Yesterday, I was forced to attend the dentist because my orthodontist decided that I needed to have four teeth extracted in order to continue my treatment. Originally, she wanted me to have this “simple surgery” as she described it. When I went in for the initial orthodontic consultation, she told me that this surgery was “nothing at all” just an expansion of my jaw since it is too small to fit all of my adult teeth. “It’s really no problem,” she said in such a blase offhand manner.
When I went to the oral surgeon, however, he described a most horrible procedure that involved putting me into a coma and spending a night or two in the hospital. He also stated that because of the agonising pain I would be in, I wouldn’t be able to work for at least a week. Since I have never had any surgery before, I am not keen into rushing into one. In addition, I don’t fancy using my vacation time to be laid up in debilitating pain. No thanks. I thanked the oral surgeon for his time, and promptly let my orthodontist know that I was not interested. She was quite miffed, to say the least. She said, “Fine, you’ll have to get your teet pulled.” I’ve had my wisdom teeth removed and I know what I’m working with. With some invasive surgery, I don’t know about that.
Anyway, I went to the dentist yesterday to get these teeth yanked out. I was under the impression that I would be able to get all four of them removed at once but he stared at me as if I were crazy. “Oh, no, it will be too much,” he said, aghast. Fine. I’ll just do two. Even that seemed like it would be considerable, according to his expression, but I don’t want to have to come back week after week, getting teeth snatched out of my head. It’s going to be painful regardless; there’s nothing for it but to just have done with it.
So, he sticks me in the mouth with all the appropriate numbing medicines and while I’m sitting there, slowly losing the feeling in the left side of my face, there is another patient across the wall from me. The dentist is now consulting with him. The man is complaining about a small ache in his mouth, but otherwise “has had no problem.”
“I can even eat nuts and steak,” the man said.
“Sir, I’m sorry but there’s really nothing that can be done. I am going to have to remove several teeth,” said the dentist.
The man asks, “How many?”
“Offhand, I would say at least 10 or 12. You have seriously advanced gum disease. We’re going to need to do something about that before we can proceed.”
“Can’t you just scrape some stuff off?”
“Oh, we are going to do an extensive amount of scraping, but some of these teeth… once I begin the deep scaling, they’re going to fall apart because they’ve been seriously damaged. I would not allow this to continue or else you’ll risk a major infection and possibly lose all of your teeth.”
The man just did not want to hear that. Apparently this is his second or third trip to a dentist, and each dentist has given him the same bad news. I guess he’s under the impression that they are all lying to him to get his money. Like they want to yank out 1o or 12 teeth for fun. I could see them fibbing for one or two, since it costs $200 per tooth, but 10? That’s a stretch. Plus, this guy needed “deep scaling” and some other procedure to kill the gum disease that was basically rotting his mouth. And after all of that, he was going to need a set of dentures to replace the teeth he would be losing.
The man just did not want dentures. He said, “Dentures? I’m not old. I don’t want that.”
“Well, sir, you’re going to have at least 10 teeth removed. Will you just leave those gaps then? Most of the bottom will have to come out. You will not be able to chew.”
“Do I really have to get all those teeth removed?”
“Yes, possibly more, once I really study your x-rays.”
“I might go back to that other dentist. He said only six teeth.”
“When did you see that dentist?”
“That’s why it’s only six. The more you procrastinate getting this done, the more and more teeth will have to come out. I suggest that whoever you go to, you start your treatment immediately.”
“Well, I’m definitely not getting anything done now. I was thinking mid to late summer.”
“Sir, by mid to late summer, you probaby will not have any teeth to save.”
Why is this guy being so hardheaded! I was sitting there with absolutely no feeling in my face, drooling down my chin and laughing my ass off. This guy has teeth that look like 20,000 leagues under the sea. That is why his teeth are rotting out. He probably was one of those kids that argued with his mother about brushing his teeth, and now look at him. The guy was probably in his mid-40s and he has to have TEN teeth snatched from his head and deep scaling. What is that? I’m scared to even know. I’m getting teeth pulled because my face is too small to fit everything, not because they’re rotten. Ugh.
I need people to brush their teeth. That is all. Thank you.