After a couple nights of wake-you-up-mid-sleep pain, I called and scheduled a root-canal on what I *think* is the problem tooth. I had it done at 11:00 yesterday.
And ya know what? it was - get ready - easier than getting my crown put on. Yes, that's right, I said easier.
I have a theory that the people who say "root canals are TERRIBLE!" are really just remembering all the pain they were in prior to the root canal, because let me tell you, once Dr. Rush numbed me up, I could have fallen asleep. It was the first time in DAYS I hadn't felt my mouth throbbing.
Ok, now all the poking and prodding was no picnic. It's not like I'd sign myself up for another one tomorrow just to fill some free time, but it was NOTHING like the horror stories I've heard, and very much like the few no-nonsense stories some friends and family members have told me. I did choose to go to an endodontist (a root-canal specialist) and that may have made a HUGE difference in my experience, but I don't have anything to compare it to.
For those of you who have had the procedure done in the past, yes, I did have to have "interpulpal" numbing (numbing inside the tooth), which is typically the most painful part of a root canal but I have to say it was no big deal. She said "I'm going to count to three and the in-tooth numbing will be over". And it was.
Remember back up at the top where I said I *think* it was the tooth that was so bothersome. Well, I still do, but there is a possibility that the one next to it is also problematic. I'm trying, for now anyway, not to borrow tomorrow's troubles by thinking about it. The whole area is rather sore, and I'm on a good deal of Ibuprophen to take care of all that gum-tissue pain that is expected with any invasive dental work, so we'll see how it all feels after I stop taking Advil in a few days.
For now though, everything in my mouth feels MUCH better. Whether I need more work or not, this feels like a great improvement. Granted, I haven't chewed anything on that side yet, and I'm quite hesitant to touch my top and bottom teeth together (although part of that may be because I'm scared that it will hurt and prove that I need more work done) but I'd consider the procedure a grand success.
So, thanks for your prayers everyone, it was no fun, but it's over for now!
I'll post a picture of my tooth x-ray for you to ogle at when I get time.