serious

Today. So far.

Up earlyish, had a shower, got dressed and went out the door to the dentist.

I know that going back so soon after Tuesday's root canal work might seem to be sliding into open masochism, but actually neither day hurt significantly. I got two cartridges of lidocaine straight off today, Tuesday's lesson having been learnt. They took effect really quickly this time, so it was straight to work. I had a small filling a couple of teeth forward of the problem tooth, and after just a moment's drilling and grinding the filling itself started. I'm fairly sure this one isn't amalgam, as there seemed to be several compounds and stages involved, and some sort of light that I reckon might have been UV. Certainly the nurse was holding an eyeshade made of the same orange plastic the UV-shield on the work microscopes are made of.

That only took a few minutes. After that, it was down to work. Happily, I was well numbed by this point, and I would like to emphasise that at no point was this painful. I did find the amount of force involved disconcerting, and it did occur to me that if the left half of my upper jaw just came away in his hand I was going to have an interesting time eating Christmas Dinner, but nothing along those lines happened. Honest.

The first thing that might perhaps have given me hints that it was going to be interesting came when the dentist, after having a good poke around, said "Actually, this is quite a big tooth. I'd thought it was just a small one." He seemed unconcerned, though, so I didn't really think much of it. Well, you don't really, do you? After all, if a highly trained, experienced professional says something like "You may notice a slight reduction in the number of wings" or "You might feel a slight twinge here" in a calm, unperturbed voice, you tend - or, at least, I tend - to assume that matters are still firmly under control. And, to be fair, usually they are. In this case included - he merely put down his pliers, picked up something that looked like a miniature dental crowbar[1], and set to work loosening the tooth a little.

This involved some interesting crunching sensations as he (I assume) got it into the sides of the socket and twisted, and an odd sensation somewhere in my nasal cavity that felt like it was getting slightly blocked. This went on for a few minutes and then there was the second moment that, with hindsight, might have made me slightly nervous.

"I'm just going to have to think about this for a moment."

Again, this was delivered with a wonderful bedside manner. You know how it's like, the sort of voice that wil tell you "Well, Mrs Jones, I'm afraid it's spread further than we thought and we're going to have to amputate your head" and it wouldn't worry you too much. Very calm, very matter-of-fact. And then he reached for a bigger crowbar.

No, I'm lying. He didn't. He used the same one to loosen it a bit more and then after a few more minutes picked his pliers up again. There was a slight delay while he got a good grip and the right angle, and then suddenly he gave one good pull and it was all over. Completely painless. God bless the pharmaceutical industry.

That's the story, really. He asked me if I wanted the tooth (I did, of course, and have it in my pocket as I write) and he showed me why it had been tricky. Less of the crown was left than I'd (or he'd) thought, so there was more root down there than had seemed likely. Also, it's a weird mutant tooth. Instead of having a couple of roots, each with a clean horn shape heading into the socket, the rear one is instead a set of three blunt roots, slightly splayed and so maybe more difficult to get out of said socket. Worse still, they were below the part of the tooth that had collapsed, so there wasn't much solid tooth above that root to get a firm hold of. "I've been pulling those for 25 years," he said. "That was a honey."

I've taken a couple of co-codamol, and there's still a slight, dull ache where the tooth was, but nothing I can't live with. It's not stopping me concentrating, or enjoying my dinner (although you'll appreciate that I didn't go for anything spicy). No alcohol today, either, but that's not such a problem either.

What is on my mind is what to do with it. I could just keep it somewhere, of course, but is that the best I can manage? Obviously I can't throw it away, or I stop being a man who has all his own hair and teeth. Or all his own teeth, anyway - I don't fanatically gather all the hairs I shed and store them, although maybe I should. I think nik_strychnine used to have a tooth he'd had made into an earring. I don't have pierced ears, though.

Any ideas?

Anyway. I'm at work. I've just been to see a wavelength-splitting device demonstrated. You get a continuous-colour image in, and it splits it into a grid of images, each of a narrow wavelength band. All very groovy.


[1] Again, I'm not actually joking here. It did look like that, and that's roughly what he used to for too.

  • Current Mood: slightly achy
I'd be fascinated to see my upper molars if they ever have to come out; the roots are all twisted round each other in a really funky art nouveau sort of way, according to the X-rays.

