Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Hillbilly in Brazil Edition 

    In happier news I had two teeth removed from my head Monday night after about 30 shots of Novocain and several reassurances that it would be OK that she wasn't going to hurt me. The She in that sentence is my dentist Thais assisted by sister Adriana, also a dentist, as they pulled and yanked out the previously mentioned teeth. Seems like if you have an infected tooth you probably shouldn't let it run ramped for 6 to 7 years. 
Marathon Man School of Dentistry

     My dad was alive when this tooth started hurting so that must have been in 2004 because I think I was also working at Thrifty Nickel at the time. I remember the pain was so bad at one point I was tempted to go to the dentist office next door and beg for them to rip the god damned thing out with an old rusty monkey wrench. Then I would think how much the monkey wrench option would cost me and that I was only working part time and had student loans, a car loan and a huge credit card debt that I was trying to pay off with my little income.
     Everyone who has ever talked to me about teeth have screwed their eyes up to the air and complained about the costs. I well knew, even when I had dental insurance it seemed to cost more than I was willing to part with but being surrounded by examples of those unwilling to pay made me always fork over the cash. Working in a factory can be an eye opener to many things. I used to work with a guy named "Donk" who had one brown tooth on the bottom gum and two on the top and was still somehow managed to chew tobacco. If you don't think that will make you brush often then you are sadly mistaken. Especially night after night of seeing Donks brown grin after making some stuttering half intelligible joke about either your sexuality or how you should go out with some 45 year old woman named Mary Beth.
     My infected tooth pain would come and go until one day I finally went to a Dentist who might have been drunk and convinced him that I had pain and could he do something about it. So he drilled a hole in the side of my molar, charged me some money and sent me on my merry way. When the pain killers from the drilling wore off my pain had doubled and I spent about 2 weeks without sleep due to the throbbing in my jaw that seemed to get worse when I was either trying to sleep or trying to be awake. I went back to the same dentist but his secretary wouldn't even tell him that I was there to see him much less give me an appointment even after I explained pain to her. I was probably to tired from sleep dep to get my point across on reflection maybe if I had thrown something at her head she would have allowed me through the doors.
     Luckily me regular dentist gave me a prescription for some painkillers and antibiotics. You might ask the question why didn't I go see him in the first place but he is almost always solidly booked for 6 months at a time. Getting in to see him unless your teeth are exploding is an impossibility and sometimes I am grateful that his building was condemned.
     Anyway, after getting 312 shots of Novocain injected into my gums, lips, hair, mouth and eyes they extracted two teeth from my lower jaw. What is more disturbing, the sensation of tugging or the sounds of the teeth moving around, I really don't know. I think it helped having two attractive dentist hovering over me even if they were wearing masks, hairnets and bickering at each other in Portuguese. I might not yet have a full grasp of the language but I do know body-language and intonation.  Thais and Adriana are professionals but still, they are sisters first. First came the molar with its silver filling in the side and which was less infected than the premolar in front of it. The fun part was getting the premolar out which had broken down to the gumline, I won't go into detail other than to say it hurt like hell. Then she had to clean out the infected parts which was by far the grossest part, especially when she drug out strips of bright red infected parts with scissor clamps saying "Look at the lesion, how it is infected" almost as casually as Jacques Cousteau would describe a passing Sea Turtle.
     After seeing bit by bit of my jaw being removed a gloved hand with gauze went into my mouth to soak up blood and the remaining infection. It is truly odd to have someones hand in your mouth while they are turned around talking to your girlfriend who calmly and slightly grossed out sits in the corner of the room, legs crossed, hands on her knee. Deep inside she is ready to bolt out the door and feverishly punch the buttons to call the elevator up because she hates the Dentist. Which is odd seeing that her best friend is in fact in that profession.
     Thais then proceeded to sow up the huge gap in my gumline where my once infected and broken teeth had set for almost 6 years. Second odd feeling of the night is seeing someone hold what looks like a piece of yarn with a fishing hook on the end tying your mouth together. Tugging, knotting, repeat until everything is neatly tied together. I was starting to wonder if she was placing a button on my lip when she said that we were done. She placed a new gauze in my mouth and told me to chomp down on it for 30 minutes and to lay back in the chair for a little while longer. Imagines of me jumping up and immediately passing out ran through my mind, I doubt if the three of them could have gotten my big fat American ass back in the chair.
     I was finally allowed to stand and we talked about what I could and couldn't do over the next few days. I was expected to lay on my ass, not drink anything hot, no solids for at least three days, no grains, no beer, and don't brush the part of my mouth with stitches while brushing my teeth. So now I get to eat all the milkshakes, pudding and yogurt that I want while watching Ana and family eat all these great smelling dishes in front of me. I would force a smile but it hurts.

Next Issue: How I met Matthew Shirts or more about Justin Bieber...


  1. I know the dentist of which you speak. I think I'd been waiting two years to get in and get my teeth cleaned and then the frickin' building collapses. I, too, am kinda glad his office was condemned but that begs the question where do I go to the dentist now? The new dentist in town doesn't even pull teeth not that I need any pulled but if she can't pull teeth is she really a dentist?

    Watch out for dry socket! I had it once and around that time I also broke five bones in a fall. The dry socket hurt worse. Seriously.

  2. Barry is still in business they just moved his office somewhere else in town, I heard. I can find out if you want. I love Barry as a dentist but he is overbooked and it takes forever to get an appointment probably for a reason though, he is good. Though I wish he'd hire another dentist to share the practice with that way I could actually get in sometime.

    This was just the first in a series of pulls, Wisdom Teeth are next.