I’ve been battling with a tooth that wanted to come out but I really wanted it to stay in. The tooth won and the tooth fairy didn’t even show up.
There’s something scary about being in an oral surgeon’s chair, and while he’s trying to pull out a tooth, says, “Uh-oh.”
My mind screamed, “What do you mean?” My mouth was full of his hands, the assistants’ hands and instruments that looked like they belonged in a mechanic’s toolbox.
Before the process began, he informed me this procedure would either take 30 seconds or 30 minutes depending on how well the tooth behaves. I could’ve told him it would be the latter because this tooth had been giving me fits for six months. I had hoped if I ignored it long enough it would settle down and play nice with the rest of my mouth. No such luck.
The tooth cracked into three parts with the first pull so they brought out bigger and meaner looking tools to begin a root-wrenching trauma that sounded worse than it felt.
I would like to never hear that sound again. My mouth was numb I couldn’t feel anything but the sound of tooth roots being torn out of your head is right up there with scratching fingernails on a chalkboard.
When the dentist said there would be a little pressure, it was an understatement. I shut my eyes and all I could envision was, with one slip, the mammoth ice pick he was using was going through my left cheek. Then the creaking and snapping began as he pried loose roots that were hanging on like a canna being dug up in the fall.
As they scrambled around with clanging tools, occasionally drilling, snapping, grinding, suctioning, squirting and pulling, he finally said, “The first part is out.”
The first part?
Before I could come up with a plan to get out of the chair, they started in again. Why can’t dentists’ offices put something on the ceiling to look at? Maybe a flat-screen TV with continuous Doris Day movies playing, anything to look at besides the sweat popping up on the dentists’ brow.
Finally with a third snap, crackle and pop, the last piece of the tooth came out. The last root curved up into my sinus membrane, the nice dentist informed me, and there could be a hole in it. That doesn’t sound good. Don’t blow your nose or sneeze for at least 24 hours, he said, so of course, I instantly felt like a runny nose was coming on.
I finally got home, foaming at the mouth with gauze and holding an ice pack on my face. I must have looked awful because for the rest of the day I got spoiled with him making me soup for dinner and keeping my glass full of sweet tea.
Amazing how much mileage I got out of this tooth pulling trauma although I’d just as soon keep my roots in place.
Sandy Turner is a GateHouse Media columnist.