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The following diddley is based on an email I wrote to Barbara Branden. I am keeping her name on it because the image of the "little green man in a tuxedo" is hers. I have tidied it up and added to it quite a bit since that email. It should be read as if it were a letter that was not sent immediately with a PS tacked on a few days later. Unfortunately, all of the dentistry details actually happened.

M.

The Tooth Fairy

Michael Stuart Kelly

September 10, 2007

Dear Barbara,

It is funny you asked about how my toothache was because earlier today I returned to the dentist.

I had a molar on my bottom right side extracted last Wednesday. It was not an easy extraction because the dentist (a very nice man) had to saw—then split—the tooth in two and extract each half separately. The whole thing took about a half-an-hour after the pulling started (prefaced by a half-hour or so for the X-ray and the anesthetic to take). That's a 30 minute build-up followed by another full half-hour of fun and games while the good doctor played tug of war with my tooth. (Push with one thing that looked like a nail with a wooden handle. Jab with another. Poke with another. Wiggle with pliers then PULL. Twist and PULL. Grunt. PULL. Grunt. PULL. Stop. Say, "Hmm. Looks like we need to do a bit more." Repeat the entire procedure over and over and over. Then saw the tooth in half with a small automatic circular saw. Then do the entire procedure a few more times.) It was a barrel of laughs. All the while a nurse hovered over me with a suction tube like a Guardian Angel. She expressed concern and empathy and wiped the sweat from my forehead.

After the tooth came out, I spent a couple of days OK, then a little green man in a tuxedo came and sat on my shoulder and said, "Welcome to hell." Since the dentist was closed over the weekend, I just had to make peace with the little green man. The pain came in waves and it was very intense. I managed to take some of the stronger pain medication and anti-inflammatory pills left over from my knee operation (I did that twice) in addition to gobbling ibuprofen like M&M’s and cuddling an ice-pack as if it were my dearest long-lost love. That helped some, but not much.

If I have seemed grumpy lately, that is the reason.

Today I went back to the dentist and there were two problems. The first is that a bone chip had lodged into my gum during the extraction and it was probably infecting the gum. It was a splinter stuck in right beside where the extraction had been made. But it was a sliver of broken tooth instead of wood.

The second problem is what they call a dry socket. This means that the blood clot on top of the jaw bone washed off and the bone was exposed. There is a hole in my gum where the root once was. It will eventually grow together, but for now, it is open. At the bottom of this hole is where the bone was exposed. I was told that this is inherently painful. I can confirm this.

The dentist (a very nice lady this time) removed the tooth splinter, cut the flesh inside the hole to make it bleed and form a new clot, and put some medication on top of the clot in the hole with a gauze wad. I have to go back on Wednesday so the very-nice-man-dentist can see everything. I also have to take penicillin for 10 days, so I know an infection was apparent. (My gum had started swelling up pretty noticeably.)

At this very moment the anesthetic has worn off and I feel no pain. I have bid adieu to the little green man, sticking my tongue out at him as he left, and am now in that heaven where relief feels like pleasure. I think the pain problem is over. All I have to do is obey the master's instruction (THE ORIXÁ ORTHO-UGA-UGA) and take my pills.

I hope you do not have to go through anything like this with your dentist appointment.

Yours,

Michael

PS (September 13): I spoke too soon. The day after I wrote the above, the little green man in a tuxedo came back and said, “You shouldn’t have stuck your tongue out at me.” He brought Waves of Pain with him.

I have now been back to the dentist and received more medicine on a gauze plug shoved down into the hole in my gum. This helps a bit with the pain and the little green man goes out for a stroll, but he always comes back. I have been noting that the pain’s intensity is slowly decreasing and the intervals between the waves of attack are increasing. I have to go back to the dentist a couple more times for more hole-plugging.

It will end someday. I know it will. For the time being, the little green man just popped back in, tuxedo and all. I took out the deck of Cards of Fate and put them on the table.

“You deal,” I said. And I kept my tongue in my mouth.

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Yikes! I hope you're feeling much better. Mouth pain is just god awful. I never had the pain like you are describing, but I had braces for 2.5-3 years and those are a biiiitch. Plus, I just got my wisdom teeth out, which went surprisingly well. I was too chicken shit to not be put asleep (uhhh...not like that) to get them pulled. I wasn't worried about getting them pulled, but when the dentist mentioned me not being asleep I started to panic. I can't stand the thought of being conscious while he's rippin' my teeth out of my gums. My teeth pulling went pretty damn well though (and I had four pulled before...before I got the braces). I took hydrocodone, which helped a lot. Only big problem was that I started to get intense headaches everyday, but at least I got a bit of time off work because of them. But, the holes healed up nicely now. It felt so strange to have holes in my mouth like that. I really wanted to shove something down in them, just to see, but I knew it'd hurt like hell. LOL. I would like to dissect gums or something to see what it looks like inside.

Anyhow! Like I said, I hope you're feeling better!

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With all the loot the tooth fairy left under his pillow, Michael ran out and bought four packages of ice cream! Two tubs of Edy's, ice cream sandwiches and klondike bars. All were of course sugar-free and low-fat and he bought my favorite ice cream, mint chocolate chip. Yum! Kisses and ice cream make Mikey all better! :hug:

Kat

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Owee, Michael. Hope you feel better soon. Dentists are no fun.

I hope the ice cream makes you (at least temporarily) feel all better. Edy's is good... out here in California it's known as Dreyer's ice cream, and I can vouch for the fact that they have some heavenly flavors. (Sorry, Kat, but I can't stand mint of any kind except wintergreen!)

I haven't been to a dentist in many years. The last time I went, the guy started drilling before the Novocain took effect, and he wouldn't stop, and then he got mad because I shoved him away from my mouth. (Yes, I realize that's dangerous.)

