Just Being a Dentist

Yesterday was an interesting day at work. It was a day when I had to get some things done that I was struggling with. Some technical glitches like a broken root canal file and a difficult appliance to fit. Now this day could have been totally frustrating but it turned out to be a day well spent. I’m not one of those people that glibly say that I prayed and God fixed everything. I was working hard but I also know God is always there with me.

The root canal file broke the last time I was working on the tooth. So I had to tell the patient and get her back to attempt to get it out. The cutting edge of the file is embedded in the surface of the nerve chamber. (That is how we file away the surface to get a smooth cone shaped interior that will accept the filling and have it fit snuggly.) Then the file is turned, removing the interior surface leaving it smooth. Only this time the tip of file remained embedded in the dentin surface. It kind of blocks the canal when this happens and sometimes we just leave it and fill up to the broken file. This piece was broken right up in the entry to the canal so I couldn’t do that. It had to come out or else the tooth had to be removed.

I worked for awhile trying to get down past the file with no success. Then I got out this little gadget that produces ultrasonic vibrations and it worked. Out came the little piece of file just when I was about to give up and explain to the patient that I was going to have to take her tooth out.

You would think that would be the end of the story – no way! I had to finish the smoothing so the root canal filling would fit well. I picked up another file – the same size- Brand New so it shouldn’t break right? One single turn of the file and I was back to square one. Out came the ultrasonic gadget again and again it came out. A huge silent prayer of thanks went up to God on my part!

The appliance fit well too. Finally after two remakes! And I was able to help my locums dentist with a difficult extraction and show her an easier way. And the student learned a good lesson in not jumping to conclusions – took his time to diagnose a case that was difficult to sort out. So all in all it was a good day.

When I was in Vancouver, my cousin asked me if I really liked being a dentist. Yeah, there are some days when I love it – and not just the easy days when nothing goes wrong. I never have to work alone – God is always there. He made the stuff I work on so shouldn’t I expect a little help from Him when I need it!

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