Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stubborn Tooth (part 1)

For my whole braces or orthodontic plan, I need four of my teeth extracted to allow space for my teeth to spread nicely. Last Sunday, August 30, 2009, I had my first ever tooth extraction (I was supposed to have two extracted in one session, but only had one because of the extreme difficulty in plucking it out -- will be detailed later).

So, I went to the dentist to have two of my teeth extracted in one session. I had a total of four that needs extraction, one from each corner of my set of teeth, and it was best practice to extract two at a time, and the next two three days after the first one. Finally, the day has come that my mom finally had the time to escort me to the dentist to proceed with the pre-orthodontic procedures to give way for me having braces. We arrived pretty early at the clinic at some time before 3PM; pretty early because we usually arrive late in the afternoon.

Before the procedure, my mom asked me if she could leave me during the surgery. It was fine with me because I'm a grown up man already. But I told her that I'll just probably send her a text message if there is something she needs to know.

The surgery was finally able to start at about 3:30PM. I was asked which side I prefer to have extracted first: the left or the right; she clarified by telling me that I should leave the side where I'm comfortable eating. I chose the right first to be extracted. Then the dentist started the whole extraction process at the right side, with the lower tooth first.

On average, tooth extraction takes about 2 hours at most, especially with impacted wisdom tooth. That is the track record of the dentist who was handling my operation. Wisdom tooth extraction, especially impacted ones, are difficult procedures, but, in the case of the dentist, it only takes about 2 hours. But, what everyone failed to see before hand was that I was about to make a dental history with them for later taking more than 4 hours in the procedure.

Now, the difficult labor all began. The surgery finally commenced. The area surrounding the area of operation was first numbed with anesthesia with probably less than 4 shots. I didn't feel a lot, but I knew that the 'elevation' started. After 'elevating' my tooth, they then started plucking out my tooth with a tool. There began the extreme pain the surgery had for me; and even all the doctors who were there.

I was feeling great pain when the dentist was forcefully pulling my tooth out; I felt like my whole jaw was about to tear. Later after the surgery, the doctor who mainly handled my operation had her whole right arm numbed because of the force she exerted.

The dentist then tried to pause the operation and began explaining to me how difficult my tooth extraction was. She was also explaining how it only took her 2 hours at most to remove impacted wisdom tooth, and that mine was really difficult to remove. She showed me some x-ray visuals and explained how it contributed to the difficulty of the procedure in my case.

When they proceeded with surgery, did some more elevation, which contributed only very little to the ease of extraction, they gave up again. They described that the tooth wasn't moving at all when being plucked. It just stayed in place no matter how much force they apply in pulling it out. During some more 'elevation', however, the tooth was 'slightly moving', they describe. But whenever they try pulling it off, there is great pain as if my jaw is going to tear as it goes with the tooth they're trying to pull out; the tooth remains intact with little to no movement at all despite the forceful pulling efforts.

They asked me to rest again, this time my mouth was engorged in more blood than earlier due to more and more 'digging'. It was the time that my mom got back, and I also tried to shed a little amount of tears. In my mind, I was just really relieved that my mom was finally there, which gives me a lot of comfort. I didn't expect that the procedure was going to be that excruciating, neither did the dentists know it was going to be that difficult, and it just helped that somebody dear to me knew of my case.

The dentists began to gather together at the station where I was to help the one in charge of my operation. They all tried to help and swapped positions trying to extract my tooth. But, they all just couldn't do anything.

They finally made contact with their senior dentist, the one who owned the clinic, and reported my case. What I heard was that they were to try removing some of my bones to loosen up the grip on my tooth. It's only done when the tooth is impacted, too difficult to extract, and the likes. It sounded like an extreme effort, but there was no other choice. They explained to me that it couldn't be left like that because it'll only swell, and that the only way to finish is to get the tooth extracted.

I wasn't able to track the time at that time. I just told myself that it should go on. But inside me, I had something else in mind. I remember the dreams I had before that I had a lot of times. The dream was that my teeth were all falling so feebly like they're overripe fruits falling from the tree. I had the dream several times already and it felt like it was almost real. I finally understood that dream because of the operation, that in reality I had stubborn teeth that were really hard to pluck out.

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