Like Pulling Teeth

Getting myself to do some things is like pulling teeth…or having a root canal. I was told by my dentist (who conveniently happens to be my mother) that a tooth that I thought was just sensitive is going to need a root canal.

I don’t like the idea of root canals. I used to help out in my mom’s dental office when I was a girl, and I would prepare the little kits with all the different needles set up in a certain order. Some patients were comfortable letting me watch the process, and believe it or not, I held a mirror in front of my mom while she gave herself a root canal!

Why do I need a root canal? I take great care of my teeth brushing with an Oral-B ProfessionalCare SmartSeries 5000 with SmartGuide Electric Toothbrush and flossing twice a day. I don’t eat many of the foods dentists say to avoid (crunchy ice cubes, chewy caramels, and hard candies) and I do eat the foods that are supposed to help keep your teeth clean (raw fruits, veggies, and sugarless gum–chew, not eat of course). Apparently other factors play in and regardless of my healthy dental habits I’m still on the roster for this dreaded procedure.



There’s lots of things in life we don’t ask for, and there are more things I’m finding that we have less control over than we think. If you have high blood pressure even though you manage your stress, control your sodium intake, and exercise, you still may need further interventions. If your body is susceptible to “quick and easy” weight gain, you may need to pay more attention to what you eat and how much you move than others.

I think what I’m trying to say is what I always dreaded hearing my parents say after some shedding of tears, whimpering, and protests is true: “Life isn’t fair”.


So now that we’re admitting that the harsh reality is indeed reality, what are we going to do about it? Am I going to refuse treatment because I shouldn’t have an infected tooth after all my TLC twice a day over the sink? Will you avoid offers of help and healing because you didn’t ask for this problem in the first place and have even taken preventive measures? Or will you, however reluctantly, reach out for what you need regardless of shoulds, shouldn’ts, and breaches of fairness?


I don’t wanna but I’m getting a root canal today. At least I get to keep my teeth.




What have you been putting off? What hidden decay or infection needs to be taken care of whether that involves pulling teeth or not?

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There are 2 comments

  1. Kelly Lehmann

    I put off a root canal for a long time, then ended up needing an emergency procedure when I was 20 weeks pregnant. My son is now four and no long term effects, but lying on my back/side for two hours with my mouth open was not great halfway through a pregnancy!

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