No.Okedoke. I’ve had problem with this ‘ere former tooth since a heroic/damn stoopid (delete as applicable) altercation in a Northern public house. A hairy-palmed, ring-wearing local was bothered that I didn’t angle vowels the same as my comrades. At least, he singled me out of a group of students, rather than skelping in general. As we made to find somewhere else less shouting, he started waving his arms around. And with a lucky slap popped one of my back teeth. Blood spattered everywhere and, drooling gore, I watched one comrade in particular respond in kind. That was quite exciting.
The tooth, though, has needed some work ever since. It's been filled and looked at and stitched and root canalled. I’ve also enjoyed the draining of a sub-tooth abscess (that is, a great volcano of pus swelling inside the gum. Nice). This ongoing trouble threatened to weaken the whole jaw (so the dentists said) and was also a bit rank and icky.
So anyway, the tooth was a liability, and it’s not such a great surprise that I split it top-to-bottom amid deadline panic. It’s continued to splinter since my last report, and then there was something funny tasting in my mouth, so I trooped off to my appointment rather early. With all the calm and solemnity of Beaker from the Muppets.
The lovely dentist (weirdly, I hate going to the dentist with a terror like race memory, but I’ve always got on well with the dentists themselves) discussed what was going to be done, and also her theories about the forthcoming last Harry Potter. “You’ll feel pressure but not sharpness,” she said very pleasantly. “And I think ‘R.A.B.’ must be [SPOILER].”
Yes I felt the pressure. No, I felt no sharpness. But what pressure. She alternated between two sets of pliers and needed to hold on to my lower jaw as she heaved and waggled and wrenched. There’s something monstrously disturbing about the cracking of your own teeth and I could feel an apeish need to escape up the nearest tree. And then, pok! she’d yanked the thing out.
“We’ll just rinse out that taste,” she says, prodding a tube of lovely cool water into my numb and frothing mouth. I’m thinking that wasn’t so bad. Then she’s dabbing at my face where splashes of blood must have got me. But no. “There was an abscess behind the tooth,” she says. “And it sort of went everywhere.” Ick.
There’s then some more good news. Only the top part of the tooth came out. It’s crumbling, so she needs another go. You know I said I don’t like going to the dentist? Well, she’s swapping different terrifying tools and trying to staunch the bleeding because it makes it hard to see the remaining bits. And each drilling, poking, heaving, wrenching brings out just a tiny scrap more.
I’m watching these tiny splinters being added to the bloody, drooly mess on the tray to my side, thinking it makes for an impossible 3D puzzle, of the sort naughty children get for Christmas. I’m trying to remember how to breathe, aware that my legs and belly and, well all of me, is shaking like a Jibber Jabber. But eventually, a very long hour later, the deed is done and I quiver from my chair with a temporary denture in place. My instructions are not to spit, not to smoke, not to eat or drink nowt hot, and not to booze (waaah! on that last one). I also have to leave the strange acrylic tooth in place over night so my mouth will bruise around it.
Back home, I tried to watch some of the Ealing comedies received for my birthday (Passport to Pimlico, Whisky Galore! and Kind Hearts and Coronets), but brain wasn’t really functioning. The anaesthetic was not much replaced by Anadin, and the cat showed his sympathies with a great log of a fur ball. The Dr made me omelette and we Pottered a bit (film three and two chapters of book six). I think she’s quite delighted that I suddenly so old.
Nor did she grumble at my paltry efforts to sleep. I dreamt of Matthew and Davy being at the extraction waving their recording wossnames around. And Matthew asking if we could pull out another one to make sure he got it taped.