Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Monday, June 26, 2006

How I lost my front tooth and slept in a New Jersey baggage claim

Prolonged pain, concentrated into a tiny bone in your mouth is the worst physical agony most people ever experience. This was my situation from Wednesday to Saturday when I finally broke down and paid $181 to a San Antonio backwoods dentist to put the pliers to my mouth to make me feel better.

I woke up Wednesday morning with a slight toothache and didn't think much of it. I'm a tooth grinder by nature, and I figured the small pain was due to something I did while sleeping. Like a typical male (read = tough guy) I didn't say anything and hoped it would go away. But it didn't.

By Thursday, I was loading up on Alieve but it wasn't helping. This was when I first thought that the only cure might be the drill or the pliers. Friday morning rolled around, and the pain was unbearable. The tooth was throbbing and I was getting light-headed and nauseated from the pain, so I went to the emergency room in downtown San Antonio, hoping they would give me the good meds. They prescribed codeine, and I promptly took the maximum dosage. Unfortuantely, that did very little either.

I could barely sleep because of the pain on Friday, and when I woke up, my entire mouth was swollen. That's when I knew the deed must be done: I took a cab to the emergency dental offices on the outskirts of town. It came down to two choices: 1) pull the tooth, and the pain would immediately cease or 2) wait several days until I could get an appointment with a root canal specialist---spending tons of money in the process. Obviously, I chose the former. At that point, I would have done anything short of killing a man to get that pain to go away.

The actual extraction was quite nice, to be honest. I had been through so much blinding pain with my abscessed tooth, that the sight of a 10 inch needle aiming toward my gums was a blessing. Once everything was numb, the dentist brought out the pliers and proceeded to rock the bad tooth back and forth until it came out. I kept it as a souvenir.

So then I had to travel from San Ansuckio back to DC, except the thunderstorms closed the DC airports and caused the pilot to divert the flight to Newark where I spent the night on the cold linoleum floor next to creaking baggage carrousels.

Life is good, life is good.
Tooth grinders unite!

This is the first I've read of your dental woes, but I'll say you're a braver man than I to let some dental sawbones have at you in some dusty clinic standing in the shadow of the Alamo.

I'd have cried like a little girl and called my Mommy.
Ah crap what a story. I would have paid a bit of cash to see you sleeping in a public place with your tooth missing. I hope you drank out of a brown paper bag and smoked for effect.

Don't worry. I would have thrown some change at you before I pissed on you.
Fortunately my only tooth extractions have come in the controlled confines of scheduled appointments in Washington, DC.

I suggest a gold tooth as a replacement, perhaps with your initials etched in.
Wow, I'm just seeing this for the first time. This post and the photo has to go on the best-of posts list. It's even better than "Fuck Pennies!"
I empathise from across the Atlantic. I had a recent abscess and it blew my mind. Funnily enough I had my extraction the same week as you - as reported (with less eloquence) on my blog. A week or two on I've kinda forgotten just how bad the pain was - and this surprises me as at the time I thought the sleepless nights and the agony would remain with me always.
man that must have been painful I lost a tooth last year in an accident and was in agony for weeks and im a dentist so should know what to expect but didnt make it any easier
When he rocked it back and forth, did it make squeaking sounds inside your head? That's what I remember most clearly about getting several teeth pulled. Good times, for sure. Was the dentist also trying to have a conversation with you while he had his hands in your mouth?
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The wrath of an excruciating toothache can knock any man down, is it not? I also learned it the hard way. When my molar was throbbing, I constantly tried to tame it down with pain reliever. But three nights and four of my wife's warnings later, the toothache finally got me to rush to the nearest Colorado Springs dental clinic. The dentist yanked the offending tooth out and did his magic to make me feel relieved.

Now I won't spend another night with a toothache again.
I got 4 teeth out today ready to get braces and I got out on laughing gas like your picture
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