Molar Update – 8 June 2011


TEETH INTO THAT_The temporary filling on my molar, until the next appointment in a fortnight.

It’s exactly a week since I saw my own dentist about my problematic molar (which started in the early hours of 29 May). Thanks to the antibiotics prescribed, and a fair amount of Nurofen too, the pain was almost totally gone by Saturday afternoon. However, the problem itself wasn’t, so I was booked in for a couple of root canal treatment sessions – one this afternoon, the other two weeks ahead of now.

So, at 1:30pm, Dad collected me from school and we drove to the Oakleigh surgery in Windsor. We got there a few minutes ahead of time, so I read the paper in the car and then brushed my teeth, before we were both invited through to the dentist’s room. I took a seat on the chair and the dentist quickly got to work.


She began by numbing the right of my jaw with a local anaesthetic, then made a hole in a piece of latex that was fitted to the tooth. This prevented the bugs that are naturally present in my mouth getting into the root canals while they were open and exposed – important, as that’s the whole point of root canal treatment: to clean a tooth that’s been infected by bacteria.

I was surprised by my own ability to keep calm. It’s no secret that I have somewhat of a nervous disposition when it comes to dental treatment, having had so much of it when I was younger. To take my mind off the sound of drills and tools picking at my defenceless molar, I used a trick that was first suggested when I was younger – listening to an iPod. I could turn the volume up when the sound became unnerving, and down when she needed to tell me to "open wider". When she asked "Is everything alright?" shortly after administrating the anaesthetic though, she was terrified by my lack of response. In fact, I just hadn’t heard her over the shuffling songs. (In fact, the ‘shuffle’ setting itself was interesting; one minute I’d be motionlessly raving to Dizzee Rascal’s Bonkers, the next I’d be enjoying the choir of Trinity College, Cambridge singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing!

Eventually (after about 45 minutes), the first session of this treatment was over, and I was free to leave. As the picture shows, they’ve put in a temporary filling, which they’ll make more permanent when I go back in a fortnight. Until then, I’m left with a slightly bizarre, messy-looking tooth – though perhaps that’s to make sure you go back and pay the hefty fee!

Again, I’ll keep you loyal band of blog-readers updated as my story continues.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.