Recently, my regular dentist said I needed a root canal on one of my front teeth. My two front teeth had suffered trauma 46 years ago, when I slipped on the ice and chipped one of them. Many years ago I had a root canal done on the chipped, front tooth and now I needed one done on the other front tooth.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I can now recommend that if your dentist says you need a root canal to go to a specialist – a specialist in Endodontics. I did and it was very beneficial in many ways. I remember what the root canal was like many years ago, which was done by a regular dentist, compared to the root canal I recently had.
The Specialist in Endodontics I recently went to in Tucson, Arizona to do the root canal was Dr. Oscar M. Pena. He is located at 1605 East River Road – west of Campbell Avenue, Suite 151, in the River Park Professional Plaza. His telephone number is: 520-299-6662 and his website is: www.ompendo.com. My regular dentist recommended him and Dr. Pena only takes patients by referrals.
I remember years ago having the root canal done on one of my front teeth, by a regular dentist, was very traumatic for me. It was like outpatient surgery that left me in a painful and stupefied state. I remember needing pain killers afterwards and being uncomfortable for days. From that day on, I always dreaded the need for another root canal. Luckily, in the past 46 years, I never needed another one until now. One can only imagine, based on my previous experience, how afraid I was to have another root canal. I knew it needed to be done, so I had to face my fears and make the appointment. I canceled the first appointment I made and kept the second one.
The day came for me to go to Dr. Pena’s office and I left home early enough to avoid adding to my stress. As soon as I entered Dr. Pena’s office his receptionist was very nice and made me feel comfortable. I had printed and filled out their new patient forms from their website, so all I needed to do was sign a few of them. Since I was about 30 minutes early, the receptionist chatted with me as I waited in the sitting area. I asked her how long the root canal would take and she said, “About 45 minutes.” Before I knew it, it was time for me to go into the examining room. I was quickly greeting by Dr. Pena’s assistant and as she prepared me in the dentist’s chair, she informed me of everything that was going to be done. She took x-rays of my front teeth with a high-tech x-ray machine, which was so easy and painless, compared to the usual dental x-ray films regular dentists put in your mouth. If you have had previous experiences with those as I have, sometimes when they are put in your mouth and you have to bite down, the plastic pinches your gums and the interior of your mouth, leaving under the skin blood spots. After the x-rays were taken, Dr. Pena’s assistant then showed them to me on a big computer screen. I was amazed at this modern technology too, as I compared it to those little x-ray films dentists hold up to the light, or view on a lighted slab. Dr. Pena then confirmed from another room that I did need a root canal.
As Dr. Pena’s assistant got everything ready for the root canal, she handed me a binder full of movie DVDs to pick one from, so I had something to watch while Dr. Pena did the root canal. She put a comedy with Jennifer Aniston on for me. My favorite radio station was also playing softly in the background. The assistant then injected my mouth with Novocain and Dr. Pena came in to introduce himself. He was very nice and spoke to me about what he saw on the x-ray. While they prepared themselves for the root canal, I watched people outside, as they passed by the window. The dental assistant then gave me sun glasses to wear so the examining light wouldn’t bother my eyes and she put some sort of paper protector around my mouth which went up to my nose and she also placed cotton under the inside of my upper lip. Dr. Pena then put a clamp on my tooth to isolate it, so he could access it easier. I saw all the different size needles on a metal tray that they would be using for the root canal. For some reason I felt very relaxed. I think it was because of the kindness and ease emitted by Dr. Pena and his assistant. Dr. Pena then proceeded to do the root canal and I was very comfortable during the whole painless procedure. Dr. Pena and his assistant often asked me if I was okay during the procedure, which I was. I couldn’t believe how fast the 45 minutes went by, when they both told me he was done. I sat up and said, “That was quick and easy.” It was! Dr. Pena’s assistant then took another x-ray to make sure all of the roots had been removed. Dr. Pena confirmed that they were.
Before I left the examining area, Dr. Pena’s assistant informed me of some post root canal dos and don’ts and she handed me a goody bag with a sheet in it of the same instructions. There weren’t many dos and don’ts except to take an over-the-counter pain medication if I have any pain, which I didn’t. Supposedly, if you don’t have any pain before the procedure you won’t afterwardsI could eat and drink anything, but I had to be careful about what I chewed with this front tooth since he put in a temporary filling. I was informed that my regular dentist would replace the temporary filling with a permanent one in 2 weeks. The dental assistant told to call if I had any problems and to come back in 6 months for a free, follow-up exam. I went into the receptionist’s area to pay my bill and I left.
That was it! In less than an hour I had a painless, easy, comfortable root canal.
Dr. Pena’s assistant called the next day to ask how I was doing and I said, “Excellent.” I was amazed that I had received a courtesy call.
Again I suggest that if you do need a root canal to go to a Specialist in Endodontics. They specialize in that area and very much know what they are doing. Dr. Pena’s assistant told me that he only does root canals and he does 6-8 each day. I felt confident and actions speak louder than words – Dr. Pena did an excellent job and made me feel very comfortable during the procedure. I couldn’t be more pleased with Dr. Pena and his staff.