Take the Scenic Route

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


A couple of years ago, while I was getting my teeth checked out at the School of Dentistry (a cheap but exceedingly laborious experience), I had a panoramic X-ray taken, where, for the first time, I got to see my wisdom teeth, or lack thereof. My upper wisdom's (romantically labelled 18 and 28 by dentists) were miraculously missing in action. Either never there, or reabsorbed by my body at some previous time. Unfortunately, downstairs was a different story. In *exactly* the wrong places. They are both following a broadly horizontal trajectory. The left-hand one is heading directly for the front of my mouth, bulldozing through the roots of my molars as it goes. Conveniently, its own root is gently butting up against the nerver that controls the left side of my face. The right hand side is a little more loopy. It's oriented so that it's heading sort of directly out the side of my face, so if it were to emerge, it would pop out of cheek/jaw, just in front of my ear.

My optimistic student dentist thought that if they didn't move anywhere it would probably be OK, but the evil tutor thought I should probably pop them anyway. Optimistic student said if they ever started to hurt, that that was a sign they'd need to be popped. Well, they've started hurting, so I now have an appointment with an oral surgeon in June. I hope like hell I can get a general anaesthetic. I'm far too squeamish for this sort of shit.

Failing that, I might try to get a referral from Noizy's friend, although, I think I might want more than a couple of shots beforehand:

I had my bottom two yanked shortly after arriving here in Wellington.

Having put up with a dull throb for about six months, I figured I might as well get it over and done with, so toddled off to the dentist for what must have been the first time in about six years. After the x-rays had been done, it was revealed to me that these wisdom teeth were 'big', and these wisdom teeth were 'deep'. It didn't sound good. I returned a week later, two shots of vodka under my belt to steady my nerves. God I hate dentists.

So they popped a couple of valium into me, which mingled nicely with the vodka, and, after a short chilling-out period on a bed in a waiting area, the pretty nurse guided me to ... the chair. There seemed to be a lot of industrial-strength hydraulic equipment at hand. And the rubber gloves and smocks donned by dentist and assistant didn't augur well (I got a bib the size of a table-cloth, which was also less than reassuring).

And then, well, out they came. In lots of little bits. My overwhelming memory was of the dentist saying, 'mmm, we'll have to cut this bit of bone out as well,' and of this colossal CRUNCH and bowel-shuddering vibration as they shattered the bit of my jawbone into which the larger of my two wisdom teeth had impacted. 'UCK!' I managed to gurgle through the blood.

A good mate was looking after me for the rest of the day, and he took me back to his place where we had a couple more vodkas, and then (I don't know how I managed this), scoffed down a few 'special' cookies (purely for the pain-killing aspect), whipped out the guitars, and launched into a three hour jam. Apparently (my memory grows hazy after the first 20 minutes or so) we were inspired, and actually wrote some songs that ended up being recorded on our next album (although I had to relearn them all the next time we played together, naturally -- "Jesus, I played that? I'm better than I thought!").

Pity about the bloodstains around his flat though. It looked like we'd sacrificed a cat. [Gratuitously stolen from here]


At Tue Apr 12, 12:33:00 PM GMT+12, Blogger Jessie said...

I had mine out about six years ago under general anaesthetic. I had some kind of reaction it, and wound up really sick, vomitting for days, had to have an injection in my butt to stop.. I dropped 4 kilos in 3 days!

Then by about six months later, I was almost able to eat a meal in less than 60 minutes. Here's hoping your experience is less shite.

At Tue Apr 12, 12:51:00 PM GMT+12, Blogger limegreen said...

The only time I've ever had a GA I also got an injection in my butt, but it was morphine. Mmmmm morphine. I have issues with needles, so accidentally had a clenched check giving me a big bruise, but it was like having an electric shock down my leg, and then I came over all warm and giggly.

Gutting to hear about the vomitting though. That's horrid.

At Tue Apr 12, 01:30:00 PM GMT+12, Blogger Jessie said...

Oh and I forgot to mention the bruising :)

At Tue Apr 12, 01:36:00 PM GMT+12, Blogger limegreen said...

I have a little while longer to stress out. My first consult with the surgeon is mid-June!!

At Tue Apr 12, 01:41:00 PM GMT+12, Anonymous Rastven said...

Had mine done ages back by an Oral Surgeon. He used a valium based intravenous cocktail, it was the isht. The benzo's nicely messed with my memory formation so I lost 1.5 hours of my life at the perfect time

At Thu Apr 14, 09:18:00 AM GMT+12, Blogger noizy said...

ah, memories...

At Mon Apr 18, 12:48:00 PM GMT+12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had mine pulled while in Dunedin. Got the panoramic xray at dent school, but went to a real dentist. I was taking prednisone at the time, and so just tripled my dosage for a couple of days. No worries.

Make sure that they take the tube out of your throat if you get general. And that they don't grope you.


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