Tag Archives: Dentist

Fatal Extraction, Part V…

PrintI went in for the second tooth to be taken out a few days after the hygienist had been in my mouth cleaning the rest of them, which is why I was a little taken aback when the dentist – after having looked again at the tooth she was going to remove – asked if I had perhaps changed my mind about the scale and polish that had been booked.

It had literally been only a few days since I had was in that same chair, shrinking back into the leather while the hygienist pressed down upon me with her tools, and I had done my best to keep my teeth in tip-top shape since then. To be honest, I think the dentist was just trying to promote my purchase of another £55 cleaning session, but I wasn’t about to open my wallet again.

The dentist told me once again that this extraction would not be as difficult as the previous one – an assurance that I was very happy to hear… except, after a few minutes trying to get the thing out, her words began to feel like the kind of empty promise a parent tells an upset child, just to shut them up and keep the tears at bay.

Just as I did the first time, I heard this one break too. But unlike the first time she then asked her assistant to go and get a different set of tools. I’m guessing bigger tools. Sharper tools. I kept my eyes closed because I didn’t fancy seeing them as they passed my eyeline. While I was waiting she told me to rinse my mouth out with that horrid red liquid they had sitting beside me, and I think I spat out part of my tooth along with the juice, which was a little alarming.

Next thing I know she was back in my mouth, ripping that bugger out. Thankfully this second part of the process was relatively quick and – given that most of my face was entirely numb – completely pain-free.

She let me go with a warning not to let it happen again, and on the way out I got the £50 bill for the two extractions. I was too doped up to argue the amount, or to bemoan the fallacy that is free dental care in this country, so I just handed over my credit card, grabbed the microscopic tube of toothpaste the receptionist offered me, and went on my way.

Fatal Extraction, Part IV…

So, with the socket from the first extraction healed over nicely (well, as nicely as a hole in your mouth can heal) I went back to the surgery for my hygienist appointment a few weeks later.

The girl with the tools started on the top row as she said they were the worst affected by plaque. I couldn’t disagree. Once she got started it took a while and it was quite painful, but I just let her do her thing and didn’t argue as it was entirely my fault I was in this position in the first place.

Now, it was my understanding that all my teeth would be cleaned in this thirty minute block set aside for me. After all, I had paid £55 for the privilege. It never crossed my mind that this valet service would take place over two sessions. I thought that telling me to make another appointment was just a wee bit on the cheeky side, but I wasn’t in any position to say otherwise.

So there I was a few days later, getting my bottom row of teeth cleaned, but another £55 lighter. Admittedly, at the end of it all, my teeth did look a hell of a lot better than they had going in, but this was beginning to feel like being held up at gunpoint.

But there was only one more step to go – the second and last extraction – and then I’d have the perfect smile they promised me.

It was a promise, right?

… to be concluded…

Fatal Extraction, Part III…

You can catch up with the story so far here and here.

So after that first tooth being removed, the revised plan was for the hygienist to give my mouth the once over before the dentist got around to taking out the second, and less problematic, tooth. That didn’t strike me as the best idea because the original plan had been to get my teeth cleaned before yanking the offending ones out.

Anyway, I made the hygienist appointment for a few days after the first removal and paid the £55 for it in advance. Yes, that’s the cost of a thirty minute cleaning on the NHS. I was surprised too. I grudged the amount, but I was prepared to accept it given that it was my fault I was in that position in the first place.

When I went back for my designated slot the hygienist asked if I had had any recent problems with my teeth, and I instantly got the impression she had no idea I had been there a few days earlier for an extraction.

When I explained the situation she took one look inside my mouth and decided against the clean. She said she didn’t want to risk infection, which was always a possibility with an open wound, something that struck me as a little amusing because a few days earlier the dentist had just decided to go ahead after explaining the same thing.

So after mentally preparing myself for it – and having already paid for the treatment – the hygienist sent me away home and told me to come back in a few weeks once the socket had properly healed.

Oh well.

… to be continued…

Fatal Extraction, Part II…

I was more than a little apprehensive on the morning of my extraction, to the point where I began to wish she had just pulled one or both of my teeth out last time I had visited, so that I didn’t have a week to think about it.

Between the first appointment and this one I had told The Girlfriend© about the possibility of being knocked out for the procedure, because I didn’t want to have to deal with the pain. I thought it was a pretty good idea, but she steamrolled over it so quickly that I figured she must have been on commission from the local anaesthetic supplier.

So, my mouth but seemingly her decision. Anyway, passive aggressive thoughts aside…

I accepted a needle to numb the offending area. One jab on the outside of the gum, and one on the inside. Not confident that the drug was going to take, I asked for a third injection, and the dentist was quick to oblige.

She gave me a pair of uber-cool glasses to protect my eyes from the copious amount of blood that was always a possibility, but she need not have bothered because I had them closed for the entire procedure.

It seemed to take forever for the tooth to come out, so long in fact that a few minutes in (once the fear had reestablished itself) I considered telling the dentist to stop – I was just going to keep the thing in my head after all.

But alas, I let her carry on… until I heard it snap. I’m sure it wasn’t nearly as loud as I thought it was, in the moment, but listening to someone wrench a tooth from your jaw is up there as one of the most unpleasant sounds you’ll ever hear.

After it was out she told me it had quite a lengthy root and asked if I wanted to see it. I guess they call that dental humour. No, I don’t want to see it! Throw it in the bin, take back these stupid glasses, and let me open my eyes!

Hopefully she disposed of it, but you can never tell with these maestros of the mouth… perhaps she has a collection mounted on her wall, of all the rotten and broken chompers she has yanked out over the years.

… to be continued…

Fatal Extraction, Part I…

Before this month began, I had not seen a dentist for years… certainly more than I admitted to the girl with the drill standing in front of me. I was embarrassed. I know, it’s terrible, and it’s one hundred percent my own fault. I just let the appointments slide and got on with my life.

Last year I decided I was going to get myself sorted with a dentist, and get any problems I had, fixed… and here we are in June, and I have now began my journey on the road to oral recovery.

I was extremely nervous for my initial rendezvous – a feeling which was to some degree, almost entirely unfounded. Except for Extraction ’06, I had never really had a bad experience in the dentist’s chair, and apart from that, my teeth had always been in pretty good shape.

But this time I knew I had problems, and the dentist didn’t disappoint me. She said I needed two teeth taken out, both of which were fractured. One was the upper left wisdom tooth and the second was an upper right, about midway round. I knew both of the teeth she was talking about, and I had mentally prepared myself for the extractions she was briefing me on.

She told me she could try to save the second one, but she wasn’t confident it would work… so I just asked her to use her best judgement and do what had to be done. She could tell that I was a little agitated, and asked if I wanted to be knocked out for it, a question which received a resounding “yes please” from me.

The good news – relatively speaking – was that apart from those two fractures, my teeth were in fairly good condition, and were just in need of a thorough clean.

So I booked an appointment for the following week, and the seven day countdown until I let that woman near me with a pair of pliers… was on.

… to be continued…