Three years ago I got two wisdom teeth pulled out. Both were on my left side. I was supposed to go back to the dentist three months later to get the other two pulled, but never made an appointment…until a few weeks ago. I had gone in for a routine check-up and afterward my dentist suggested (again) that I get the remaining two teeth of wisdom taken out. I agreed. It didn’t take much convincing. He told me it’d be better for the overall health and cleanliness of my mouth—things I already knew. I just wanted them out because they had been bothering me.
Today was the day. I went in a little nervous, not because of bad experiences I’ve had with my dentist, but because I’ve heard horror stories from others—pain long after the procedure, incessant bleeding, bruises, gums that took a long time to heal. My dentist worked on my bottom wisdom tooth first. At first I thought he was going to break my jaw or crack my cheekbone because he was pressing so hard. Side note: I still don’t understand why some sort of tooth-extracting machine hasn’t been invented. Maybe it’s in the works. I mean, being a dentist takes a lot of strength, at least for extracting of teeth, particularly the bottoms. Okay, back to my story: My dentist seemed like he was having a hard time and flashes of the last time I was in the seat getting my other wisdom teeth pulled were popping into my head. Last time, my dentist was practically bracing the chair trying to get the suckers out. I hoped he wouldn’t have to do the same this time. My eyes were closed the whole time because I didn’t want to see any of the tools being used. Was I curious? Nope, not really. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I was trying to reach the state of bliss when I heard him say to his assistant, “Bring the knife.” Really, did he have to say that? They should just have codes or hand signals. And he said it in Korean. It’s weird, but when things are spoken in a foreign language, it just makes the situation feel more frightening, mysterious, or romantic. In this case, frightening. Next thing I know, I feel string. Hm. How could he be stitching already? I thought he was going to go old school and tie string around my tooth and slam the door because he wasn’t having any success. I know, I can be a little dramatic sometimes. Thank God I was wrong. He was stitching up my gums. Next was the top tooth. A cinch.
The dental assistant even wiped the blood off my face. Last time I had specks of blood around my mouth, which I hadn’t noticed until I got to my car. Today I pulled out wisdom, but I think it’s going to be a good day…with the help of some old friends, Advil and Tylenol.