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I went to the dentist for a broken tooth in early June. They found that I also needed to have some wisdom teeth and back teeth pulled at the same time as the broken tooth, so they had to refer me to a specialist oral surgeon for the extractions. It took four weeks for the dental insurance company to authorize the procedure and inform us by mail, even though it was a dental emergency. ūüėģ

So, I spent the past several weeks dealing with varying degrees of tooth pain, which is kind of not an experience that I care to repeat. We checked the mail every day, and finally received a letter from the dental insurance company on the 27th. The following scene occurred:

Mrs E: We just got a letter from them! ::hands me the letter::

Me: YES!!! ::opens letter::

Mrs E: Well?

Me: It’s the July bill.

Mrs E: ::facepalm::

We got another letter on June¬†30th or so, however, and that one was the authorization for the extractions. I don’t think people normally get excited about being able to get their teeth pulled, but¬†it might as well have been¬†Christmas as far as I was concerned. The oral surgeon’s office had received the authorization on the same day and set us up for an appointment on July 3rd, so wheels were finally turning.

I didn’t really have much idea of what to expect. I’d had a total of two¬†dental experiences in my entire life that I could recall–one as a kid where I got my teeth cleaned and received a coloring book extolling the virtues of flossing 144 times a day, and then the initial appointment that I mentioned in the first paragraph of this blog post. For all I know, the oral surgeon throws on a blacksmith’s apron and an executioner’s hood and then goes to town on the offending teeth¬†with an angle grinder or something.

The actual process was, surprisingly enough, rather civilized and there was far less blood, screaming, and power tool usage than I expected. They put me in the chair, wired me up to a blood pressure monitor, stuck an intravenous line into my hand, and shot me full of antibiotics and anesthetics. Once my brain was firmly convinced that I no longer had a face or a head to speak of, they pulled all six offending teeth in less than 10 minutes. All I felt was some vague crunching and snapping sensations and an occasional spike of very minor pain. My mouth was then stuffed with gauze pads and I was discharged with a prescription for Norco and some gauze pads.

My entire jaw was comically swollen and I had absolutely no sensation whatsoever. I drove Mrs E crazy by constantly poking my numb cheeks and giggling. My tongue felt like it was four times its normal size whenever I tried to move it, and I had to communicate exclusively by writing down my comments on paper or texting.

Once the anesthetics wore off, I felt like I’d gone a few rounds with a professional boxer and lost badly. ūüėÜ

I also spent pretty much all of the first day and a half with teabags and gauze pads stuffed into my mouth to control¬†the bleeding. By Friday evening, I didn’t need the gauze anymore and was able to eat chunky soups and soft foods, so things are going well. I’m really happy that I won’t have to deal with that toothache anymore!

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