May 13, 2010

Less Wisdom Today than Yesterday

I went to the dentist this morning.  I cracked a tooth that has lost a previous filling and went in with the sole intention of having it re-filled.

After getting to the office early, I sat and waited to be called back.  20 minutes late, I got called back and explained what I was there for.  The dental assistant took an X-Ray, which was very cool because the image immediately popped up on a computer monitor in front of me.  What was not as cool was the image it put up...

That is the upper left side of my jaw.  For the dental nerds out there, those are (from L to R) teeth numbers 13, 14, 15 and 16.  The one that caught my attention was clearly number 16, on the far right.  It is my wisdom tooth. 

It's pretty clear that I was not the only cause of my tooth issue, which the dentist confirmed - the wisdom tooth pinched the bottom of my molar and it cracked the top!  Insanity.  It became clear immediately that one necessity would be to remove that wisdom tooth, no matter what happened with #15.  I mean, look at it - it was pointing at the tip of my nose while the others are pointed at my throat!

He presented me with several options ranging from filling the tooth, if possible, to root canal and crown.  Filling cost me about $200 while the other option would run me about $1,300.  The concern was that the cavity might be too big to just fill, and the others might be necessary. 

I was greatly relieved when he dug in there and figured out that the tooth was indeed fill-able, because I could afford that.  I had pretty much decided that it was going to be easier to just have him remove it if it could not be filled, and I was not looking forward to that.

Then cam the removal of the wisdom tooth.  The Novocaine had begun to wear off, so I winced almost as soon as he got his hand back in my mouth!   He shot me back up and then worked his butt off to rip out that (turned out to impacted) wisdom tooth.  OUCH! 

It's now 7 pm and I have just finally been able to open my mouth wide enough to eat food, and that was just French Onion Soup.  I do not know if I will be up to going to work tomorrow, but pretty much anything is better than sitting around in my house for another whole day.  My mouth still hurts, a lot, but the bleeding has stopped it seems.  That is a good sign that the healing has begun.  Healing brings less risk of infection, particularly for someone with kidney disease that is being treated with immunosuppresants! 

(This process took about three hours from arrival to departure, but in the grand scheme part my my fault, part was the dentists.  I am grateful to have access to professionals like this, so I take the time and deal with it!  I did get to read a bunch more of the book that I started reading last week!)


  1. Get better. I had all four removed a few years ago. All but 1 were impacted and pointing sideways like yours so I know how not fun it is. I'd stay home and take the meds if I were you :) Feel better!

  2. Joe had one that was sideways as well, but it caused a cavity in the molar next to it--under the gum line where it couldn't be filled! He ended up having to have the molar pulled and an implant put in, which was an absolute fortune.

  3. Ohhh, no fun! Don't use a straw or smoke!!

  4. Oh wow, what a surprise! Yikes. Not one I'd like to have. Were the other wisdom teeth okay to stay? I had all of mine pulled under general anesthesia when I was in college (at CP, actually!). Hope you feel better soon!