I have had a near sleepless night. I went to bed taking a couple of Panadols with the hope of researching dentists during the day at work. But my tooth had other ideas. Around 0230 hours, I was woken up by a throbbing pain. The pain killers were obviously losing their effect. And that was not good.
I tossed and turned, trying to find a position where my tooth wouldn’t hurt. But I was kidding myself. In the end, I woke up and went online, looking for dentists in my suburb. I also texted a couple of friends (yes, around 0300 hours) asking if they could recommend any dentists in the area given they grew up here. I kept regretting the fact almost exactly a year ago, when I visited Bombay, my usual dentist thought there was space for my wisdom teeth and decided against pulling them out. So by 0330, I had a list of dentists in the area, just in case my friends couldn’t recommend any. Turns out, there was one which was a 5-minute walk from my place. I thought I would try that first in the morning.
By 0515, one of my friends responded with two recommendations — a pricey one and a cheaper one. The pricey one was another dentist in the same suburb as me. By then the pain was so bad I had decided to take the day off work and go see the dentist. And I was prepared to spend the money. As long as I could get an appointment. But first, it meant calling up work and informing them. And getting them to cancel my clients for the day. I felt so guilty about cancelling on my clients despite being in so much pain. Go figure. Turns out, one client was not happy but everyone else was understanding.
At 0830, the first call was to the dental clinic 5 minutes from my place — no appointments available. The second was to the cheaper option recommended by my friend — and they were able to fit me in at 0930. I was able to make it in time and the dentist had a look in my mouth and said that the lower wisdom tooth on the left would get infected if it wasn’t pulled out. Like I suspected, there was no space. So then I had to get an X-ray (which I got on Medicare) and back in the dentist’s chair in 15 minutes.
And it was scary.
The last time I had a tooth pulled out was when I was 7. And I cried. Sorry. I wailed. Since then, I’ve never had to have teeth pulled out. Not even when I got my braces. I was literally shaking in fear. I kid you not. I am an anxious person but I have really seen myself shake so much. Not even when I suffered from stage fright. He kept telling me to relax. But the sight of the big needle to anaesthetise the area didn’t help the nerves. Anyway, once the left side of my face was numb, he told me I would feel pressure but shouldn’t feel any pain. His assistant tried reassuring me saying that he had removed her teeth in the past. Did not really help with the shakes.
Then he began…and the pressure was agonising. He had to use a lot of force and there were instances when I had images of my jaw breaking. The tears fell in response to the pressure. And then, it was all over. In probably 5 minutes. He just had to stitch it up. My eyes were shut the entire time. But upon opening them and then sitting up, I saw there was a lot of blood in the tray. However, I couldn’t feel a thing apart from the thick gauze to staunch the flow of blood. Thank God for anaesthesia! (I cannot imagine the pain people had to endure prior to the invention of these!!!
I got sent off with a swollen face on the left, a prescription for antibiotics, a medical certificate for two days, instructions to not drink alcohol (not a worry on weekdays), not eat anything hot for a couple of days (what the?), have pain killers every four hours, and this:
My tooth as a souvenir. Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel squeamish and gross you out!
And it cost $270. Along with an invitation to get rid of the other three.
It makes me wonder: why do we even have to get wisdom teeth when they need to be removed in most cases?? I think I will wait for the next time the pain hits before seeing him to get rid of the other three. Not that he was a bad dentist. I thought he was really good. It’s just that I would prefer to not shell out a 1000 dollars in one go especially if these last until my next trip to India in the future
Then, I’m definitely asking the dentist there to pull them out. Even if it means giving up on Indian food for 3 to 4 days!
So now, I’m at home, resting as I have been advised, taking my pain killers and antibiotics and feeling like crap because I am not allowed to brush my teeth for 24 hours.
Until next time,