11 April 2006

Snap, Crackle, Pop

Today I had two wisdom teeth pulled. This is something that I needed to have done since at least 2000. My left rear molar never fully erupted, as us dentist like to say, so from time to time, bits of food would get lodged under the gum back there and get inflamed. I could always tell when this happened because a) it was uncomfortable and b) I could occasionally smell pus. But since I'm a horrible procrastinator, I kept putting it off and putting it off.

Until yesterday, that is -- I was in quite a bit of discomfort-bordering-on-pain, so I made an appointment to get it taken care of.

Since I'm not a macho former drug addict like my dear friend James Frey, I had a local anesthetic. The doctor and his assistant then proceeded to basically yank the teeth out of my jaw. It took all of 15 minutes. It was entirely painless, but since I could easily hear the teeth cracking and popping like so many brittle twigs, it was a mite unsettling. Once everything was extracted, the put in some stitches, which I have to have removed next week.

I asked the doctor if I could keep the teeth as souvenirs. He said this was not allowed due to health regulations. However, they did let me look at them. They were awfully bloody.

Speaking of blood: I have to keep gauze over the wounds and replace them every 20-30 minutes. When I do, the pads are soaked with blood. It's fascinating for now, but if this persists, I will be concerned.

The Good: Ice cream for dinner, a day off work, a prescription for Vicodin.
The Bad: Bloody gauze, swelling, general discomfort:
The Ugly: The sockets where my teeth were.

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