Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Stubborn Tooth

The following will help explain why I have painted what appears to be a tooth. With one of the roots broken off.

During my semi-annual dental checkup on Tuesday, I mention to my dentist that the space between my bottom right wisdom tooth and the one next door always gets so crammed with food after I eat almost anything that it's close to unbearable. Pressure, pain even, a lot of discomfort. My Dr. says, well why don't we pull it out, because hey, it's cheap, it's starting to show some decay, the gum area around it is not in as good a shape as the rest of your mouth etc. etc.. So I say OK

I go in on this last Thursday, and we get a bit of a slow start because I just am not getting numb enough. This has happened to me before many times, because that's just me. So, about 4 shots later, and almost an hour after I arrive we are ready to yank this sucker out. I'm ready too. But. It. Won't. Budge. This is one very tough tooth. After almost 30 minutes of pulling and pushing, trying his best, the doctor is getting visibly frustrated. I ask is this normal, and he says nooo, this is not in his experience normal, and he goes on to mime the many times he has simply toggled a tooth back and forth a bit, pulled a bit, and POP, Bob's your uncle.
I say does this mean I have strong bones, and maybe don't have to worry about Osteoporosis, and he says, well yes, I'd say if your other bones are as strong as your jaw, you don't have anything to worry about. I flash forward in my mind to a conversation with my gynecologist where I relate this bit to her. Smugly.

Well, after that he gets serious and really starts applying some pressure. I think my jaw will come unhinged. And then whew! "Crack" goes something and I think wow, great, the wretched thing is out.

Well, it is. Almost. Seems like one of the pesky roots just doesn't want to leave my jaw bone and decides to stay behind. Where he can't get at it. At all.

So, he steps out briefly, I'm feeling ok, a little giddy, because there's a bunch of epinephrine in each of those shots and I'm feeling almost bouncy. He comes back to say, that he could fight all day with that root and it wouldn't come out so, he's called an Oral Surgeon who will see me within the hour.
I'm starting to find this all sort of hilarious. Is it all those shots?

We arrive at the surgeon's office, who is still attending at an emergency, but will see me in about 30 minutes. I fill out lots of paper work, ask if my insurance will cover this procedure or for that matter this doctor.

Well, no. At least not exactly. He's not in the plan, and I have unfortunately exceeded my measly $600 limit, so unfortunately I will have to pay $515 to have this little piece of shit tooth extracted from the bones of my face!
Still, I am amazed at my calm, my giddy acceptance of fate slapping me upside the what?? Tooth? Jaw?

Anyway, I get one heck of a shot, a monster injection, and the whole right side of my face goes numb in about 45 seconds, and then push here, pull there, some sort of cauldron stirring motion, about which I try not to think too much, and there you are precious little 5.65 mm rootlet.

Before this all began, I had promised my Dentist, who is a dear, and loves my paintings, to do a portrait of the tooth. Just before rushing off to the surgeon, I renewed my promise, saying I would also be sure to include the little broken bit.

Well, I lost it. Somewhere in my studio. I heard it drop, but after crawling around on my hands and knees for half an hour, I cannot for the life of me find it. So, apologies to dear Dr. J.

Well, there you have it; a story of something that just is what it is. Nothing to do about it. Just chuckle, paint the darned thing, and write it up.

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