Wednesday, August 27, 2008

chip off the old block...

A couple months ago I had all four wisdom teeth extracted. My reason for doing so was two-fold. First, my dental insurance was soon to disappear, and I figured I would save over a thousand dollars by not waiting any longer and using as much free money as I could. Second, my teeth were beginning to give me problems, I'm just not the type of person to get something fixed if it's not broken or causing me a substantial amount of pain.

Well everything went fine and dandy; I was put under during the operation - which was an experience in itself  - and was out of the dental office in seemingly no time at all. The dentist who performed the procedure told me they were able to perform the surgery with only one slight hiccough - a tiny piece of chipped tooth was stuck in my gums but it would not pose any problem as this happened "every now and then." I figured for $500 a tooth you'd be able to take out the whole thing, but I suppose with all that hammering and drilling you're bound to miss something. So my mom picked me up, we went to jamba juice and I bought me a smoothie. Or my mom bought me one - that sounds more like it. The holes in my mouth were healing, there were no dry sockets, and the swelling was minimal. Awesome.

About three weeks later though, I started getting a sharp pain in the lower left section where my tooth number thirty-eight had been extracted. I figured it wasn't something I should be worried about, and flew off to Arizona to spend time with my good friends AJ, Rhi and their son Coben. During the trip the pain seemed to get gradually worse and I told myself I would go back to the dentist to ask them about it. The day after I arrived home I called the dentist and was able to go see him that morning. He told me that it was most likely a bruise, although there was a very small chance that it could be some piece of food lodged in there which could be the problem. He told me to come back in two weeks, which I did, and by that time the swelling was gone and all was fine. Hallelujah.

Fast-forward to this Monday night. I had just finished playing a softball game in which we lost, not to mention I sprained my finger sliding head first into third base; but that's another story for another time. It was my teammate's birthday and we were having birthday cake for her after the game - which was a wonderful thing. Except of course for the fact that I wasn't in the mood for birthday cake after losing a softball game to a team who had a combined attitude of fail. Anyway, as I was eating my cake, my tongue brushed up against the healing hole of tooth number thirty-eight and I felt a sharp piece of...something. I wasn't sure of what it was, but I did realize that every time I pushed my tongue against it I was cutting my tongue little by little. 

I wondered what in the world could be stuck in my toothless hole, considering I couldn't recall eating anything sharp that would lodge itself there. Last night my tongue kept going back to it and I knew that I would either have to go back to the dentist to have them take a look at it or I would have to perform surgery myself. Being one that would rather take matters into his own hands, I woke up this morning, walked downstairs, grabbed a toothpick, and made my way back to the upstairs bathroom to perform surgery. With said toothpick in right hand I faced the mirror and opened my mouth to insert my high-tech dental instrument. Using the toothpick somewhat like a crowbar I dislodged the sharp something and let out a sigh of relief combined with a groan. (It was an interesting sound, ask my sister). 

Lo and behold - there in my hand sat the chip of my mandibular third molar aforementioned in paragraph two. My only complaint though is that I don't consider it to be a "tiny piece." No, not something that would "not pose any problem." Not only that, but I'm surprised that the dentist did not put two-and-two together: the first two being that they had left broken tooth in my mouth, and the second that I was experiencing pain in that same place. I'm just grateful to my little Chip though, because he decided to find his way out of the dark abscess where he resided for two months.

And yes, I've kept Chip so you can see what he looks like. I'm sure he'd be glad to meet you.


Mikkele Suzanne said...

that's disgusting.

but i commend you on your story telling skills

Mikkele Suzanne said...

haha sorry, that posted 3 times.

James said...

that's okay - easily remedied :)

and thank you, i tried.

the CoR said...

Sometimes I wonder if dentists are intentionally inept so that they make more money when you have to come back in and get things fixed. I had one problem in my mouth stemming from a cavity that was filled improperly several years ago, and ever since then I have to get some form of surgery on it every six months to a year. Lamesauce.

James said...

Thank God for toothpicks then right? I would have kept the toothpick that did the trick but figured that would be taking it a little to far.

catbonny said...

Wow. That's intense. Why would they leave it in there? I mean you were knocked out, couldn't they try just a little bit harder?

Good job getting it out.