Monday, January 24, 2011


It was agony Ivy!


That was then. Just recently I noticed a wobbly tooth. Centre of bottom row so not to be ignored. My charming South African dentist said we could extract it and replace it attached to a plate or extract it and replace it attached to a small bridge. Years of experience - with anything false that isn't permanently attached to my person - has taught me to leave them well alone. False eyelashes, nails, boobs (when I was thin as a lat) lenses have all come unstuck , dropped in the soup or slipped round the cleavage, so I plumped for the bridge.

There was an appointment for measuring and making a plaster cast. I did feel, when he was wresting the cast from my mouth that at least the wobbly tooth would come out with it - such was the strength required. Over the week-end with the boys here - of which more later - there was not time to be apprehensive of Monday's appointment. On the day, I forgot to take a couple of Quiet Life to steady my nerves as I wanted to try to buy a shirt for MTL. His weight loss means some clothes are too big. I found a good tweed jacket from his slimmer days but the new shirts I had bought him weren't right for the jacket.

We had just had a surprise invite to a railway lunch and as it was from our friend the Station Master we accepted - our first really public appearance since MTL's illness. Nothing looks worse than a collar two sizes too large so I planned to get a toning shirt from our local excellent gentlemen's outfitters. Alas it was closed, as I went down early.

The surgery was very quiet but I still had the obligatory ten minutes to wait which challenged my enforced calm and deep breathing. I reminded myself that said dentist had never hurt me.
Yet. After exchanging pleasantries with himself and his nice young man assistant I sat and was electronically lowered into a horizontal position where I could examine a map of the world if only I weren't dazzled by the powerful light above. I'm meant to avoid bright light - dilemma do I keep my very expensive specs which react to light, and risk getting them damaged (sooner or later something always drops) or bear the blinding light and an inevitable head ache?
The solution came in a blinding flash - I removed my glasses and closed my eyes.

I felt a sharp prick right in the corner of my jaw. That would be the local - he knows I don't really enjoy pain. Then there was a long slow throb of pain which seemed to last forever whilst the needle was kept in place. I managed to ask him why he was injecting there in the corner, when the tooth was in the middle. 'Because that is where the nerve is,' I was told.
That would account for the pain. I started my afternoon prayers a little early through the long silence as we waited for the local to take effect.

My exhalations were more like shudders and I couldn't stop my torso from moving in sympathy. There were a few muttered instructions - nothing to do with me, and action. I felt something and a sharp tug then I drifted into something like a reverie. Thank God that was the worst over but he's still to fit the bridge. The plan was to do it all in one fell swoop to save me frightening the horses. Alas - I was told because of the bleeding I had to bite hard on a pack in my mouth, go home and come back in the afternoon when the bridge would be fitted.

By the time I got home I was feeling delicate. MTL was sympathetic and said he would take me and bring me back after the bridge was fitted. After some soup - carefully adhering to the written instructions- and a rest on the sofa - head higher than feet - we returned to the surgery. All was pronounced well and the bridge cemented in. I'm quite used to it now- it actually feels better than the wobbly tooth and I haven't had to take any pain killers. I know there are folk who reckon it isn't worth the local to dull the pain but I'm not one of them.
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27 comments:

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I will ALWAYS choose a powerful anesthetic, even for the most minor procedures. I have a very low threshold for pain. I just sat through a rather horrifying experience in a doctor's char and was glad for the numbness.

Z said...

Ooh, you were brave.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Yes, you're brave! I'd faint. But I'd want the bridge fitted.

YTL was so sweet to go with you.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Ooh ooh, that's you with the Macleans!

R. Sherman said...

Better living through chemistry, I say, though my mind is still fixated on the image of fake boobs in the soup.

Unless I misread that paragraph.

Cheers.

Pat said...

UB: such a brave boy you were too. I'm proud of you;)

Z: my vanity - I think - is bigger than my courage:)

GG: I'm heartened that the discomfort has gone and i haven't had a pain killer.
Before MTL got sick he would always accompany me to the dentist or anything that gave me the heebie jeebies. Amazing what one can do when one has to.
Yes that was me a couple of lifetimes ago.

Randall: now do pay attention: eyelashes in the soup, boobs slipped round the cleavage.

Luna said...

Great Story Pat. I felt nervous for you. "scare the horses" LOL. Brilliant!

Eryl said...

Oh, yikes, glad it's all over. I have a dental appointment on Friday with my lovely Polish lady dentist, I have never known such a gentle touch, not even injections into that nerve hurt.

I do hope you manage to get that shirt, a railway lunch sounds rather exotic and glamourous.

Queenie said...

Hurrah for an ordeal survived and behind you! YTL is SUCH a sweetie.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I'm with you, Pat....I do not want any pain I don't have to have...! I have spent many years of my life in The Dentist Chair and, in truth, couldn't even calculate the hours that it all came to, and I STILL do not want any pain I do not have to have.....
I am very familiar with that back shot to deaden those front nerves....Plus deadening quite a bit more than that....
Your Dentist sounds like a very GOOD Man. Hold on to him, my dear....! And I hooe you don't need to go back again for a long long time!

Scarlet Blue said...

Wonderful advert, Pat!

But after reading the post I'm clutching the side of my face and feel in need of a stiff drink.
Sx

Madame DeFarge said...

I feel an incipient wobbly tooth. You have reminded me to continue to ignore it.

And I can comment on your blog!!! Yahoo! Some things are going well today...

Nea said...

I love the advert! But I am very adverse to a wobbly tooth and pain.
Any wobbly teeth here get sent straight to the man of the house to deal with.
Shall I send him over or is it all better now?

Pat said...

Luna : it was all very fresh in my mind - as you can imagine.

Eryl: it won't actually be on the train like last year but at a nice hotel and his parties are very relaxed with good nosh so its a pleasure and a landmark for MTL's recovery.

Queenie: he is - but not the saint he thinks he is:)

Nea: no really - thank you for the thought but I still remember my father and the string and the door:(

Naomi: you're right - he is a good man. I do make a point of six monthly checks and regular visits to the hygienist. It pays off most of the time

Scarlet: just the time for a night cap- have one on me;)

Madam D: that's good news. I could have managed with the tooth but I was starting to do party tricks with it.

lom said...

well done Pat, I hate the dentist, that's not true she is very nice, I hate what she does to me, and keeps telling what I need done and I can't leave it forever. haha

Macy said...

I'm due to have a back molar extracted anytime soon. So complete and heartfelt sympathies on the tooth extraction!

Mike and Ann said...

Hi Pat. Glad all's now well with the tooth. I had a back one out last year. My dentist wanted to try and save it by doing a lot of 'root canal work' (don't know what root canal work is, but it sounded as if a dredger might be involved). As it had been playing me up for a while, and anyway, I'd seen the X rays and there was more filling than tooth by then, I told him to take it out. It was a bit of a fight- more root than filling even. But it was eventually done, and I've had no further problems.

Philip said...

I had to have a tooth extracted at a hosp once. She said I'd feel some discomfort but not pain. I felt like she was pulling my entire head off. You have my every sympathy. Sometimes i think I'd rather fall to bits than have unsympathetic professionals mess with me.

Pat said...

Lom: I'm glad you really like her, Don't let it all go too far. I mean your teeth - not the relationship with your dentist:)

Macy: oddly when I had a back one done a couple of years ago I didn't feel a thing. Just make sure they allow enough time for the local to work. You'll be fine;)

Mike and Ann: root canal work is best avoided if poss. I had it for an abscess in Australia and the Great Barrier Reef could have been the sands at Blackpool for all I cared. I might have been a Wingeing Pom.

Philip: glad you popped in. As a former nurse I'm horrified by unsympathetic professionals - just when one feels weak and helpless. I'm relieved that during these past months and dealing with my husband's illness we have had excellent care from all medical staff.

Kath said...

How miserable! I'm glad it's over now and everything is fine :-) Here's to never having to do that again!

Lonely Rivers said...

A hundred years ago...(or more like 57) a dentist drilled my teeth with no pain killer at all and yelled at me for crying. I was 8 years old and right then determined I would rather have my teeth fall out than do that again. When it came time my parents found a different, kinder dentist and I can boast that I still have my own teeth, but the dentists in my life are now all very rich!

Pat said...

Kath: I'll drink to that:)

Lonely Rivers: that was so heartless. In my day - even earlier - they gave us gas and the first time I wet my pants which was almost as bad as pain. I noticed in the waiting room some small children and they seemed perfectly happy so things have improved.

sablonneuse said...

Ooh you are so brave. I'm allergic to dentists as I can't bear anything in my mouth. (Even brushing my own teeth is difficult sometimes). I'm just praying that I never have to have a tooth replaced or anything like that.

Kim Ayres said...

Just to cheer you up: http://kimayres.co.uk/other/pat1.jpg :)

Pat said...

Sandy: 'as I can't bear anything in my mouth.' Not even sweets? That alone will protect your teeth so hopefully you will get by without dentists.
I've never heard of that before. Is it a recognised condition?

Kim: wretched boy!!!!

kenju said...

I haven't had to have Novocaine in a long time, but I don't hesitate to get it when I need it. I once had to have 22 shots of it in only one quadrant of my mouth (gum surgery). It was horrible. (before, during and after)

Pat said...

Judy: what an ordeal!