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