Who would have thought I’d wake up today with a fat lip? Not I, but my endodontist did.
Yesterday I had a bit of dental surgery. I didn’t know it was surgery until I was being sewn up and given a set of post-surgical instructions.
I knew I was to have two root canals. And I knew one would entail entry from the gumline, or apicoectomy/periradicular surgery. I just didn’t think enough about it to build any expectation.
In 51 years, I’ve never had so much as a cavity, so dental work is alien to me. I did have a root canal 24 years ago; I remember it vaguely, with no major trauma associated. Then, eight years ago, while in Arizona, I broke off a front tooth and had it repaired by a hack in Tucson. It turns out shabby work was done to both teeth, numbers 9 and 10 or, as I affectionately call them, the gray one and the brown one. As a result, both had to be re-done.
To sum it up in numbers, I had five shots of Novocaine, two root canals during which three x-rays were taken, six stitches in my gum and, after a $500 discount, a bill of $2,125.00.
To sum it up in words would require some illustrative excerpts.
Not realizing the air conditioning had gone out in the dental office on a 100-degree day, I thought my blazing body and projectile perspiration were symptoms of an anxiety attack. The endodontist brought in a fan and apologized for the heat. I said, “Oh, good, I thought it was just me,” to which he replied, “It’s not that I don’t think you’re hot…” I took his attempt at humor as a compliment.
When the whole procedure was over, the Novocaine had gone to my head, my vision was blurred and, as Bill Cosby once observed, my face was sliding off of my skull and my bottom lip was in my lap.
After receiving my post-operative instructions and a prescription for pain pills, the doctor pronounced me free to go. I asked the nurse, “Would you please hand me my glasses,” to which the doctor replied, “You’re wearing them.”
What? You don’t know the Cosby routine? Have a listen. I finally understand what he was talking about.
By the way, did you know that, when your face is swollen, your wrinkles disappear?