I thought I was going in for a routine dental cleaning. The nurse took my x-ray, then rushed off to show the dentist. The dentist came in with a rueful smile. “The good news is that there are no cavities.”
I was instantly on the alert. There was bad news?
She showed me the weirdest x-ray I have ever seen. My teeth all looked fine, but one was smaller than the others. Underneath my bottom four front teeth, there was a horizontal pointy object. “Did you know that one of your baby teeth never came out?” the dentist asked. I shook my head. She pointed to the long horizontal object on the x-ray. “The adult tooth went sideways,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like it before. You’d better talk to an orthodontist.” She mentioned something about dragging it out with chains. It sounded very painful.
I was indignant. My family has a history of crowded, crooked teeth. I’m the only one with relatively straight teeth and no cavities. So to make up for it, one of my teeth went in the completely wrong direction, perpendicular to my other teeth? Seriously?
A few days later, I went to see an orthodontist, who referred me to an oral surgeon. He said that the tooth should probably come out, but if it was too close to my other teeth, it might be too much of a risk.
I was nervous. How on earth were they going to get it out without taking out my other teeth and destroying my gums?
We went to an oral surgeon. When the nurse came in and put up my x-ray, Mom asked if she’d ever seen a teeth formation like mine before. Glancing at it, she quickly replied, “Yeah, mine.” Hers had been extracted when she was 16, and she had healed quickly. Mom and I were relieved. She’d survived, and her teeth and gums looked fine. My surgery was not going to be an experiment.
Then the surgeon came in. “The tooth has to be extracted so it does not cause problems later,” he said. He said he’d cut through my gums, then just “pop it out.” “You’re going to be just fine, young lady,” he assured me. “I’ve done such operations several times before.”
I’m going to have the operation tomorrow. I’m still somewhat nervous, but I’m glad to know that I will not be the first to have such an operation. It’s going to be tough to eat for the next few days. Fortunately, everyone in my family has suggestions:
Mom: Yogurt and smoothies.
Dad: You get to live on vanilla ice cream for three days!
Kealoha: Mayonnaise! And baby food. Or nuts, chopped fine as sawdust.
Baby Karissa: Oenge. (Orange)
What would you eat if you couldn’t have solids for three days?