So you have a tooth that's needing the final restorative measure. A crown. You have exhausted the filling option. You aren't quite needing a root canal. But the thing needs a major overhaul.
And you're scheduled for a crown. First a drill around the tooth, removing all the minor repairs and existing decay.
And in two weeks - the final, personally-crafted crown will arrive and be put in place. You'll sigh deeply. That's over. And you will have managed to dodge the root canal.
Here are a few of my recommendations - just in case you are going in for this procedure.
1. On the drive to the dentist's office, sing praise songs. Yes, I mean it. I actually felt the joy of the Lord in my soul all the way to the dentist's office.
2. Don't arrive too early. You'll waste your spiritual benefits by turning to dentist office magazines. You want just enough time to sign in, sit down, and have your name called.
3. Relax. I have had only one panic attack in my life. It was when I had a wisdom tooth pulled. If I can get through this, you can. Now is the time for you to offer this up. I'm serious. Who do you want to offer this experience up for. Who do you want to shower with grace right now? Offer this little suffering up. Surely someone is working on a crown of glory, someone who is struggling right now. Somebody you know needs your intercession. Offer your crown for their crown in eternity. Or offer this up for someone you don't know; maybe there's someone who is at that last restorative measure spiritually. Offer it up for them. Just do it. Why let a moment like this go by? Rejoice in your suffer, for their sake, because it makes up for whatever is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his Body, the Church. Colossians 1:24
4. You'll experience some major drilling (what a terrible noise!), an impression of your tooth (that is really kind of a neat experience) and a temporary crown. The temporary crown feels great. The gums are a little sore. And that brings me to the next point.
5. Later that day, swish your mouth with warm salt water. The woman who fitted my temporary crown suggested it. It will reduce the inflammation of the gum line. And, it does seem to work. (I did take some Ibuprofen, because I have to go to a night class tonight. Not sure that I really needed it, though.)
You'll get through this. The important thing is to get through it - well. So, offer it up, with a joyful spirit.
All for the greater glory of God.