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Extracting wisdom was a cinch

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Tooth extraction doesn’t get any more sophisticated than a clamp, elbow grease and a whole lotta drugs.

Last Wednesday, I showed up to the dentist at my allotted hour to get one of my wisdom teeth extracted. I was fairly nonchalant about it in the lead up, even on my way to the surgery.

A few weeks prior a work colleague was telling me about her experience as a kid when she got a tooth extracted and the anaesthetic wore off — her story was funny but didn’t phase me. It was about half way to the surgery that the story came to mind and the truth about the violence of what I was about to go through sank in. What if the anaesthetic wears off?

Soon after putting that thought out of mind, I arrived at the surgery and was ushered into the room. Dental equipment has always held my fascination — all that Georg Jensen-esque stainless steel. At the same time, it’s like the private collection of a Spanish inquisitor or Jack the Ripper.

The dentist gestured towards a chair, much like an executioner does with a condemned — I was ready to receive my last rites. I eased into the chair, and did my best to relax. The female nurse was a comfort. When the dentist dashed out to get the vials, my bravado gave way to pleas as I asked the nurse whether there was any truth in all those rumours of pain with wisdom tooth extraction. “Yes and no”. Rigamortis set in.

The dentist returned and next minute a huge needle was before my eyes. “You might feel a little pinch.” Five needles later and I was in heaven.

Aside from trying to avoid mental visuals of what was going on in my mouth while my upper jaw was being tugged, the only other discomfort was holding back the laughter brought on by the anaesthetic and adrenalin. Ten minutes later, it was all over.

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Written by Darren Smith

4 October 2008 at 11:18 pm