This tooth has been bothering me for awhile and I finally called the dentist about it. After asking me some questions, he referred me to an endodontist, who I saw this morning.
Endodontists specialize in root canals and other procedures involving tooth pulp and root tissues. And let me tell you, those guys DO NOT mess around. I thought I was going in for a consultation and assessment. He took an x-ray, talked to me for a minute, and BAM!, we were doing a root canal.
He shot me up generously with novocaine and went to check on the at-least-two-other patients he was working on simultaneously while his assistant prepped me with a latex shield, tooth isolator thingy, and rubber wedge to hold my mouth open. Then he went to work and it was over in what seemed like no time.
While I lay there pondering the history of dentistry, trying to ignore the burning smell and drill sounds coming from inside my mouth, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to live in an age of analgesics. The tooth pain before had been horrible, so much so that I had started taking my leftover C-section prescription painkillers for it. It was impossible to imagine the pain of what he was doing to the tooth now, without something blocking it. I vowed to come home and learn the name of the saint that invented novocaine. It's Alfred Einhorn (1856-1917), a German chemist. Words can't say how much I appreciate him.
So I've decided to take action. I hereby declare June 10 Alfred Einhorn Day. Traditional celebrations include eating soup and milkshakes, visiting or at least hugging a dentist, and a lot of lopsided smiling. Happy Alfred Einhorn Day to you all.