Well, that was easy

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Pictured: not my tooth

The tooth extraction has basically turned out to be nothing worth talking about, honestly, which isn’t going to stop me from devoting an entire blog post to it.   The most complicated part was convincing the … nurse? not-the-dentist-but-not-clearly-a-hygienist?  Dental assistant?  I dunno, the lady who wasn’t the dentist– that while I appreciated the offer of sunglasses and would happily wear them during the procedure, the idea that the television in the room should be tuned to my needs (“Christ, no, not the news, anything but that”) or that the in-room bluetooth should be playing my own personal pullin’-teeth playlist was utterly unnecessary.  The TV doesn’t even have to be on, and if it’s going to be on my only condition is that it be either not turned to a channel that’s going to provoke rage or muted.  I really don’t need music.

She really had trouble with this idea.  Apparently it’s rare that patients for extractions don’t have media demands while going through the procedure.  Personally, I don’t get it.

Anyway, the nurse smeared my tongue and the area of the tooth with some sort of numbing gel and left me alone for a few minutes and then the dentist came in.  We talked about Hamilton for a few minutes and then he did … something inside my mouth for maybe a minute and said “Okay, all done!” and left.

I was surprised to learn that a tooth extraction takes less than a minute; I hadn’t felt a damned thing.  I expressed my surprise (“Holy shit, that’s it?”) and then discovered that, no, he hadn’t even touched the tooth, I’d just received three numbing shots to complement the numbing gel; the various non-dentists in the room were vastly entertained by my theory that the dentist declaring “all done” meant that “all” was “done” and that I could go home.

It was not, and I could not.

That said, the actual extraction took maybe five minutes.  He warned me beforehand that he suspected he might have to break the tooth to get it all out; as it was maybe 97% of it came right out and then he had to do a touch more fiddling around to get a tiny piece of root that stayed behind.  There was no pain whatsoever.  There wasn’t even any real sense of pressure or discomfort or even tugging.  If he hadn’t shown me the tooth I don’t know that I’d have believed he removed it, since I couldn’t feel anything inside my mouth– it was hours before I could actually feel the hole the tooth left behind with my tongue.  My appointment was at 10:00 and I was texting my wife that I was finished at 10:30.

Several hours of lazing about the house and occasionally switching out my gauze ensued; as of this moment the extraction was ten and a half hours ago and while it’s been a bit obnoxious I still can’t say that I’ve felt any actual pain at any point.  I ate ice cream and applesauce and had macaroni and cheese for dinner.  I’m going to take some painkillers before bed strictly as prophylaxis but I’m not sure I really need them.

So, yeah.  Kinda feel like an idiot that that had me more nervous than my gallbladder surgery did ten years ago.  I mean, shit still has time to go south if I lose the blood clot or something, but so far this has been cake.

3 thoughts on “Well, that was easy

  1. Jennifer

    I’m jealous. I don’t know if tooth extraction methods have improved or what – I’m still terrified of small drills after my wisdom tooth extractions – I had to do the math – 27 years ago.

    That being said, I ate nachos later that day, I just avoided my molars. So clearly the pain wasn’t an issue.

    I had another molar removed 11 years ago. I got Valium for that one, because another doctor informed me that I was having full-blown panic attacks in the chair – something the first doctor or his staff never noticed over all those years, apparently.

    I’m glad it wasn’t so bad, though!

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    1. I feel like there has to have been a huge improvement in methods, although I think I also came off uncommonly lucky as well– I’m at five days out right now and there has literally been NO pain at any point. If dentistry had always been this easy, no one would be afraid of the dentist.

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