Nov 13
Tooth Hurty
icon4 Nov 13th, 2009 | icon2 Bric-a-Brac, Memories |

What’s the best time to go to the dentist? (See the title of this post for the answer.)

So I had a wisdom tooth pulled out yesterday. Upper left. It had been giving me gyp for a few weeks, nothing too bad though. Nowhere near as painful as when my other wisdom tooth went to the dark side, a year or so ago.

Let me digress for a moment by saying that I am not a big fan of going to the dentist. This probably goes back to when I was in primary school, when we used to have an annual event called a “Brush-In”. The Brush-In (presumably the name is in the vein of “bed-in”, “sit-in” and so on) was a kind of enforced, intensive tooth-brushing session, overseen by a crack team of dental hygiene professionals. Doesn’t sound too bad, right?

Wrong.

The problem was the toothpaste. They weren’t using no Colgate, let me tell you. This stuff was fucking disgusting. It was pink and gritty, and its smell alone was enough to send a kid running. The rumour in the playground was that if you should be so unfortunate as to swallow any of this rancid paste you would vomit uncontrollably until your body was purged of the vile poison.

The Brush-In could occur on any day of the year, and we were never informed in advance. It would simply be announced with little or no notice, and we’d be marched across to the toilet block where the Brush-In crew would be waiting. Every kid would be given a new toothbrush and a paddle-pop stick with a lump of the deadly pink goo. In groups of six we’d stand at the sink and brush away until our overseers were satisfied.

My next brush (pun intended) with the dentist came when I was 12. For some reason one of my front baby teeth refused to fall out on its own, and was beginning to look a little ridiculous. Mum took me to a dentist one day after school, and before having the offending tooth ripped out, I was forced to brush once again with the same pink gloop as I’d dreaded for so many years in primary school. Anyway, the tooth came out easy – it was loose anyway – and apart from the shame of walking around Woolworths with a mouth full of cotton wool while mum did the weekly shopping, the trip was a success.

It did, however, mark the beginning of a dental drought for me, as I wasn’t to go to the dentist again for more than 25 years.

Which brings me back to having my first wisdom tooth pulled out, which happened about a year ago. I won’t go into gory details, but it really hurt like hell, an abscess having formed under the decayed tooth cap. Luckily, Rach’s uncle is a top dentist in Newcastle (like me, he’s a proud Novocastrian) and he sorted me out nicely, got it out in just a few minutes without any pain, and the relief was blissfully instantaneous.

Yesterday’s operation was only slightly more difficult. The tooth itself needed a bit more coaxing out of its position, but now I have a nice big hole where the tooth used to be. Luckily, my teeth are generally pretty solid – no cavities, no fillings – so I’m going to see if I can’t beat my 25 year record.

Here is a video of some dude getting a wisdom tooth yanked. This dentist also works part time as a butcher. Don’t watch if you’re squeamish.

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