I had a checkup this morning for a January root canal. The picture on the left (which is actually pre-op despite the label) shows a black area which is infected bone above the tooth, basically just under my nose. The years of grinding wore away enough tooth surface to allow bacteria in the nerve area (black vertical part of the tooth), which killed the nerve, and then the infection moved into the skull. I never felt any discomfort with this tooth or the infected area above it so it’s good that they saw it on x-ray and ordered the root canal before it became worse! Afterward, I took antibiotics, and this checkup was to make sure the area looked better or at least no worse. If it were worse, they would do some procedure which involves cutting away a flap of gum tissue and drilling into the infected area to directly treat it.
Needless to say, I was thrilled to see that the black area is now replaced with new bone growth (picture on the right), which means no further treatment. I added the red marks to show the same area on each x-ray. The white line in the after pic is the root canal treatment. The three white “teeth” on the left are crowns that have since been removed. I have 22 temporary crowns and six temporary veneers right now! There are no intact teeth left.
This was my third root canal. It should hopefully be the last one: all these crowns are necessary to prevent the rest of my teeth from dying the same way. I’ve lost track of the cost, but if you figure each crown or veneer is $1000, then add in the surgeries and root canals….. yikes.
Not bad for all fake teeth, huh? They’re custom temporaries. The six front teeth, both top and bottom, are each a connected set. I didn’t like them at first because they were so different from my real teeth, but now I’m used to them. The permanent crowns should be similar but not quite as “bulky.”