25 June 2008

Dental Adventure Two

I was so obsessed with the cavities in my last post that I neglected to mention that the dentist referred me to an oral surgeon for an impacted wisdom tooth. I got my consultation this morning and the little sucker has to come out.

In some ways I've been lucky with my dental history. I simply don't have a full set of adult teeth and that's a good thing because my mouth is so small. It's not like they rotted and fell out. When my baby teeth came out, adult teeth never grew in to replace them. I have a small gap on one side but otherwise the missing teeth are unnoticeable.

Three of the missing teeth are wisdom teeth. That was always a good thing because if the teeth aren't there to begin with then they don't have to be surgically extracted. The fourth was actually embedded deep down and sideways, with the chewing surface facing the inside of my mouth. Dentists always told me not to worry about it unless it started to move toward the molar next to it.

Well, it's apparently been doing summersaults. Not only is it nudged up against the molar, the chewing surface now faces the molar. How could that have happened without my noticing? You'd think that so much movement would have been felt. It just seems impossible. I never had any irritation from that corner of my mouth. Whatever. Happen it did.

Since the wisdom tooth is starting to touch the molar it has to come out sooner rather than later. Normally one would have a few months to think about the pain and costs of this surgery. But we're moving to Burundi of course, so less than a week after my last filling is filled I'll be back in the chair getting this tooth out.

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