When I was told I had to have a tooth pulled I responded inappropriately. I acted as if the dentist had just told me I had 2 weeks to live. I could tell he was looking at me like, wtf? People lose teeth. Here’s some middle-aged adulting for you. Grow the fuck up.

The dentist’s sentiments probably did not get quite that expansive in its disdain. But he obviously thought I reacted inappropriately. I now concur.

It’s just that for most of my life these teeth have been virtually perfect. I had a brace or two in grade school but that was a result of falling off a bar-b-que when I was little, causing a tooth to get displaced. It’s fine now, has been since grade 3 or 4.

In college I fell and smashed my face on a bathroom sink, resulting in a cap for my front tooth being placed the next day. It has held up fine ever since, with recent dentists saying they find no trace of it ever being necessary or even present.

This tooth extraction yesterday resulted in two teeth getting yanked, #s 15 and 16, the latter being a wisdom tooth. I blame this entirely on Covid anxiety, and bruxism of such strength to chew through a dozen cheap mouthguards over the past year (cheap because insurance will not cover costlier preventative measures that could have prevented this expensive-to-me mess).

I felt very little pain through all this, I’m lucky to say. Every day, it seemed, whilst on my daily strambles to parts well-known, I would spit up a fleck of tooth, look at it to be sure that’s what it was, then toss it onto the sidewalk. Every one of these flecks of tooth made me think I was getting one step closer to exposing a nerve, which would cause real pain.

But that never happened. By the time surgery was performed yesterday I had experienced only minor discomfort, and the entire procedure of yanking two teeth and placing a bone graft as the possible future foundation for implant to replace the two teeth took about 45 minutes. I felt nothing. Nada. One second I’m seeing two needles go into my arm, the next I’m sitting in a small room on a chair, by myself, asking Why aren’t they performing this procedure on me? How are they supposed to do it in this small room?

The anæsthetic worked like a sledgehammer. I was lights out. Gone. After I came to a few minutes passed before one of the dental assistants appeared and asked how I felt. I asked if we were going to do this procedure or not. She laughed a little, knowingly, having certainly seen countless patients similarly confused after returning from the dead asking how the hell they got into this small room.

I didn’t expect such instant unconcsiousness. I got put under a few times mid-2000s, when I had to get endoscopies done. Those anæsthsiologists monitored my vital signs, heartrate, blood pressure… They also put me under very gradually, at least by comparison to the dental surgeon yesterday.

I’m not complaining, as it kept me from feeling any pain during and after, with only a few shots of discomfort that were enough to make me pop a codeine as well as an antibiotic to prevent infection.

The bleeding stopped yesterday and as far as I can tell has not returned. I’m rinsing my mouth out every hour or so with warm water that has salt and baking soda mixed in.

I don’t know when I’ll be able to drink again, and I don’t want to play any games with that. I did miss the ability to sleep last night, but the lucid dreams that I’ve recently started having show great potential for delivering all the trauma and entertainment of an acid trip without the acid.