Well, after suffering through most of the weekend with a bad tooth ache, relief was achieved today. I have to say, I was initially unimpressed with 'emergency' side of Willamette Dental. Things got bad enough that at about noon on Sunday, I tried using the automatic appointment scheduling phone number to get an actual live person. It said to touch '3' for a dental emergencies...which did get me a live person...but it was just an answering service, where a nice lady took my name and number, and said she would forward them onto the Richland office for Monday morning.
After that though, my impression of Willamette went way up. I got a call at 6:40 this morning, a full 20 minutes before the website said their phone line opened up. After asking a few questions to decide if I was really an emergency(how much pain was I in? My truthful answer was that it only hurt if I opened my mouth to eat, drink, talk or breath...and then for the 20 minutes afterwards.), they asked if I could make it in by 9am.
I was there at 8:45, at which time I was handed the usual stack of forms to fill out...but before I could even finish, I was whisked back to get my X-ray done, so they could see what was wrong with me, and then sat right down into a chair for the dentist to take a peak, and ask a few questions. It turns out the problem was something that had been at least half expected. A year or so ago, I had a deep cavity on one of my molar's. At the time, the dentist had asked if I wanted to try to go the normal drill/fill route, or if I wanted to jump right to a root canal. The negative with the normal route was that there was a potential that some of the cavity might get missed, leading to exactly the problem I now had...a decaying nerve causing pain, pain, PAIN.
At that point, things moved fast...the dentist asked me the right questions: are you on any medicine, are you allergic to anything? and then had the assistant give me a shot of Novocain to start numbing me up. I would like to say the needle in my gums was the worst part of the day, but I had already gone through that. During the x-ray process, I had to bite down on the X-ray plate to hold it in place...and it was at that point that I realized how much I had already been favoring the left side of my jaw. Biting down on that x-ray plate just about caused me to faint it hurt so bad.
I was back out of the dentist office in less than an hour, and as I sit here typing this, the only thing in my mouth that still hurts is the two holes that the assistant put in my gums to put the Novocain in there. The difference is like night and day...and amazing. I'm very much looking forward to a good nights sleep tonight.