Remember when Tom Hanks’ character in castaway knocked out his own tooth because it was causing him such excruciating pain?
That was me this morning.
I have a habit of putting things off as long as humanly possible, which is exactly what I did with my tooth that had been causing me occasional pain, albeit dull, for the past couples years. Let me tell you, the pain was anything but dull when I woke up. I immediately called out of both jobs, and scheduled an emergency appointment. I also cried for 2.5 seconds, which was probably the quickest, cutest cry I’ve ever cried. Brevity + sincerity = so adorable.
My wisdom teeth were all taken out in high school, and after I graduated, I steered clear of the dentist’s office. In September, I discovered a hole in my tooth (last one on the upper left), and decided it was time for 4 years worth of damage control.
I read up on all about the dangers of fluoride and mercury poisoning in college, so I was hesitant to visit the dentist again. After doing some sort of X-Ray or scan, they confirmed that there was indeed a hole, and tried to coerce me into scheduling a root canal. Instead I inquired more about the extraction. After emphasizing the fact that “once it’s gone, it’s gone forever” and reluctantly admitting that the extraction would be the cheaper option, I decided I needed time to think about it before I scheduled the procedure. Is it in the dentistry handbook to make the patient feel forced into a root canal and guilty for electing an extraction? Selling is not exclusive to retail I have learned.
“I mean, you’re not going to hell if you get the extraction,” the dentist told me, breaking it down for me, man to man. That was the awkward moment when I realized I was an adult, because the kiddy dentist would have never said that to me. The dentist who performed my procedure today was quite a character, too, although his over-the-top office insanity was much more full-out, which I quite appreciated as a performing artist. He repeatedly and playfully(?) called the dental assistant a bitch, gave me permission to slap her because I am 23 and I “could take her”, and when she told him I only brushed once a day, he gently reminded me, “brush your teeth you fucking pig.” He’s probably my favorite dentist ever.
So after years of procrastination, my Holy Tooth is finally out (does this count as a sacrifice or nah?) Now, after recovery of course, I will be able to chew on both sides of my mouth again. Ultimately, I hope to be knowledgeable enough to sustain my own dental health, and my health in general, without having to rely on a “health care professional”. The goal is to be my own natural healer, only because I know it’s possible. In the meantime, a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do, and if he didn’t, he would’ve been lying unconscious in a pool of blood with the blade of an ice skate protruding from his mouth.