I spent a night with toothache – the stub of a molar that should really have been removed ages ago… so rang the dentist to see if they would prescribe some antibiotics to settle it down. Turns out my dentist was not in. Another aspect of Covid is that, to make things safe, no-one can wait in a waiting room and only two of the dozen surgeries operate at any one time with lots of cleaning in between patients who wait outside until collected. However, today was a ‘triage’ day so I turned up at 12.30 to be examined and, I thought, prescribed pills. The dentist, Magdalena, took a look and decided that an infection was not present and, imagine my horror, asked if I want the tooth removed right then!
Yeah, but no but, yeah, but no but yeah. OK.
I guess it was a better option than knowing for a week that you have to have it done and all the accompanying angst!
Despite my tantrum, tears and pleading (all of which I suppressed in true macho fashion) the extraction went ahead.
Out of the corner of my eye saw the approaching syringe… looked about two feet long with a needle the size of the London spire. This was thrust into my gum, my cheek, under my tongue and part way down my throat before a second syringe was administered. Within seconds I could no longer swallow as my head floated above my shoulders with no intervening neck. I could no longer feel my throat, gums or tongue… just my tooth!
She went to work with a bradawl pushing the gum away from the dentine. Having freed up enough tooth to clutch she held it vice-like, in the grip of dental pliers and moved it side to side then rotated round and round loosening tooth from jawbone. I was impressed with this small lady’s powerful grip and just how far back into the dentist chair I could push myself trying to evade her. Half the tooth pulled, she applied herself to the same technique for the other half.
And that was that – I was dismissed with instructions to keep clamping my teeth down on the gauze swab for twenty minutes.
Soup for tea and a night’s doze constantly interrupted by stabbing pain or dull ache I emerge, toothless in Gaza, on the whole pleased the tooth has gone. As a great big, brave male I now need a week of pampering and sympathy.