make you forget that your jaw has been splayed open for 40 minutes plus… Fortunately there is no mirror so I can’t see my Hannibal Lecter–like reflection in it.  The doc and his assistant get paid to enjoy that dubious pleasure.

Which brings me to the downside to being on first name basis with an endodontist.  The money, as in plenty of mine becoming his. Endodontists don’t work for peanuts. They work for Chateau Margaux.  Let’s face it, I've paid several installments on Dr. Zamani’s Maserati. No kidding.  That is what he drives. And for what it is worth – he uses all Zeiss equipment to peer into those microscopically small channels inside my teeth.  Nothing like the best.  He also calls every time afterwards.  Better than I've managed with some old girl friends.

All of this begs the question as to why my teeth have suddenly become happy with their situation, compared with earlier years when they would regularly rebel about having to accompany me everywhere.  Couple of things come to mind, the one being regular flossing – literally every day – which I only started doing about 3 years ago.  Thanks to Christine (for a while our family’s dental hygienist of choice) for getting me on the right path.  

 Also I think that as a total percentage of my diet, I am consuming far less refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and processed flours.  Beans and chickpeas and brown rice and other whole grains as well as vegetables and fruit have largely replaced the pies, cakes, rich sauces and many other culinary ‘culprits’ (puff pastry!) which probably contributed to my previously poor dental health record.  Well, it is never too late to make a change for the better.  Sorry Dr. Z, you might have to settle for a Benz the next time around.


Amy said...

Glad for you! I also think a healthier diet definitely makes for healthier teeth and gums - not just that you are eating less sugar and refined carbs but at the same time you are eating more fruit and veg and all those antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that benefit as well! It's definitely a win-win situation!

Lily on the Road said...

Yikes, why did I drop in on a post about dental hygiene, when I am in fact just waiting to hear from my dentist about gum restructuring and some long overdue filling replacements.

The healthy diet we both follow can only do so much vs Mother Nature and natural is all good, better than the dental work done in the 1500's....