Week 6 – Wisdom Tooth

A forest scene with a river running through it.
Double rainbow.
A beach view of some purple plants
Mountains. Lots of mountains.
I try to focus at the images of calendar scenes pasted together above me, while two faces pass in front, using blades, clamps, and what looks like a screwdriver.
The pain is almost unbearable, the two injections into my mouth not helping numb much.
As the clamp is used again it feels like my jaw will break in two.
It’s my dentist versus my tooth, and so far the tooth is winning.
The nurse turned the radio on shortly after work began. It was strangely comforting to hear ads that I recognised while drills that sound like saws screamed inside.
A news report comes on. That means we’re half an hour in.
Katy Perry, All 4 One, possibly some Pink and Bruno Mars… I think there was a Dirty Dancing song in there too. The radio stays light while I try not to move too much.
I notice I’m clasping my hands together. I try to release them but find only minutes later I’m now holding my arms.
Something stabs within my mouth and this time the numbing isn’t enough to stop the climbing pain. I flinch and make some kind of noise.
The dentist keeps telling me I’m doing “really well” and that we’re “almost done”, but he’s been saying it so long that it doesn’t mean anything any more.
He injects me once again. Third time.
I’ve lost count on how many times the drill has started up. I haven’t seen what it looks like, so I can only assume that’s what it is.
Suddenly I’m aware of tears streaking down the side of my face. I’m on my back, so they head directly for my ears and then wet my neck.
The skytower at night.
Kayaks on a beach.
A farming scene with a tractor next to a public road.
More mountains.
My view of another photo above is blocked by the yellow light shining into my mouth so the dentist can once again attack it with what feels like a chisel. He then grabs another tool and twists it at the tooth. The pressure on the tooth is sure to break a bone.
He stops.
Tells me to take a break.
They change gloves and ask for more tools. I need this to be over with, and although he reassures me that they’re almost there, it doesn’t feel that way.
After a while they’re back into it and again I hear another news report on the radio. I mark it as an hour and a half.
He tells me quarter of the tooth is out and they’re “really close” to getting the rest.
I think through all the worst moments of my life and decide that this one wins.
I live with pain every day but it’s pain I can manage. I have pills and exercises. I know that some pain disappears if I stop moving for a moment or go get something to eat.
This pain keeps on going and not only can I not see the end of it, but I also can’t tell if this is the worst of the day.
Another direct hit on my tooth leads a metal tool to jar against innocent teeth. Again I make a noise and the dentist apologises. I have no idea how many apologies there have been amongst the “you’re doing really well” and promises of the end.
The next time he attacks the tooth, he also attacks the gum, or the side of my mouth or –
It hurts. That’s all I know.
The injections may have numbed an area, but I can’t tell where the pain is coming from, only that it’s there. The dentist injects the area one more time. I count four.
By the time the tooth is finally ripped out my face is covered in blood and melted eyeliner. Red lines mark my face where the tears escaped.
It’s not over.
There are still stitches that need to be done.
By now the first of the injections wears off and I can feel every stab of the needle. Every pull of the thread.
Next time, I’m getting the gas.

3 responses to “Week 6 – Wisdom Tooth”

  1. You need a new Dentist, I’ve had teeth out and never felt a thing, that’s not how dentistry works anymore, well not here anyway

    1. First wisdom tooth out was a similar (but less awful) experience with a different dentist. They blamed my tooth as it had a slight “hook” meaning it didn’t want to come out. I couldn’t see anything different… The experience confirmed a fear of dentists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: