Monday, January 08, 2007

Teeth problems

There is no better feeling than when all of the pain goes away as in "Teeth". It starts out with and abscessed tooth that causes terrible pain and you fight it with all sorts of things such as aspirin, Tylenol, Advil and maybe even all three at once as you work up to the old wives tales looking for a solution that will allow you to concentrate on something other than your tooth. You even contemplate pulling the tooth yourself. I had a friend that did that for real. He, also, was going to deliver their first baby because he had already done it 100's of times with cows, so how tough could that be. You can guess who won that discussion. They used to always do that in the "Good Old Days" and that was before Novocaine. So whats the big deal? I'm just as tough as they were so I should be able to do it myself, also. Right? Its called hallucinating. Hell no you can't do it yourself. You would pass out when you saw the extraction tools and the doorknob trick only works with kids teeth. Hopefully your dentist is as accommodating as mine was and gets you in right away to at least look and give you a prescription to take the pain and the poison away, i.e. Tylenol with CODEINE and penicillin tablets.

As I sat in the waiting room at 9am the following morning, I started to get the cold sweats. I wasn't worried about the tooth as the pain was almost gone but I was worried about the upcoming procedure. No. 1, I knew I was going to get a lecture from the good Doctor for missing my last few scheduled cleanings and canceling my visit to have a small filling. That small filling was probably this big problem I have right now. #2, I have had teeth pulled before and I kinda knew what to look forward to and I knew these two were going to be problems. As you probably can guess, by this time I was sweating more and more in anticipation of the doom awaiting me in the next room. My mind starts flashing back to bad, older, dental experiences. I dwell for a while on my first dentist in his office with the slow speed drill. The drill was a series of pulleys with leathers going from pulley to pulley starting at a motor on the floor and ending at the dentist drill. The motor turned a leather string up to the first pulley and then on to the next pulley unitl it reached the actual drill. It was a horrible machine as it slowly ground away the decayed parts of my teeth. My dentist was a nice man as he would always tell me a few stories about gun collecting. He collected guns associated with historical characters. He personaly owned one of Wild Bill Hitchcock's colt 45's. The drill sounded like a slow speed Dremel tool and it would slow right down as he started drilling and then almost stop so he would pull it away from the tooth until it got back to speed and then start again.
The next dentist that I could roll around in my mind was a young Dentist located just off campus, where I was going to college. He was about the only one it town that was taking new patients and I soon found out why he had openings. He decided that I needed a root canal for my decayed tooth and I don't think he had ever done one before mine. During the drilling process of removing the roots of my tooth from the inside, he hit something that caused me the most pain I have ever endured. It caused me to break out in a 100% instant sweat and as I laid in the chair completely soaked he said "that shouldn't of happened because you don't have any roots left down there." When he was finishing the root canal, he filled the tooth and put a temporary cap on it and sent me home with a prescription for codeine and a phone number list of where he would be that evening in case I had problems. I caught up with him at the movie theater and he came back and drilled out the filling that night as I couldn't stand the pain. Must have left his watch down there or something. Twice during the drilling process he lost drill bits. He;d say "Freeze, don't move" and go and retrieve the bit. The second time he had to grab it with a magnet as it was partially down my throat. I have never even considered a root canal since. Dr Bonkowski didn't do any such thing. He simply pulled the offending teeth with the minimal amount of pain possible and sent me off with good scripts to alleviate any future pain and to speed healing. Thank heaven for good Dentists.

As I set here writing this I am completely pain free and except for a big hole in my mouth all things are back to normal. When I started this post I said "There is no better feeling than when all of the pain goes away as in 'Teeth'." As I was researching this posting I came across a neat article on "Tooth Jumping" that is interesting reading. Just click the Mountain News hyperlink. Smokey MT. News, Mountain News .


Anonymous said...

This description is so creep, I had to skip ahead!

Thanks Dad, I think I will go floss again.

T. F. Stern said...

I can't think of too many things that top fear of going to the dentist. You did a good job of telling about your nightmare.