What do you get when you combine 7 needles, the extraction of 3 wisdom teeth and the filling of 4 cavities?
Apparently, no pain.
As you can probably guess, I survived the operation. The most prevalent feelings now? Thank God I’ll never have to go through that again, followed by the close second, WHEN CAN I OPEN MY MOUTH WIDE ENOUGH TO SHOVE MY FACE AND SINK MY TEETH INTO FOOD INSTEAD OF EATING WITH MY TWO FRONT TEETH LIKE A LITTLE PRISSY RABBIT?
The operation itself was long yet not long, considering that I had three wisdom teeth out and four fillings done all in the same sitting. It took about 2.5 hours, and the most painful thing about it was probably the neck pain I had during the ordeal from tensing up everything from my neck up for the entire time.
The extraction of the wisdom teeth took about half as long as I was expecting them to take, which was a very welcomed surprise. My second favorite part was right at the beginning, where they took the scalpel to my gums, which was followed by a crunch crunch crunch that I can only assume was them cutting through my gums and bone.
My favorite part, however, was the very last tooth extraction, which refused to come out—at which point he actually got up from his chair, stood over me with his fingers in my mouth and pulled. (Or at least, I’m pretty sure that’s what he was doing.) It felt straight out of the movies, and all while he was doing that, I was thinking to myself, okay asshole tooth, I want you out NOW. GET OUT. NOW. GO. GET. SCRAM. COME OUT.
I will now provide you with a picture of the three bloody wisdom teeth I got to take home in a bag, just to complete your mental picture:
After I got out of the dentist chair, I realized how much I love my dentist. I know this isn’t the typical reaction of someone who just had three teeth ripped from their skull, and I can assure you I wasn’t high on any kind of substance (I was awake and very much with it for the entire operation), but this is so important I need to say it again: You need to find a dentist you won’t avoid visiting. You need to find a dentist you like, you trust, and that you’re not suspicious of.
My dentist was amazing. What you don’t know is that I called him up two days before the operation with second thoughts. I was unsure. It was my choice to have them out now (I could have waited until they caused me trouble – but considering that they had nowhere to go but into my other teeth, I opted for the present), but he talked me through the options and reassured me of my choices.
Periodically during the procedure itself, he would talk to me. Then, before beginning the extraction part, he explained that he would go extremely slow, and that if I felt even the slightest of pain I was to tell him, because he didn’t want me to be in pain. That made me feel extremely relieved. I knew he wasn’t working on a clock or trying to rush through anything, and I felt much more relaxed knowing that he didn’t want me to feel pain.
I know that sounds retarded – of course your dentist doesn’t want you to feel pain! But even though you may logically know that, sometimes the brain doesn’t make all the connections. Society infers to us that we should fear the dentist, and that any kind of dental appoint should be dreaded because it will inevitably mean pain. No wonder dentists supposedly have the highest suicide rate of any profession—how would you feel if people dreaded seeing you and associated pain to you even coming close to them?
So. Operation is over. He tells me to sit in the chair and relax for a bit before getting up. Several minutes later, he comes back with a wet cloth. “You look like someone beat you up”, he jokes, wiping a stray splatter of blood from my face. Maybe I have an odd sense of humor, but I found that funny.
I didn’t care if I had blood on my face; it was like war paint to me. I had gone through a war (conquering a fear and living through several firsts, including – first drilling, first needle, first tooth extraction and first stitches) and won. I did this.
Up next: What you get when you combine Chanel, Tylenol 3, X51, time off and food?