Tuesday, January 28, 2014

OK Bite Down, Said The Dentist

Ugh, I went to the Dentist today and had a tooth pulled - extracted, even.   I had a  tooth pulled before and it was a surprisingly easy process.   And that's what I was expecting.   There was some discussion about what to do with the tooth.  There was talk of a root canal, but insurance would not cover it, and I would never be able to afford the crown, etc., so we went with just pulling the tooth.    God gives you 30 some teeth, just in case something goes wrong, you still have the others to get by on.   It's the same with having ten toes and ten fingers.  You don't really expect to get through life with all of them intact, do you?

Though my appointment was for 9, I showed up at 8.  I didn't have anything else to do.  So they took me in early.   And you could tell it was early because the dental assistant seemed a bit confused about what we were going to do.   That never helps.   But then the Dentist showed up, and after some discussion, we decided to pull the tooth.  

The dentist did all the things I knew about prepping a tooth, numbing the gums etc.  Then there was the short little pinch, which was the shot of novocaine.    And then the dentist dug around on the tooth for a minute, there was some pressure, then he said, "ok" and turned around.   "Wow, that was easy" I thought.   The dentist and assistant walked away for a while.   And I waited.

Then the assistant returned with a piece of paper for me to sign saying it gave the dentist permission to pull the tooth.    I thought that was funny since he already pulled it.   He did pull it already, didn't he.

The dentist and his assistant had a good chuckle when I told them I thought the tooth was already pulled.

Ut Oh... was my thought.

The tooth was fractured and so the dentist had to pull it out in sections, grinding and pulling with sounds of cracking and feeling "pressure" that always hurt.  Each root of the molar had to be extracted separately. I didn't know this at first, until the dentist explained, cause with each root pulled, I thought we were done. It was more like having 4 teeth removed.

I was grabbing onto the arm rails, palms sweaty.  The anticipation of pain was much worse than any of the actual pain, which I did have but was very temporary - a split second each time.    The dentist knew what he was doing and I had confidence in him.    In the middle of it all, I remembered that scene in "Master and Commander" when the doctor performed a lobotomy, and the tattoo "hold fast" That's what I concentrated on through the remainder of the procedure.   I think it took a total of 15 minutes, maybe less, to take the tooth out.

Then came the gauze and the instruction to bit down.    Now I knew it was over for certain.   I was given instructions on the care of the clot, etc and I made an appointment for a filling in the other tooth.   In a few minutes I am going back to pick up my prescription for Ibuprofen.

The cost was all covered by state insurance.  Thank goodness.

At least I haven't died.   Not yet, anyway.