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Survived a dental emergency while on vacation by myself in another city!



Nov 21, 2007
I hadn't been to a dentist in 6 years, my mouth had definite problems but being phobic I kept putting off treatment, which of course made bad situations worse and, well, as dental phobics you know how that works!

So anyway, I had an awesome 3-city, 10-day vacation planned! The first city was NYC, solo. Then I was meeting family in Boston, and then a friend in Chicago. I had planned this meticulously, was very much excited and looking forward to it, it was going to be the best vacation ever!

First stop, NYC. Checked into super nice Priceline-purchased hotel in Manhattan. Went out for a late lunch. Ended up at a mediocre restaurant, got a salad, it was fine, but as I bit into a carrot-- CRACK! Tooth shards, pain, disaster. And I was on vacation! By myself! In NYC! For all of two hours. And I had 10 days of vacation, it was a nightmare!

Somehow, I did not have a complete breakdown there in the restaurant. I retreated to my hotel and Googled like crazy. By perseverance and luck I found a very nice, very skilled, and (unfortunately for me!) very expensive dentist who was coincidentally just a half dozen blocks from my hotel. Even better, I called him up and he could see me immediately for consultation, he closed at 5 but would see me then. Despite being a nervous wreck, I was at the point where pain overrode fear and I went.

He was super nice. We talked, I cried, he outlined options. It was tricky as I was on vacation, but he wanted to help and was very sympathetic to my plight and my total panic and fear. He gave me a prescription for antibiotics as I had a raging infection back there already. After discussing options I decided that I was not going to be miserably worrying about the tooth for all of my vacation, and he got my contact info and said he thought he could work me in 2 days later, when I was still in town, and that he'd get back to me.

So, next day, in slightly less pain I went out sightseeing. Got breakfast, and did some sightseeing around Times Square. It started to rain so I ducked into a late-morning movie I'd been wanting to see. Came out and there was a message on my phone. They had a cancellation and appointment available in an hour! So I quickly picked up a theater ticket I had on will call and trekked up to their office. A few more tears, laughing gas, and a two hour long appointment followed. All went smoothly, he gave me a temporary crown that my local dentist said was phenomenally done. The work, though very expensive relative to most places, was top-notch. I got a prescription for pain medicine I ended up not needing, a mix of OTC medicine I had with me worked well enough, and with that, no pain! I trekked back downtown, a bit of window-shopping, then went to the theater. Afterward I felt well enough to eat dinner and the rest of the vacation went smoothly and with absolutely no pain.

That's my success story. I thought my vacation would be ruined, but even though it cost more than I had planned, it really wasn't. When I posted about my emergency root canal on Facebook, my friends were joking around, saying that they weren't sure what tour guides I was reading but that a root canal seemed like a horrible tourist attraction for a vacation, haha!

Since returning home I have buckled up and found a phobia-friendly dentist near me. So far I'm about halfway through treatments. I'll be having three root canals and crowns all told (done two of them and one crown, one more root canal next week and two more crowns to go), had a deep cleaning, have a regular cleaning and polishing also next week, and then two cavities. Appointments every 3 months at first. I am still very, very nervous but trying really hard to buckle down and get through this and then, the hardest part or me, keeping up with regular appointments.
Re: Survived a dental emergency while on vacation by myself in another city!

Well done for managing to get your tooth seen to so quickly and I would also mark it down as a good piece of tourist info. As you found out we just never know what is going to happen, and the dentist that you saw sounds lovely and good on him for being able to fit you in and make you comfortable for the rest of your holiday.

Good luck :clover::clover::clover: with the rest of the treatment you need :butterfly:
Re: Survived a dental emergency while on vacation by myself in another city!

Good luck :clover::clover::clover: with the rest of the treatment you need :butterfly:

Thanks! Had a regular cleaning, plus a root canal and a filling, done today. I apparently have extra roots and mutant twisted ones, the root canal alone took almost three hours! But, the dentist was great. And I had laughing gas, headphones, and a TV on the ceiling to watch. It did hurt a little at one point and he got me more novacaine real quick. It does hurt like heck now though. I'm going to take a vicodin (leftover from my earlier root canal, but I didn't need it then, that one didn't hurt) and get some sleep.

I have two crowns left to be seated, and two cavities on two different sides of my mouth. Then my mouth, nerves, and bank account will all get a little relief as it's back to normal cleanings (hopefully!). Looks like I will survive this massive amount of dental work after all!
Re: Survived a dental emergency while on vacation by myself in another city!

Good for you and well done :jump::jump::jump: and good on your dentist for being so considerate :dance2::dance2::dance2::yayy::butterfly: