Dental Days of Summer

Dental

Today I got one of my wisdom teeth removed. Yes! The time honored tradition-the rite of passage allowing us to go from being a teenager to a wise adult, has finally occurred to me at the age of 22. Truth be told, my wisdom teeth barely started coming out in late 2014 and haven’t given me any pain or problems. I recently realized that once I graduated from college, my school’s health insurance would end, which triggered my panic attack and subsequent visit to a dental office.

Low and behold, it turns out that avoiding the dentist for over 5 years results in little things called cavities. I had lovingly developed TWO cavities, which cost an arm and a leg to get filled. Unfortunately, my dentist also recommended that my wisdom teeth be extracted. Eww. What a terrible word-extracted. I don’t want any part of my body to be EXTRACTED. It just sounds yucky, but I can’t think of a person more knowledgeable about dentistry than an actual dentist, so I made an appointment with an oral surgeon.

The appointment went splendidly- at first. The oral surgeon, we’ll call him Mr. Tooth Fairy, began by asking me about my life and future academic endeavors. Of course I told him my lifelong dream of being a veterinarian and soon enough he declared me a mouth breather. Mouth. Breather. How rude! In his defense, it turns out that I am a mouth breather. Yes-I am! Apparently my brain has no confidence in my nose’s ability to get the job of inhaling done, and so it relies on my mouth.

Anyway, Mr. Tooth Fairy quickly began spewing out a laundry list of benefits that come with being a nose-breather, and outlined various exercises to convert me from being a mouth breather to a nose breather. Then, after viewing a super cool panoramic x-ray of my teeth, Mr. Tooth Fairy quickly stated that my wisdom teeth were growing in such a way as to hit a bone in my jaw. The verdict was that unless my wisdom teeth were removed, infection was imminent. I immediately freaked out, and after being reassured that I wasn’t going to spontaneously combust on the operating table, agreed to undergo a wisdom tooth extraction.

On the day of the surgery, I showed up in a comfortable scrub top (the most comfortable and functional top on the planet!) and leggings. As I scrambled into the chair for the extraction (still an icky word), the dentist talked me through the art of breathing through my nose. “Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, breath deep in with your nose, breath out with your nose, breath deep in with your nose, breath out with your nose..” and so on. Soon I had the act down pat and was ready for some anesthetic!

Now… my relationship with anesthetic has been a rocky one. The first time I used it was during my cavity fillings and it didn’t do the job. I was wincing in pain, digging my nails into the chair, imagining myself turning into Wolverine from the X-men and tearing the chair into shreds! Talk about a painful procedure. Luckily it was over fairly quickly, but it lasted long enough for me to be traumatized.

So, it’s safe to assume that I was a bit nervous about the anesthetic during the wisdom tooth extraction. Luckily, Mr. Tooth Fairy was very liberal with the anesthetic and after more than a few injections, I was numb as a leg that had been sat on for an hour! Before I knew it had even begun, the surgery was over and I was headed home. It’s unbelievable what a good anesthetic can do!

Now I’m at home, sitting on the living room couch with an icepack to my cheek, hoping that the swelling will go down soon. I’m certain my recovery will go well and I’ll be back on my adventures soon.

Ta ta for now!

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