Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Tooth Fairy

So, I'm not too proud of the way I've lived my life the past 10 years.  A scotchy mist of self-absorption and indulgence.  I certainly never gave a thought to personal improvement or even much to personal maintenance.  Which means I've yet to have a man's finger up my bum and I haven't been to a dentist in over 10 years.

That changed today.  The dentist part, not the bum part.

Last week, I was enjoying a lovely snack of triscuits, when all of a sudden half of my rear molar fell off.  That was unexpected.  I spat out the tooth half and looked at it in amazement.  I was literally falling apart.  I felt like Jeff Goldblum in The Fly, yanking pieces out of my head.

Yah, I was freaked out.  It was time.  Me and my jagged stub of a tooth made the call and booked an appointment with a nearby dentist.  And today was the reckoning.

I went in trying to be as cool as possible.  It didn't last.  As I sat there filling out my paperwork, I started sweating.  And then I started sweating more because I was aware that I was sweating.  Holy fuck, they're going to refuse to treat me because I'm a big sweaty mess.

They came and got me before I had a chance to get to the restroom to freshen up so I had no choice but to slosh my way to the examination room.  Once I got in the seat though, I actually started to relax.  The dental assistant did a great job of putting me at ease.  She nearly choked me when she put the x-ray card in my mouth but, other than that, very professional and friendly.

Okay, things are going smoothly now.  Just waiting for the x-ray to develop and to review it with the dentist and I might actually be out of here in under 15 minutes.

The dentist did show up and was just as friendly and professional as the assistant.  He shows me stumpy on the x-ray and explains that a cavity had just gotten so big that the tooth had started crumbling around it.  He estimated I was only a couple weeks away from a really bad tooth ache.  He recommended yanking what remained of the tooth.  I agreed.  It was a wisdom tooth, so what the hell.

Then he says, "Want to do it right now?".  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  Now?  Fuck me.  My eyes must have doubled in size because he quickly said "Or we can book it for another day?".

I know myself well enough to know that it would be best to take care of it then and there.  Waiting another month and thinking about it day and night would drive me (and Jen) up the wall.  So I consented, even if the consent was a little unenthusiastic.

And out comes the needle.  This, above all else freaks me the fuck out.  I thank the gods of dentistry that we've advanced to the point where an anaesthetic gel is now used so you don't actually feel the needle going in.  That's great.  The view of a man coming at your mouth with a giant hypodermic needle isn't so great.  I shut my eyes like a little girl.  Scrunched them tight and went to my happy place.

Eventually the freezing application was done.  While we were waiting for the drugs to do their thing, it was time for a little Q&A with the good doctor.  As we went over the tools and techniques to be used, my leg started shaking.  Here I am, a giant man, quivering like a wet cat at the thought of somebody prying a tooth out of my head.

I was left alone for a few more minutes to think about what was going to happen.  Great.  My leg stopped shaking.  I was resigned to what was coming.  Let's do it!

Dentist and assistant come back and I spent the next five minutes with my face rammed into this guys armpit as he leveraged against my lower jaw trying to separate tooth from head.  I didn't feel anything except this guy leaning on my head.  And he was exerting quite a bit of force.  The only thing I could think about is what happens when that tooth finally pops?  He's practically standing on my head.  When that tooth gives, he's going to drop right through my lower jaw. 

But there was no pop, no commotion, just a bit of grinding noise, and without much drama I was less a tooth.  Huh.  I was pretty amazed.  I'd heard horror stories of wisdom tooth extractions from various friends but this was pretty much a walk in the park.

So, that's done.  I imagine there will be plenty more drama to come as I go back for a full assessment for the rest of my teeth but for now I'm pretty relaxed.  Of course, the freezing is starting to wear off right now.  I may eat those words.


  1. man that sucks!

  2. Ha! You make me laugh. Good luck with the recovery. I keep having people suggest that I get my wisdom teeth out (dental hygienists and some dentists) but I keep refusing. I finally found a dentist who agreed with me that I don't need to take them out so I'll stick with him.