Teething Trouble

Posted August 20th, 2004 by Deepa and filed in Personal
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I finally had my first visit to a dentist in US. Everybody writes of visits to the dentist. It almost seems that writing about the long wait, perusal of outdated magazines and the whirring drill is a cathartic experience. My experience was quite contrary. I was called in within 5 minutes of my arrival, the national geographic I was reading was just a month old and the dentist did not even start his drill. He took one look at my teeth and pronounced the final verdict…Actually he didn’t even glance inside my mouth…he just looked at the x-ray and yelled “that one will have to go”. He magnanimously also gave me three minutes to decide when and where.

The story started a couple of months ago, when, I set to clean my teeth in great enthusiasm. Apparently the vigorous brushing was not something my poor tooth was used to…Under that great pressure, it succumbed and crumbled. Literally…half of the tooth lay in my hand in crumbled white pieces. Since it did not give me any pain, I let it be. After all the motto in my line of work is “If it works, don’t disturb it”.

A few months later, on a trip to Florida , the tooth decided to have some fun too. It gave me a reminder of its broken existence, just as I stepped foot into the plane. Throughout the airplane ride, with each bump, it viciously proved to me the different kind of aches that a mere tooth can subject its owner too. First there was the shooting pain, which would sort of travel up to my head and then spend a few minutes pounding my head. Then there was the dull ache, which was not bad enough to sit on the floor and scream yet gnawed at my mouth with its constant presence. There was also a burning pain, as though someone has placed a red hot poker up my teeth. And sudden movements or a jerk brought on a combination of all three. Of course then the other teeth had to join the melee and my lower tooth started its own case of referred pain. By this time, I was not exactly sure what was paining, my upper broken wisdom, the lower molar, my jaw or my head.

Just as the plane landed in Florida , the tooth got tired of playing its tricks and took a break. But it had done its deed. I chewed my food on the other side, brushed my teeth carefully. That was when I decided I needed to find a dentist. But of course procrastination is my nature and that good deed kept being pushed back due to school reunions, visiting guests, shopping pursuits and office deadlines. Finally the tooth decided to remind me again ….in red. A tiny spot of blood each morning while washing my mouth. It reached a stage where I could out it off no longer.

I found a dentist, took an x-ray and that led to the aforementioned war cry by the enthusiastic dentist. He was quick, I grant you. Injected three shots on either side of my tooth, yanked it off without mercy. I took the rest of the day off and spent it working from home. By night it reached the unbearable limit. Today I am back at work, the broken tooth still reminds me of its absence by flooding by mouth with a bloody taste occasionally and a searing pain , almost like a last goodbye, when I turn my head too fast or when I plonk into my chair , or when I lean to get something off a top shelf. Ah fun fun fun!!

But the good doctor eventually did have to look in my mouth to extract the tooth and that was when he found two more cavities that needed to be fixed. Of course ASAP

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