I’m sitting here in bed with my laptop at 1:43 in the afternoon, waiting for vicodin to kick in (it’s just starting to). Why am I drugged? I spent the morning having a tooth extracted, and my head feels like it’s going to explode.
This is the tooth from which a filling was lost last week, and which subsequently broke and tore my cheek to bits. I had recommendations of dentists from three people, and we chose the one closest to home, who managed to see me at 8:30 this morning. I went in expecting a root canal, but we did a full panoramic x-ray, and the dentist, Dr. F, said, “First, this is a secondary molar. You don’t use it to chew all that much. Second, it’s a top molar and there’s almost contact with your sinuses. Third, your mouth is small and you barely have room for the tooth ANYWAY. Fourth, even if we do a root canal, there’s almost nothing there to attach a crown to. I don’t like to recommend this, but your bite is okay, and I don’t think your other teeth will drift, so I think we should extract it.”
I looked at the x-ray with him, and the computer simulation as well, and just the fact that he explained everything made me feel really comfortable. “Can we do it today?” I asked.
So I called work, and told them I’d be late, and why. They’d all spent two days listening to me whimper and watching me drink a lot of fluids, and not chew anything, so they really had no problem with it.
Now, I have an overactive gag-reflex, so having instruments and latex-covered fingers down my throat is never a good thing, but Dr. F used tons of novocaine (I am all about the novocaine), and let me breathe, swallow, rest, etc, as he worked.
Molar extractions generally take an hour.
Mine took two and a half.
The tooth was broken in such a way that there was nothing to grip, and then, it wouldn’t loosen, and then they had to give me more novocaine, and then there was drilling to separate the roots, and then much twisting turning, and I nearly bit off the Dr. F’s finger (he apologized for making me gag that much), and finally they managed to get it out, in pieces, but it was difficult because the roots of my teeth aren’t straight, the way they’re supposed to be. In fact, they’re not even merely ‘curved’ – but had an almost 90-degree angle.
I kept apologizing to the dentist for being difficult, and he kept telling me I wasn’t, that I was being just fine, and he was sorry for any discomfort, and finally, when I was nearly in tears, we were done.
I met Fuzzy in the parking lot, and mimed that a) I needed drugs and b) I’d been told not to go back to work til tomorrow, and c) that I was in much pain. He offered to take me home and go fetch the prescription, because he’s sweet that way, but they had to have positive ID for the vicodin, so I said no. I had to wait twenty minutes to get it, but it wasn’t that bad because the novocaine hadn’t worn off.
And then it did, and I was still waiting for the vicodin to kick in.
Which it now has, so I’m going to sleep.
Oh, and, I’m still going to need a root canal…in a different tooth.