Tuesday, 20 July 2010

A dental job

Currently I have a mouthful of stitches - well, 3 stitches.   I have had a root removed.  Back in the mid nineties I had to have a tooth removed but unfortunately they couldn't get it all out.  They left behind one root as it was so curved they simply could not extract it.  I can recall lying back in the dentist chair gripping onto the arms with desperation as the dentist, a burly chap, wrenched my head around via the means of tool attached to one of my teeth.  I was being pulled back and forth in the chair and had a definite whipping movement from side to side as well.  I felt like some small animal that had been seized by a large dog and was now being given the death shake.   I was getting quite worried and was sure the dentist was going to start kneeling on my chest when there was a sudden crack and I was flung back in the chair with such force that I believe I created a permanent dent in the chair backing in the shape of my head.  The dentist fell backwards to the floor with a cry, triumphantly gripping his dental tool in which was the remains of a large molar minus one of its major roots.   That root has been with me ever since. 

Years later and with a new dentist, over the last couple of appointments we have noted that the root could be on the verge of causing trouble and a bit over a week ago the trouble arose as did a mighty swelling in my gums.  This was accompanied by an unpleasant pain which was sharp and annoying but not so sharp and annoying that it prevented me from poking at the swelling with an investigative finger.  This investigation was followed by somewhat sharper pains and thoughts along the lines of "I must talk to my dentist", and so I did.

He informed me that it was time to remove the root and that he could attempt it first but if he couldn't then it would be off to a full oral surgeon where I would have to unchain my wallet and fork over thousands to get the job done.  The thought of this was too much for me and I agreed he should attempt it first.  I wasn't too worried about this as he is an orthodontic dentist and can carry out such operations.

An appointment was made for the Saturday morning as he wanted "an open ended timeframe" and I duly showed up after having stressed about it for the previous few days as I am not into pain at all and in the past such appointments haven't always been pleasant.  However, this was a different case.  The worst part of the ordeal was receiving the oral anasthetic injections.  These always feel like the needle is being pushed right through your gums, cheeks, where ever and out through the back of your head.  I had four of them.

Once they were doing their work the job was a simple slice the gum in a couple of places and cut through a bit of the cheek, remove a bit of jawbone and then drill furiously for a bit before going with the wrenching bit.  This went very well and my head didn't bounce off the back of the seat once.  In fact, I couldn't really feel anything other than a little pressure.

The root was presented to me (for display) and it was huge, curved monster.  It looked like the tusk of a sabretooth only, well.... smaller and somewhat blunter and probably a bit more curved - so not really sabretooth like at all.  I am well pleased to be rid of it.

I had to be a bit careful with food, smiling, laughing, talking for the first day but since then it has been plain sailing all the way.