Tooth be told

I’ve never had a tooth out before.

In fact, it’s been over 25 years since I’ve even been to the dentist!

Not because my teeth are great or anything. Truth be told, they’re quite in need of some work. But after a couple of weeks of intense facial pain that has caused endless sleepless nights, I went and had the tooth taken out.

I’ve jumped out of aeroplanes, and broken my leg… but nothing prepares you for the fear and adrenaline of a dental visit

I saw the dentist last week and was given the option: root canal over 2-3 visits totalling ~$1500 plus a required crown at some point (about the same price again), or pull the bugger out in one visit for a couple of hundred.

Not that finances play a big part in the decision (although it does help), the decision was almost made for me. The torture of 3+ dental visits vs 1 and the jobs done.

It’s a no brainer.

I’ve just got home. I still can’t talk properly. My mouth, jaw and gum feel like they’re as big as a tennis ball. I feel like I’m drooling all over the place and keep wiping non existent blood and saliva from my bottom lip while at the same time try and wet my teeth because my mouth feels so dry. It’s a flurry of mixed emotions.

I’ve jumped out of aeroplanes, I’ve broken my leg jumping off mountains, I’ve even been in some pretty life threatening situations, but nothing prepares you for the fear and adrenaline of a dental visit.

As he’s inserting the needle I realised my head is pushed back into the headrest with so much force that my neck was tensing up. My hands were clenched on my stomach squeezing my phone so hard that I felt Apple phones may not be as strong as we think they are.

And that needle! Oh My GOD! How far in does that go?

It never seemed to stop. Any further and I’m sure it was going to come out the other side.

It was funny to watch someone grab a huge set of pliers (ok, he called them forceps) and start pulling at the tooth. Wiggling it this way and that, around and round in large circular motions, I’m just waiting for the inevitable THWANG (my effort to literally relate the sound of an electric pulse/shock zapping down my body).

He paused and went back for round 2 but after another minute or two he came to the conclusion that it was going to have to be split. If I could have spoken I would have asked, “c’mon doc, give it one more go!” But I just bit down and started doing mental back-flips as he wound up that drill and the sound paralysed me.

Even now an hour later I’m still visibly shaken. My pulse is racing and I feel a headache coming on that I know isn’t real, it’s just that I’d built myself up to expect so much pain, to have come out unscathed is such a relief. (Yes, the anaesthetic hasn’t worn off yet. I’m not looking forward to this)…

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And now three hours later the pain has kicked in. It’s more of an uncomfortableness, that exacerbated by paper-cuts of the mouth. What feels oddly more sore than the gap in the gums are the locations where the needle broke the surface of the gum and how he did the dance around the nerve area.

I’m continually salivating and feeling more and more queezy at the thought of all that blood and saliva congealing around the gause. I’ve changed it out numerous times. Bigger ones, smaller ones. I’ve determined smaller is better (they hold less saliva).

Time for some pain killers.

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