Well, I’m down two…

Well, I'm down two teeth. As it turned out, that wisdom tooth (#32) had pushed so far into the next tooth that it created a large cavity, which created an abscess, which caused all that pain. They could have tried to save tooth #31, but it would have required a painful and expensive root canal, and neither the dentist nor the orthodontist thought it was likely to work; they recommended yanking them both. I am obedient (eventually), and so I agreed. The procedure was relatively painless (emphasis on relatively), and they've got me on Tylenol with codeine today, with instructions to take it easy, eat only soft foods, and try not to talk too much. So I've cancelled my classes for the day; it's early enough in the semester that I think we can make up the work relatively easily on Friday. I may give them some additional instructions via e-mail at some point today. The whole thing took $370 and two hours total. (It might cost more eventually, not sure -- in theory, my insurance should cover the rest, but the State of Illinois is...well, you know.)

Overall, I'd strongly recommend both Dr. Yee (dentist) and Dr. Pearlman (orthodontist) -- they were kind, funny (in different ways, but still remarkably similar in their humor), and reassuring when I was freaking out a little. They were also clear in my options and in what was happening in the moment, and comfortably pragmatic about the whole thing. And no scolding, which I really appreciate. I'm sure I'll get some when I go back in for my overdue cleaning, but I think not more than I can take.

' I'm going to set up an appointment for Kavi to see Dr. Yee too. She's three years old; it's time. Hopefully, she'll do a better job than I did and never have to lose one of her teeth.

I have to admit, it's freaking me out a little to be missing a tooth. It's not one that anyone will see, and I can eat just fine, but somehow, I feel old. It's frustrating too, knowing this was probably preventable, if I had just taken the wisdom tooth out four years ago when a dentist first mentioned that I might want to remove it. But I was pregnant with Kavi at the time, and didn't want any extra medication in my body, and then after I had her, I was exhausted and drowning in new-baby-crises, and then as I was recovering, there was a small window when I could've done it, and I just didn't deal, in part because I was so behind on everything and it didn't seem urgent (and I thought it would be a much more involved and painful thing than it turned out to be), and then I was pregnant with Anand, repeat. Several things have fallen through the cracks over the last four years with the kids; this is one of the worse ones.

My advice? If you have a sideways wisdom tooth growing towards one of your other teeth, yank it now.

2 thoughts on “Well, I’m down two…”

  1. Old? I’d think you’d feel young, since lots of folks have wisdoms removed in high school 🙂

    (Me, I had my first problem molars taken out at ten, and all the wisdoms at sixteen. I think that’s seven altogether, but I’ve never missed ’em.)

  2. Do you remember the old saying that a woman loses 1 tooth per child? There seems to be some truth to the saying, based on what my friends have gone through. Lose a tooth or gain a crown might be the updated saying.

    Get Kavya to the dentist. It turns out that the fluoride they give toddlers is meant to strengthen/protect the adult teeth under the gum, not the baby teeth which have already erupted. Katie just went to her dentist for her 4-year-old checkup and they also did an xray to see if all her adult teeth were there. They were and she enjoyed the process. Anyway, she’s got an excellent pediatric dentist who doesn’t scare her because they don’t do that much scary to toddler teeth unless there is a problem. Maybe she’ll grow up to not fear her dentist. I can only hope.

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