Monday, August 6, 2007

2nd Chances

We call it the practice of dentistry for a reason.

Today I had the chance to see one of the very first root canals I did after dental school. If I had to guess, I would say it was my 20th root canal. My friend was traveling to Arizona from Washington, D.C., and needed a root canal on #14. I had completed the root canal on #15 in my AEGD residency following dental school. This gave me the unique opportunity to look back in time at my own development as an endodontist.

When I first saw #15 my thought was, "I did that?" My second thought was, "thank goodness for second chances". Since his flight out of town left in a few hours, we quickly got to work. #14 was diagnosed with an irreversible pulpitis & acute apical periodontitis. #15 was diagnosed as a prior RCT with phoenix abscess.

With my friend's help, I recalled the situation. He was a huge dental phobic, he arrived in tears, the tooth was abscessed, I was working without a microscope & I had less than 2 dozen root canals under my belt.

What a difference of few years of practice (several thousand RCTs) and a microscope can make. We were able complete the RCT #14 and retreat #15 easily.

I expect the periapical lesion on the MB root to heal and that my friend will have both of these teeth for a long time.

Thank goodness for 2nd chances!


Anonymous said...

Wow, that is fantastic. I found it funny in my budding career as a student that I looked at the first x-ray and thought, 'That doesn't look so bad...', after comparison to the new one I!

I also did this when I looked at the first dental school wax up compared to the last one I did after a year of school. "Practice of Dentistry' is right.

Anonymous said...

That is a very encouraging case for a final year dental student. I was really worry about my skill at this moment.LOL