The scarier ones are always in color. That way you know exactly where he’s looking and you can feel your jugular vein twitch because you know he needs to replenish his blood plasma and fresh platelets from your priming pump.
Has it ever occurred to you that you can get an old tooth pulled, have it cleaned and polished up and slapped back in your head and it will continue to flourish and grow and someday it will once again become a productive contributing member to the rapidly diminishing community of usable teeth you possess. No? Well it didn’t occur to me either.
You too can have an incisor re-implanted in your jaw just as I did. This is a true story with little to no embellishment. It’s too weird to be a lie.
It began with an abscessed tooth on the lower front. It was bad. I knew it was bad because it scared the hell out of my dentist and he said so. He said he was afraid to touch it. The area beneath my tongue was so swollen my tongue was protruding like one on a hungry pig. I tend to watch a dentist’s eyes and I saw fear in this fellow’s eyes. I thought he was scared I had cancer.He prescribed me antibiotics and sent me to an endodontist in another town.
The new dentist said as soon as the infection cleared that it might not happen again and if it did it might be a pretty good while before that happened. He was wrong. It abscessed again in a couple of weeks. Antibiotics saved me again and now the dentist tells me it will happen again and he will try something new.
That tooth abscessed four times before the new man told me he was very successful ten or twelve times each year pulling a tooth and cleaning up the tooth and the socket from which it sprang and putting it back in the patient’s jaw. He said new bone would form around the tooth and it would work once again.
I should have known better. This endodontist was a great guy. I really enjoyed talking to him but I noticed his office staff had at least two kinds of audial pollution blaring in his office. They had a TV roaring out front and some kind of funky rock on a radio. I was beginning to worry that his brain might be somewhat scrambled.
Another thing that bothered me was the guy never wore socks. Rumor had it his partner did not wear shoes when he worked on patients. Maybe I had the best one. At least he wound up with the shoes.
He did his magic on the tooth and he wired the tooth to adjoining teeth to keep it in place while all this new miraculous bone formed around to make it as solid as a rock. For one year I went back and forth to the endodontist who faithfully x-rayed the tooth and told me each time we needed to leave the tooth in a while longer. It was pretty obvious my jaw-bone growth was not cooperating with me and the dentist.
I moved to Athens, Georgia and got a friend in my old home town of Albany, Georgia who happens to be one of the world’s best dentists to take the wire off my teeth. Only a few months later the tooth bit the proverbial dust, or in this case, the corn pone. The corn pone was pretty hard. It was harder than the new bone that was supposed to have formed around the hapless tooth.
The broken off tooth did not come out of my jaw. I had to go see a (guess what) yep a dentist. Then my real problems began.
A cardiologist told me I had afib which is atrial fibrillation. Because the heart valves all become tired of each other they refuse to beat in rhythm. You can help control the thickness of your blood by taking coumadin which is warfarin which is rat poison and is the active ingredient in D-Con (that’s right, rat poison). Warfarin thins the blood.
They have a coumadin clinic where they often check your blood so they can tell if it’s of the proper consistency. Too thin, you can bleed to death. Too thick, you can have a heart attack or stroke from a blood clot.
The new dentist would not pull the tooth until I had just the right amount of thick in my blood. I thought he was being overly cautious. I was wrong. We finally hit his number on the INR chart that guides you through life with bloody warnings of too thick or too thin.
So the first thing I asked the new dentist was does he wear socks to work and he said, “Oh, yes sir, I always have my socks on at work.”
So he pulled the tooth and everything was cool. I went home and I felt fine. The dentist’s nurse called and wanted to know how I was doing and how I felt. I told them I felt fine and I was fine at that particular moment.
Thirty minutes later I was bleeding from that socket like a stuck pig. I bled for eight or ten straight hours and at the risk of being totally gross I can tell you if you bleed like that in your mouth and you continually pack your mouth full of gauze, the gauze will turn horribly black from the old blood.
I was up and down all night .I looked under my bed several times for Dracula. I never saw him but I’m pretty sure he was nearby the whole time. I would have been a feast for him but he could tell I was scared and if you scare me I will beat you half to death with a sharp stake right before I drive it through your sorry heart.
And that’s my sad story. The really pathetic part is I’m about five grand shy from doctoring a tooth I never could stand. It was the ugliest tooth in my mouth and I always hated it. Well it got me back for all that ill will I dealt it over the years. It cost me five thousand dollars to get rid of it.
This should be a good lesson for all of you old timers especially. Chances are you are not going to grow enough new jawbone to securely hold an old ugly tooth in your mouth so don’t let anybody talk you into trying to get the tooth to take root in your jaw again and be damned sure your dentist wears socks.