I had my third wisdom tooth out yesterday. The local anaesthetic injections were the worst bit. I didn’t cry as much as when I had the filling in June. I kept the tooth, although now I’m not sure what to do with it.
All credit to the dentist who was very good – he was very calming and explained everything before he did it, both what he was going to do and why he was going to do it. This helped a lot. Also, it didn’t hurt once the injections had kicked in. There was noisy cutting, as he had to cut off the top of the tooth before he could take it out – it was in a position similar to the one in the illustration above – leaning on the tooth next to it. I didn’t like the noise (who does?) but it wasn’t for very long. I didn’t commit any violent acts* and I wasn’t rude to anyone, so that was a triumph of sorts. Now I am trying not to do anything to make the wound bleed more, although I suspect I have already not rested enough. It’s surprisingly tiring having one tooth out!
*I’m always reminded of this quotation when I go to the dentist:
Hermione Granger: “My parents are dentists. They tend to people’s teeth.“
Horace Slughorn: “Fascinating. And is that considered a dangerous profession?”
Hermione Granger: “No. Although, one boy, Robbie Fenwick, did bite my father once. He needed ten stitches.“
I went to the dentist today to have my teeth scaled and polished (‘cleaned’) and then have a filling. It was not fun. There was a needle. I don’t like needles. There were loud high-pitched whirring noises. I don’t like loud high-pitched whirring noises. There were people standing over me with face masks on. You get the drift. I held the dental nurse’s hand. I gripped on to myself. I took deep slow breaths. I cried. I’m 39.
I have terrible teeth [in my terrible jaws – have I read The Gruffalo too many times?]. Not in terms of them being decayed (thank goodness), just in terms of their alignment, or rather lack of. They are very wonky – crooked, to go with my crooked back. It’s fun. (It’s not). It means I have to go to the dental hygienist to get them cleaned every six months, especially as, because I have heart condition, I have to be careful about infection, particularly in the mouth. I had endocartitis as a child and it was Not Good (as my daughter would say).
My teeth are crooked because I never had a brace. I was offered one, but I declined, because I didn’t think (aged 14?) that I could cope with the repeated trips to the dentist and fiddling about with my teeth that having one would have entailed. Or perhaps it was a matter of (for once) having the choice to be left alone or not, and I took the being left alone option, which I think is understandable.
Of course I regret it now. I know my teeth are horrible and I’m very self-concious about them, to the point where I will avoid smiling properly in photos. When I meet people I think about them thinking about how awful my teeth are – of course they may not be thinking this, but how do I know? And think of how many dental appointments I could actually have avoided if I’d had a brace so they were easier to clean.