Friday, October 20, 2006

1 down, 31 to go

On Tuesday, I lost the first of my adult teeth, upper left premolar. I've been horrified at the thought of an extraction ever since I had two out at the age of eight, one of the most unpleasant experiences of my life. There was the sickly sweet smell of the gas coming through the rubber mask, the rubber bung between my teeth, being woken up by a nurse slapping my face, to be led, feeling somewhat confused and nauseous to a washbasin to deal with my mouthful of blood.

The tooth involved had been seen by another dentist in July. It had been causing me severe pain, for which he successfully prescribed a week's worth of antibiotics. However, despite being infected, his examination led him to conclude there was nothing physically wrong with the tooth. He looked at the X-ray, reckoned it was too blurred to make out and somehow came up with another, mysteriously his assistant had taken only the one shot. Not long after the filling in the centre fell out, and more recently it became somewhat loose.

I saw another dentist as soon as was practical and his examination, by contrast, told him the tooth had split vertically even before he checked the X-ray, and as such, unsalvageable, it had to come out. I explained to him my fears of extraction and he reassured me dentistry had come on a bit since then. Well, you'd hope so, most businesses have in the last 44 years.

As it was the extraction was a pretty smooth job. The strange thing was it culminated in me hearing / feeling a 'crunch', which I somehow knew, yet my previous extractions had nbeen under nitrous oxide induced sleep. A memory from a previous lifetime? No idea, but it was definitely no surprise.

I went back to work that afternoon, diligently coding the huge, XHTML / PHP e-commerce system I'm working on with a bloody cotton wool plug rammed into the gap.

Apart from a little soreness of the gums, there's no physical problem now, but I can't help but feel there's a piece of me missing.


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