Fortunately the wisdom teeth they took out were just pointing 90 degrees away from where they should have been, but were otherwise totally normal.. all they had to do was cut my gums open to get at them.
Hmmm...I'll tell you about my comedy wisdom tooth extraction one day. My only advice on keeping teeth is to make sure you seriously sterilise the bugger, otherwise they can stink something terrible...
Deal. Over a pint, maybe.

What would you recommend for sterilisation? Iodine's out - it's yellow enough already.
I still have mine and haven't decided what to do with them either. They're just not pretty enough to make jewellery from.
I envy you your susceptibility to lidocaine. Two vials of the stuff on me leaves me able to recite tongue twisters. Dental work for me is seldom fun. Having my wisdom teeth extracted was quite the little adventure.

Oh, and the crowbars are precisely that. My dentist growing up, Dr. Lockett, said on several occasions that, if it weren't for the materials they used, which are harder than surgical stainless to sterilise, he could get much better dental tools at Handy Andy than through the dental supply catalogs. This revelation inspired precisely zero confidence in me, perhaps owning to the half dozen needle-nose pliers that were lodged in my face at that moment.

Then he asked me if I ever did any fishing. But I digress.

"I'm just going to have to think about this for a moment."

"Huh, never seen one like that before."
My dentist was having a chat with the nurse about the teflon tools that are needed for some sort of wacky filling compound. Utterly unusable, he reckons.

Dental work for me is seldom fun. Having my wisdom teeth extracted was quite the little adventure.

They didn't go for a general, then? Sounds painful. I've had the odd filling with too little anaesthetic, but happily nothing major.
I had two mutant cow-sized teeth (that is, teeth the size of the teeth of cows, not teeth the size of cows) removed when I was about twelve; they were, I think, pre-molars, but they were twice the size they should have been (no kidding; the orthodontist thought the first X-ray must have smeared, and insisted on doing a second sset before he'd believe that the teeth were actually that big). They did offer the teeth to me, but I was in pain, and groggy from the (general) anaesthetic, so I refused, which I rather regret now.
not teeth the size of cows

How disappointing. It was a wonderful image.

I refused, which I rather regret now.

Well, if you were groggy, maybe they were the size of cows, in which case you'd have nowhere to keep them. Maybe it was the right decision after all.
(Anonymous)
get it encased in a lucite block.

drill a hole in it and put it on a keyring.

give it to a magickian who hates you, and hope that it *is* all bollocks.

keep it in your mouth, and try to get nudged by a car at a pedestrian crossing. fall over, spit the tooth and claim compensation.

just do the above for a laugh, sans car, in front of old ladies, clergymen, kids, politicians, etc.

put it under your pillow and see if any fairies give you any money next time they drop round.

swallow it, take photos of the poo, and upload them to rotten.com

drill it, put it on a string, bring it round here and play conkers with this feller (http://www.thalamus.myby.co.uk/teefs/toof.jpg)

sell it on ebay.

make someone a cuppa at work, and drop it quietly into their cup.

similarly - bake six muffins, and play muffin roulette.

anonymouseth
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I haven't been to a dentist since I left London (that nice Dr. Chen above a caff on Lavender Hill) which was an awfully long time ago, so talk of dentistry always makes me very nervous.
Understandably. It's been a pretty innocuous experience, actually, when compared to spending a week not being able to sleep properly due to toothache.
I'm fairly sure this [filling] isn't amalgam, as there seemed to be several compounds and stages involved, and some sort of light that I reckon might have been UV. Certainly the nurse was holding an eyeshade made of the same orange plastic the UV-shield on the work microscopes are made of.

That'll be a white (or, more accurately, tooth-coloured) filling. Much less visually jarring than amalgam. I think they're some sort of epoxy polymer - whatever it is, they use UV light to cure it.
That stuff seems to take being moulded into shape a lot better than amalgam. I recently went to the dentist and he was able to use to reconstruct the shape of a tooth with part broken off the side, when I was thinking I might end up with a crown. In days of yore (so, about 20 years ago) when I had my first fillings, the shiny metal stuff only seemed to handle concave holes.
I think I generally prefer the idea of something which goes through a one-way reaction on demand rather than vaguely hope it will set, or stay in the hole and remain pretty viscous, or whatever...
[Whimper]

I need the exact same thing doing. L upper wisdom tooth, most of the crown gone.

My dentist tried once. Hurt like bloody blue FUCK and she gave up. Damned near called me a coward, which I am definitely not, but I've not gone back since.

[Whimper]

Maybe I should come to Edinburgh to have it done. Your man clearly knows his business. How much did it cost you, may I ask?