Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I, like House MD, appreciate a fine vintage of Percocet

Dear Diary,

After yesterday's telephone call, I was at the denist oral surgeon's office bright and early.
And hungry.
and dehydrated.
And nervous.

It was decided that today, he would pull just one tooth.

In the chair, I got the needle. I also got pain that I have never had before.

For future reference: a few things have ever made me yell:
--breaking my arm
--a healthy chunk of wasabe
--stepping on a large roofing nail
--a large 12 guage needle directly stuck into a nerve in my mouth

A fantasy. The oral sugeon
is on the right.
Holy fuck, that hurt. I yelled, and I don't yell often. He seemed startled at my response. The needle went into my gum, then another place in my gum, and into the roof of my mouth.

(Are you enjoying this? Neither did I.) "I should have gotten some xanax," I thought darkly.

I sat for a while, ostensibly to allow it to numb...instead, I briefly went numb, and then it quickly wore off. This has been a problem in the past; one dentist suggested my metabolism was to blame. Another suggested that my nerves weren't exactly where most people's were.

 Turns out it's probably a combination of both, but this dentist now knows: novacain does not work for me.  Something called "Narcain" does.  No, I don't want to know the origins of the Nar- prefix.

Of course, it took several more needle sticks before that was clear.

While we were waiting for numbing to take hold, the denstist started talking about a minor complication.  Normally, in order to extract the tooth he would leverage off nearby healthy teeth. However, my nearby teeth were crowned. So instead, he would be inserting a small instrument into the tooth, and "tapping" it "along the length" of the tooth to "loosen it" in the socket.



I'm a therapist. I force people to be concrete. So I asked him, "is tapping a euphemism for banging on my tooth with a maul and mallet?"

He laughed.  "Well, it's a small hammer, actually."

Oh, a hammer.   I so want to know that someone is hitting something in my mouth with a hammer.  

And it wasn't a tap, either. It was about a half dozen hits.
I'm surprised I don't have a concussion.

But the tooth is out.

And I have percocet.

One down, three to go.



  1. Mmmmm, Percocet. I still remember being hopped up on Vicoprophren (I'm allergic to Tylenol so no Vicoden for me (besides I think Vicuprophen is better) (notice how good drugs are capitalized?) ) and watching the movie Kingpin and thinking it was the most hilarious thing I'd ever seen. Totally switching gears, I swear, all dentists have Steve Martin of "Little Shop of Horrors" as their role model. Good luck with #2 and #3.

  2. holy crap. My teeth hurt just reading your story. Hope the other 2 teeth are easier to remove.

  3. I needed a Xanax just reading this.

    Like you, Novocain doesn't work for long on me. For gum surgery I got "conscious sedation" and now I want that for all my major dental needs. Yes, it costs extra and no insurance didn't cover it but it made a huge difference to my pain/anxiety level.

    I've only had one tooth removed and it didn't go well because it was "old and dry." Ack. That was before I knew about conscious sedation.

  4. Ouch! That sounds very horrible. I am sending more healing vibes your way and am off to brush my teeth. I don't want to go through that. Sorry!

  5. I can't even go to the dentist for a cleaning without a nice Valium first. Too much trauma over too many years. Good for you!

  6. After having had dental work of various types done to me since I was seven and took a header off my new bike, ploughing several feet of asphalt with my face, I'm pretty blase about it. But those shots on the roof of your mouth hurt like a mo'fo.

    When I had my wisdom teeth pulled I came out of the sedation right as they were banging away with a big mallet at tooth #4. The dentist and his minions had that look on their faces like when you catch a guy shoving somebody into a woodchipper. Then the dentist just said "turn up the gas" and presumably they went on about their merry banging ways. The extra anesthesia had me sleeping for two days straight.

    But man, do I have pretty teeth. And a surprising knowledge of dentistry.


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