I need to see a dentist in the near future, and I'm not looking forward to it one bit. If I have done the stuff that needs doing, I will definitely let them give me some sort of general anesthesia.

Edited by Pam Maltzman
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Owee, Michael. Hope you feel better soon. Dentists are no fun.

I hope the ice cream makes you (at least temporarily) feel all better. Edy's is good... out here in California it's known as Dreyer's ice cream, and I can vouch for the fact that they have some heavenly flavors. (Sorry, Kat, but I can't stand mint of any kind except wintergreen!)

I haven't been to a dentist in many years. The last time I went, the guy started drilling before the Novocain took effect, and he wouldn't stop, and then he got mad because I shoved him away from my mouth. (Yes, I realize that's dangerous.)

I need to see a dentist in the near future, and I'm not looking forward to it one bit. If I have done the stuff that needs doing, I will definitely let them give me some sort of general anesthesia.

Pam,

There was a ten-year period when I let my dentist drill on my teeth without novocaine. I found out that most of what I thought was pain was my fear of pain. When the real pain got real bad I just tightly gripped the arms of the chair until the dentist eased off. I did this once when I came back to Tucson, but it so freaked out the dentist--best dentist I've ever had, Dr. Robb--that I went back to the needle.

I hope this is helpful. :unsure:

--Brant

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Pam,

There was a ten-year period when I let my dentist drill on my teeth without novocaine. I found out that most of what I thought was pain was my fear of pain. When the real pain got real bad I just tightly gripped the arms of the chair until the dentist eased off. I did this once when I came back to Tucson, but it so freaked out the dentist--best dentist I've ever had, Dr. Robb--that I went back to the needle.

I hope this is helpful. :unsure:

--Brant

Hi, Brant:

No offense, but no, your response was not helpful to me. Perhaps you and I have different tolerances for pain.

The episode I mentioned happened when I was about 18. I just turned 54 last month. I don't believe that it's just fear of pain. I quite clearly remember feeling sensations of pain. I made noise. The dentist wouldn't stop. I shoved him and his drill away from my mouth. He got pissed off at me.

In the intervening years, most of the time I have had to choose between optometric services (eyeglasses and some vision training) and dental services, due to finances (my glasses are expensive); most of the time I couldn't have done both. I have chosen vision services. Hopefully in the near future that will change.

Well, several things I would like to have done: (1) deal with wisdom teeth, (2) take care of two broken teeth and maybe some cracked teeth in front, (3) remove metal fillings and replace with a different material, and (4) straighten teeth. I fear I'm going to have to win the lottery first, though.

I have fairly sensitive teeth, and they have turned out to also be softer than I had thought. I'm definitely going for the anesthetic.

Pam

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Pam,

There was a ten-year period when I let my dentist drill on my teeth without novocaine. I found out that most of what I thought was pain was my fear of pain. When the real pain got real bad I just tightly gripped the arms of the chair until the dentist eased off. I did this once when I came back to Tucson, but it so freaked out the dentist--best dentist I've ever had, Dr. Robb--that I went back to the needle.

I hope this is helpful. :unsure:

--Brant

Hi, Brant:

No offense, but no, your response was not helpful to me. Perhaps you and I have different tolerances for pain.

The episode I mentioned happened when I was about 18. I just turned 54 last month. I don't believe that it's just fear of pain. I quite clearly remember feeling sensations of pain. I made noise. The dentist wouldn't stop. I shoved him and his drill away from my mouth. He got pissed off at me.

In the intervening years, most of the time I have had to choose between optometric services (eyeglasses and some vision training) and dental services, due to finances (my glasses are expensive); most of the time I couldn't have done both. I have chosen vision services. Hopefully in the near future that will change.

Well, several things I would like to have done: (1) deal with wisdom teeth, (2) take care of two broken teeth and maybe some cracked teeth in front, (3) remove metal fillings and replace with a different material, and (4) straighten teeth. I fear I'm going to have to win the lottery first, though.

I have fairly sensitive teeth, and they have turned out to also be softer than I had thought. I'm definitely going for the anesthetic.

(1) is best done with a general anesthetic, assuming extraction; (2) local; (3) probably best not to do as the procedure will probably release significantly more mercury into your body than if the fillings are left in place; (4) not painful, just expensive. Do the cheapest things first, unless you have significant pain or disability right now. If you don't have gum disease you are very lucky. Consider saving money by going to India for all but the orthodontia, especally if there is more work needed than you are aware of, like root canals and caps. Since you haven't seen a dentist in 36 years, I'm afraid you are going to be in for a big shock.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede
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(1) is best done with a general anesthetic, assuming extraction; (2) local; (3) probably best not to do as the procedure will probably release significantly more mercury into your body than if the fillings are left in place; (4) not painful, just expensive. Do the cheapest things first, unless you have significant pain or disability right now. If you don't have gum disease you are very lucky. Consider saving money by going to India for all but the orthodontia, especally if there is more work needed than you are aware of, like root canals and caps. Since you haven't seen a dentist in 36 years, I'm afraid you are going to be in for a big shock.

--Brant

Unfortunately, I have neither the desire nor money to travel to India, either now or in the near future. I've also heard and read about people traveling to either Thailand or Mexico for similar lower-priced services.

I have also heard of people moving or traveling to places in the U.S. where certain medical/dental services are less expensive. I read an article some time ago on LewRockwell.com which indicated that its author had gotten IV chelation treatment in a place such as St. Louis, Missouri for far less than it would cost in, say, Southern California.

Based on everything I've read so far, I am still very interested in getting rid of my metal fillings when I can afford to do that. I also want to have done (on my sig. other and me) either IV or oral chelation therapy.

Pam Maltzman

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