Dental Adventures

by pjmcbride

Impacted lower wisdom tooth

Impacted lower wisdom tooth (Photo credit: Dr Parveen Chopra)

…these adventures, of course, are not at all amusing, unless you’re amused by the idea of somebody hurting me. Don’t worry, there will never be Colonoscopic Adventures.

Comments from the person doing my X-rays:

–“I love getting my teeth cleaned! I could just fall asleep in that chair.” Then you’re the only one. I was rigid with tension myself.

–“You work at 911? That must be a stressful job. But I bet you can handle it. You seem like a calm, laid-back person.” You know, it’s difficult, and usually ill-advised, to laugh with dental implements in your mouth, but I get this comment a lot, and I can only suppose it’s because I don’t talk much. I’m actually the nervous, twitchy type. “I’m just very self-controlled,” I offered lamely.

You know how they say, “I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” (And how did you meet that man with no feet? I mean, surely he can’t get out very much.) But when I’m only in for a cleaning, I can think, at least I’m not the person behind the partition next to me, who got told, “We’re going to numb your gums up first…” You know that can’t be good. Unfortunately, that person was an older lady who apparently couldn’t hear very well, because they had to ask her if she wanted her new crown to be gold or whatever-they-use-other-than-gold about 59 times, until I was ready to make the decision for her and yell it out over the partition. Of course, I couldn’t, because I was being poked with something pointy at that point (!). Lest you think I’m cold and heartless (you don’t, do you?), I have also been the person everyone else felt sorry for. I once had to have a couple extractions done. They were virtually painless, but they bled a whole bunch, so I had to walk out of the waiting room holding a blood-splashed tissue to my mouth, and you never saw a roomful of people look away from someone so fast IN YOUR LIFE. I could hear them all thinking, “I won’t have what she’s having, thanks!”

Two bits of dental knowledge that may prove useful to you, one from long ago and one just from today:

1.) If they ask you if you want your impacted wisdom teeth removed without general anesthesia, SAY NO!!! I cannot stress this enough. My dentist at the time had just started his practice. Apparently, although he knew he’d have to SAW INTO THE JAWBONE to get these out, he did not know that NO AMOUNT OF NOVOCAINE WILL REACH THAT FAR. I had to have 2 of them done, and he was sweating almost as much as I was by the time the first one was out. He then said hopefully, “Would you like to just call it a day and schedule the other one later?” No, I would not like that hanging over my head, thank you. I was ready to confess to the Kennedy assassination by the time the second one was done. OK, so now I’ve terrified anyone who’s facing this procedure. Just have them put you to sleep and I’m sure you’ll be OK. The recovery was not bad, especially since I had drugs that made me think I was just fine, thank you. (Note: The X-ray  here is the type of situation we were dealing with. You can see how that might cause problems.)

2.) Here’s some information I just learned today–If they’re doing something way in the back of your mouth and you think you might gag, the technician said keeping your eyes open really helps. I normally close my eyes, so I don’t have to look at the dreaded pointy metal implements, but I followed her advice, and it did indeed help.

In other news, KatClaire reports that a bra popped out of her suitcase at the airport, eager to introduce itself to the TSA. I have a similar story. I was at the McDonald’s counter at Main & Division many long years ago, and dug in my pocket to get my money, and a feminine hygiene item popped out and rolled across the floor. In front of the other people at the counter–an ambulance crew. I did not tell them where I worked.

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