Root canals and bike accidents: an unlikely pair

January 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm

IMG_4804.JPG In 2012, I experienced severe pain in my bottom right molar tooth. I went to the dentist and he said that it was infected and I would have to have a root canal operation. I had heard that root canals are one of the most painful operations, so I wanted to get a second opinion to make sure that it was the only option.

Another dentist looked at my tooth with a magnifying glass headset and said there was a hairline crack which explained how the tooth got infected. He said that the crack was likely caused by a severe impact. When I told him of my bike accident in 2010, he said that was almost certainly the reason for the cracked tooth.

Of course, it hadn’t been infected at the time of the accident and because there was no pain, it had gone undetected. Fortunately, the second dentist referred me to a third endodontist who performed a relatively painless root canal. Sadly, the tooth was too rotten to save, so it had to be removed, also pretty painless operation (no strings tied to doors).

I kept the tooth hoping that it would serve as evidence for the insurance company (didn’t want to lose the smoking gun!) but my insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of the root canal and tooth removal because they said it had to be reported within 48 hours of the accident.

So the moral of the story is if you’re in an accident and suspect you may have hit your teeth together, go to the dentist soon after to get them checked out. The same goes for tick inspection if you’ve been walking around in the woods. Take it from me – you don’t want to get lyme disease!