Adventures in Tooth Extraction

Well, I finally took the leap yesterday and had something done that my dentist told me to do about a year ago. Apparently my mouth wasn’t large enough to accomodate all of my teeth, so one sort of got shoved to the inside of my mouth and I had a molar come up nearly behind a premolar. This has never caused me any serious problems, and we dumped a lot of money into the kid’s mouth (born without 6 adult teeth, had a couple of teeth pulled to make room, really just a ton of work done and a running fight with the insurance company to pay any of it – they eventually did pay a good chunk) and throwing a big chunk of money into my own dental work was horribly unappealing.

And that was fine with me. Something I have discovered is that, as I’ve gotten older, I don’t take dental work as well as I used to. Most of it I’m still fine with, but whatever the dentist uses that feels like a big slow chisel slowly chunking away at your tooth before he grabs the high speed one that smooths everything out…yeah, that didn’t go down so well the last time it happened.  Going in and having a tooth ripped from my skull appealed to me even less, so I’ve found excuses to put it off.

Until a couple of weeks ago. That little misplaced molar began to wail. and I wasn’t going to put up with it any longer. Also, I didn’t relish going to the dentist for a cleaning and having him seeing that tooth still there and having to be asked why I hadn’t had it removed.  Unfortunately, I had lost the recommendation my dentist had given me so I had to call them to get the number for who I was supposed to go to. Which I did. And then I had the new place get a copy of the recommendation as well as my xrays sent over. All of the normal pre-appointment stuff that everyone goes through before going to any sort of doctor’s appointment they are sent to by their regular doctor/dentist.

So, I get there yesterday. The wife came with me because I had no idea what I was in for, how messed up I’d be afterward,  or if they’d even decide they could do it. I filled out paperwork, and then I was taken back 20 minutes after my appointment was scheduled. they take a paper bib to me – yeah, take it. It had little sticky stuff on each corner, not the rope and gator clips that I’m accustomed to. I filled out some more paperwork. Then I sat there.

The dentist was a young looking guy, and I’m getting older, which probably made him seem even younger.  He was tall, looked reasonably strong, and this gave me confidence that he could rip a tooth out of my jaw with relative ease. Or at least with more ease than a guy half his size and twice his age. Oh, and did I mention he looked like Ryan Reynolds?

So, Ryan Reynolds takes a look at my mouth, tells me it should be pretty easy, that it’s usually an easy tooth to come out, and that they should be able to fit me in pretty easily. So, he loaded me up with novocain or whatever it was that they now use to freeze your jaw.  And I sit there for another twenty minutes or so, which sort of worried me because I have a bit of a history of that stuff occasionally  wearing off. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s happened, and once it has happened, you never want it to happen again. That wasn’t a problem, though. Whatever Ryan Reynolds shot me up with, where he jammed that needle, it was magic. It numbed everything from lips to my ear, and I didn’t mind at all.

After about a half hour or so, Ryan Reynolds showed back up, along with an assistant, and began prying at my tooth. Because of where it was, he couldn’t just grab it with a pair of forceps (pliars) and yank it out.  Instead, he told me it was just going to be slow and easy. Pry a little here, pry a little there. Slowly wiggle it around until it got loose enough to just sort of pop out. it sounded like a good idea, and all of us thought it would work, likely for the same reason; the tooth was horribly neglected and likely rotted in pieces.

forty minutes later it wasn’t such a great idea. Ryan Reynolds had pried. He had pushed. He levered. The tooth refused to move. Apparently, it was sort of jammed in by the tooth next to it. This was when he decided to rev up the air tools and get the drill out. Now, here is where my grasp of what happens gets a bit sketchy. It’s not because it was horribly painful or anything. Quite the contrary. Whatever specific thing he did wasn’t painful at all. It was masterful and quick. So quick, I wish he had just done it that way in the beginning, but I’m guessing it’s also (usually) a bit more phsyically traumatic to the mouth, and he was trying to avoid it.

Best I can understand it is that he first when in and leveraged out what bone he could that was around the tooth. Or maybe he drilled a bunch of it off. I’m not sure, but he removed some of the stuff holding it in. Then he apparently drilled a hole right into the side of it so that he could jam one of his tools into the tooth and jerk it out that way. And it popped right out. And the assistant lady was holding it up, exclaiming about how big the root was (apparently it was an abnormally large and deep root for that tooth), and all of us were damn thrilled to be done.

Ryan Reynolds apologized a number of times for all of the pushing and leveraging. I was warned it would be sore and swollen for the next couple of days, and it is, though the vicodin knocks it down pretty well.  Apparently, he has pulled entire sets of wisdom teeth in less time it took to pull this one tooth. It was a massive pain in the ass for just one molar.

And today I have felt like crap for the last half of the day until I broke down and took a vicodin (or larlon?  some weird thing that I didn’t recognize but it’s a codein based pain reliever).  But the tooth is out.  And it should be better in the long run. Anyway. that’s my week so far.

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