To extract teeth, the dentist has to pump your face full of novocaine. I don’t know why, but this makes me really light headed. He had to take a couple of breaks, while the anesthetics did their thing. And each time that would happen, my head felt heavier and heavier.
He did my lower jaw first and that went quite well. Sure, I felt a bit woozy, but no big deal. And then went for the top. First, two injections were made in the roof of my mouth. This hurt. Kind of a lot. But not nearly as much as what happened next.
The dentist came back at me with the needle, stuck it in my upper jaw and suddenly my cheek felt warm. Then hot. And then it spread. Very quickly it consumed the whole left side of my face. Around my nose and eyes it felt like fire. It felt like someone was searing my face with a hot skillet. I panicked and pulled his arm away.
“Are you okay?”
“No! My face.. it’s like it’s on fire!”
“But it doesn’t hurt, right?”
“…. It’s on fire!”
I was freaked out. But as weirdly as it came, it left.
“Was that normal?” I asked him.
“Well.. I must have hit a facial nerve.”
Notice that he never answered my question. We had a good chuckle over it. I mean, why not? My face wasn’t actually on fire. It just felt like it was. All the fun without the need for reconstructive plastic surgery! “Wow, this is really intense,” I said. Probably several times.
A few injections later we took a break. During the break, he wanted me to open my mouth so he could check something. But I couldn’t. My god, I couldn’t open my mouth. By this time, the novocaine was really kicking in.
“Okay,” he said, “let’s take a break and let your body adjust to the epi.” I have no idea what that means. “Just try to do some jaw exercises. I’ll be back.
During the intermission, I tried and tried to open my jaw. It would open about an inch or something. I didn’t really care. Wow… the novocaine really was something, huh. So I decided to try to open it with my hands. That should work or whatever. I mean, why should I even really care about this. I mean, the novocaine was, man. The novocaine is. What the hell is an epi?
So I went to move my arms – you know, those two incredibly tired things attached to my torso. I had arms a bit ago. I remember them. They did stuff like, you know, arm stuff. But they didn’t want to move because they were so very tired. They just wanted to rest. Just a little bit. Like five seconds, okay? We’ll try again in five seconds.
My right arm lifted up. I was doing that. And then the left one. I think it did it on its own because I was way into moving my right arm. The fingers ripped my mouth, pulling and prying and it moved to a point, but then wouldn’t open farther. It was tired too. My mouth just needed a break. Let’s all just chill out for a minute, okay?
It wasn’t just my arms that were tired. It was my shoulders and those muscles that connected my shoulders to my chest. They left for a bit. They were on their own break. But it was time to try this again. Let’s roll.
This time, my hands opened my mouth and, like before, it stopped at a point. But hey, what if I moved my jaw a bit to the right? Would it open? Like now there’s a super secret sneaky way that I have to open my mouth. Like a snake, I can unhinge my jaw. It’s amazing. Look at me. I am unhinging my jaw using two arms that aren’t even mine anymore.
And so I unhinged my jaw by jogging it a bit to the right. It was like a speed bump. The dentist came back in.
“So, are you okay now?”
“It’s like a speed bump. My mouth. I … I got it. It was like a speed bump.” And then I magically could open it without the help of the arm things. I just had to turn it. The right jaw muscles were working, but the left ones went to check out those muscles above my chest. Speed bump. I got it.
So then came the extraction. With the dentist taking over, my arms, my mouth, those upper chest muscles, and the speed bump could all just relax. It was alright.
The bottom one first. It was not an easy pull. “I have to find the fulcrum point.” He couldn’t get leverage and had to move me around, put me in a headlock and stretch out my cheek and jaw and I just knew that I would feel it tomorrow.
There was a crack and I remember that he told me to close my eyes because I shouldn’t get any visual suggestions about what he was doing. This sounded like a good idea. After a lot of pulling and I could sense some worry, but I wasn’t sure if it was his or mine, the tooth came out.
The upper one was done before I even knew he was doing it.
And that was it. The trauma, perhaps the adrenaline, excised the effects of the novocaine from my mind and I was mostly coherent and stuff. We talked for a bit and then I was on my way.
Now I’m at home and I have to change these nasty gauze things every thirty minutes. I can’t eat real food for a day, but I’m going to wait long than that. I fear the dreaded dry socket.