On 31 August I went to my dentist to have a crown fitted. I had not been to see a dentist during my 4 years in Ireland and the tooth was too far gone for a lesser treatment. The x-ray showed only 1mm of enamel remained protecting the nerve at one spot.
Unfortunately, when fitting the crown the nerve seems to have been have been exposed and killed. This left me with an infection/toothache which got progressively worse. On my next visit the dentist confirmed that the root was now infected. Since my policy is to go for minimum medical interventions we decided to try a course of antibiotics first. He prescribed amoxicillin.
This suppressed the infection for a few days but the pain returned before I had even completed the course. The day before my next appointment I got a call to say that it was being cancelled and that the practice was closing for 2 weeks.
At this point, I made an executive decision and made an appointment to see another local dentist. Saw him a few days later and told my story. He took an x-ray to make sure nothing weird was going on and suggested that it would be best to allow the original dentist to complete my treatment. He prescribed some much stronger antibiotics (clindamycin) to relieve the pain.
I called my usual dentist and was given an appointment for the following week. The practice had been closed for only 1 week. When I went in I found that my dentist had had his own medical emergency and been taken to hospital to have an operation on his spine.
This time, we agreed that I needed to have an emergency root-canal. I came back 2 days later (on 13 October) and it was done. This was not a painful process but did involve an entire hour in the chair. I started a new course of clindamycin to kill off the infection.
Fortunately, I make a point of using weaker painkillers (paracetamol) so when I took ibuprofen just before the anaesthetic wore off it worked perfectly.
Last week, (on 21 October) I returned to my dentist who checked the tooth and confirmed that the infection had cleared up. I have to return at the end of November for another check.
Overall I am happy with my dentist and will continue to visit him. Although something went wrong with the crown, it is partly my own fault for not having the tooth treated earlier. Also, he did point out the risks beforehand.
The moral of this story is not to carry an infected tooth around with you for a month. It will mess you up!