9 December 2009 (Wednesday) - Having a Tooth Out

To the dentist to have my wisdom tooth removed. I had this sneaking suspicion that I wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything beforehand, so I skipped breakfast. I was right. I arrived ten minutes early to be told I wasn’t to eat or drink anything for four hours before the procedure. Some might call that a bit short notice.
I was then presented with a myriad of forms to read and sign, and eventually (twenty minutes late) I got into the dentist’s inner sanctum. The dentist asked me if I understood what he was going to do. I said that I thought I would get gassed and he’d pull the tooth whilst I was asleep. How naïve of me - it wasn’t going to be quite that simple.
First of all, I wasn’t going to be gassed, I was going to be sedated. A doctor was there for the anaesthetic. They would inject some jollop into the back of my hand and whilst I would be awake for the whole procedure, it would be as though I was drunk, and I wouldn’t remember anything of what happened. Dover beer festival flashbacks? Well, I’m used to that, so no worries there.
Secondly the tooth wouldn’t be pulled. Because it was growing at right angles to the way it should, they would have to remove some of my jaw bone, break the tooth and remove the fragments. In the trade, this is known as “horizontally impacted”. Apparently as wisdom teeth go, this really was going to be the most painful removal he could possibly do. It was a shame that they couldn’t have shown me the x-rays last time.

So I’d found myself in a rather impossible position. Had I known just what a difficult procedure it was going to be (involving removal of bone) I would have thought twice about it, and would probably have opted for a general anaesthetic at the hospital. But by the time he’d finally explained all of this, the anaesthetist was waiting and I’d already paid up.
Oh well, having psyched myself up to have it done today, and having planned for the only time I could get time off work, and also bearing in mind the thing has been problematical for some time; I decided to get it over with. The anaesthetist put a needle in the back of my hand, and…. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t all that good. They told me that I would be aware of what the dentist was doing, but afterwards I wouldn’t remember any of it. They lied.
I’m not sure why they blindfolded me for the procedure, and whilst I could feel the pressure of his pulling and prodding, it didn’t bother me that much at the time. Eventually the job was done, and I had hoped to have a photograph of the offending tooth for today’s blog picture, but since the thing came out in fragments, that wasn’t possible. They then gave me pain killers, two different antibiotics and two different mouth washes and sent me on my way. Well, not so much sent me on my way as gave ‘er indoors TM strict instructions for my supervision for the next day or so. I’m not to be left unattended in case the drugs have unexpected side effects.

I wasn’t allowed to walk home from the dentist. ‘er indoors TM was under orders to drive me home. Bearing in mind the need to turn the car round it actually took longer to drive home than it would have to walk.
Daddies Little Angel TM ” then took over my supervision whilst I slept in front of DVDs on the telly, and then “My Boy TM ” came home early. He’d told his work he was doing “Dad-Watch” and he promptly went to sleep.

Right now it’s all rather sore and swollen, which I suppose is only to be expected. The surgery say they will phone tomorrow to make an appointment to take the stitches out.
I’ve blogged about my dentist before. For a long time I’ve not been happy with them. And today hasn’t enamoured me to them at all. Let’s look at today’s episode: When my wisdom tooth was first playing up, the dentist was rather dismissive (see blog entry for 2 November). It was still playing up a fortnight later (see blog entry for 18 November) when the stand-in dentist made it clear that the removal of a wisdom tooth would be a hospital job. And then the surgery phoned me back a week later (24 November) to ask why I wanted to go to the hospital. They seemed to take offence that I didn’t want them to do the job. They made it clear that they could do the job easily, and so I booked the appointment. All they told me was that my dental policy wouldn’t cover the work and so I’d have to pay, and that I’d need someone to be with me for the day after the extraction.
There was no mention that it was an impacted wisdom tooth, or that the thing would have to be broken up in situ and removed in fragments. Or that I had to fast before the procedure. I’ve had a pretty major procedure done which, on reflection, I would rather have had done under a general anaesthetic at the hospital.

Meanwhile in lego-land, “Gervais” is trying to cross the road. Either that, or he has another reason to be waiting for a red light….


  1. Sorry you had such a pants time. When I have had that type of sedation...I have gone out like a light and not remembered anything. I think maybe they didn't give you enough.
    I hope you feel better soon.
    We all know why Gervais is standing under the red light....you just need to give him his sign.

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