05 May 2008

I have to get a tooth pulled!

The title says it all.  Tomorrow afternoon I have to go to the dentist and have a wisdom tooth extracted.  This wouldn't be such a big deal, except that...Well, actually, it's not a big deal.  But it's a big deal to me.  You see, I have all my teeth.  Sort of (we'll get to that in a minute).  And while I never really thought of that one way or another, once the dentist announced to me that one was going to be gone I suddenly realized that I was quite proud of it.  Yes, I have never had a wisdom tooth out, and apparently the fact that I haven't and other people usually have by my age (39) made me feel special.
Then there's another issue.  They're going to put me into twilight sleep, and I've never been put under before.  So I'm a bit anxious.

When we were 17, my best friend had her wisdom teeth out - all of 'em.  I remember going to visit her afterward; I'm not sure how long afterward, but she was in bed.  And she told me at the time that she'd fainted, I believe after she came home.  Now, I'm not particularly worried about that, because my bf is quite delicate, and while she doesn't slither to the floor at the slightest provocation she does faint on occasion (she also did so while giving blood), whereas the only time I even feel light-headed is when I stand up after crouching down to look at something on a bottom shelf (apparently I got my father's low blood pressure, because this happens to him, too).  But today when I told her about the extraction and reminded her that she'd fainted, she said, "Oh, yeah, but that's because I had swallowed a lot of blood, and I threw up and choked, because I was lying on my back."  I don't want to choke on my own vomit!  "Own vomit" is the rock star death I want least (well, "blowing own head off with shotgun" might
 come before that).  I want heroin overdose (thinnest option), or heart attack  during sex (best option), or maybe even suspect "accidental" drowning (most peaceful option).  However, according to my bf I can avoid own vomit if I just don't lie on my back when I return home.  So I won't.  Phew.

Still, though, I'm upset about losing my tooth.  On the other hand (this is the bit I said we'd get to), I do have some consolation.  As it happens, I have a relatively rare dental abnormality called a "dens in dente."  This is when a tooth grows inside another tooth, with one enamel for the pair of them.  I found an example and put it there on the right, although mine is in a molar and doesn't look quite like that.  I only have three wisdom teeth, and my dentists have thought that's because one of them is either the inner or the outer of my dens in dente.  Fortunately, the tooth that has to come out is on the other side.  So although I must lose one of my full complement of teeth (well, full minus one, to be strictly accurate, I suppose), I still have my dens in dente to cling onto.  I retain some dental interest!

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