Thursday, March 03, 2011


This is not a political protest, read on and you will discover what UL6 is.

On Tuesday 01 March 2011 I had a tooth taken out. This tooth has quite a good story, so I though I would share it with the world (translation, I have suffered, I want the rest of the world to suffer with me).

The tooth, upper left molar tooth 6 (where teeth are counted down from the wisdom teeth which are no. 8, to the incisors which are no. 1), had been slightly oversensitive for a while. I had a checkup appointment with the dentist on 15 Feb 2011, who had a good look at it, and said it was fine, did not need filling or anything. The gums were receded, this made it more sensitive. I have always had sensitive teeth, i.e. I have to eat ice cream carefully. But this does not stop me eating it.

2 days later, I scraped at the tooth to clear some debris, and one third of the tooth came out. Tooth became less sensitive, was still functional, so I thought I would leave it, no immediate reaction required. 2 days later, the rest of it came out in 2 pieces and the filling. Did I mention that the tooth was mainly made of filling? All of my molars are. At this point I felt that action did need to be taken.

So, one week after the checkup, I returned to the dentist, hoping for a crown. Crowns are the best kind of teeth - I have 2 on top of root canals - never any pain, no decay, no further fillings. One fell out last year when it was about 15 years old, but the dentist glued it back in, no problem. Anyway, the dentist had a look at the tooth currently causing promblems, and said it would have to be pulled, as there was not enough left to fit a crown to. Fair enough, made the appointment for the extraction.

On 1st March 2011, went to the dentist to have the tooth (or the remains of it) pulled. This is where the story starts. Dentist made relevant local anaesthetic injections, got out the autoclaved sterile tools, and made a start. First part is where they push at the tooth with a metal implement to loosen it from the socket. Then she takes the big pliers, and pulls at the tooth, jiggling it around to further loosen it. No joy. Takes the larger big pliers, and carries on. Tooth is not shifting. My jaws hold onto their teeth very firmly. After 2o minutes, the dentist, who is not a skinny little thing and has experience of pulling a lot of teeth over the years, calls her husband in to give her a hand. Her husband is also a dentist at the practise. He comes in, gives the tooth a firm prod, jiggles it around some more, applies the pliers and pulls. The tooth loosens. I can feel this despite the very effective anaesthetic. He takes a firmer grip, pulls again. It takes a process of more jiggling, and about three pulls, but the tooth comes out. This dentist is taking no crap from my tooth. Tooth 0, dentist 1. Felt a bit shaky, body has of course gone into mild shock, a tooth has been ripped from the bone of my jaw.

I asked for the tooth, of course, kind of like a trophy. And I kept the bits that had fallen out originally. I went home, took a couple of painkillers before the anaesthetic wore off, cause I knew it would hurt. Despite the painkillers, the whole area felt very tender for the rest of the day. The next morning, my face was swollen from the experience. The pliers had of course contacted the gums inside the mouth, hard to avoid, and the tooth had been extracted by force, so all attached bits of face were sulking. Did not need painkillers until the afternoon though. Spent Tuesday evening and Wednesday consuming only soft foods. Today, Thursday, face is more swollen, and very tender to the touch. Hamster have nothing on me in terms of swollen left cheeks. Have, however, not had to take any further painkillers.

On the whole, I am perfectly happy, it had to be done. Doing the usual correct wound management, rinsing my mouth with salt water, cleaning very carefully around my upper left teeth. Here are the gory pictures:

The Offending Item in All Its Parts

Did I mention that the roots of the tooth are HUGE? No wonder they had difficulty in getting it out. Top yellow bit is the root of the tooth. Less than 1mm of the tooth was showing above the gum. Left most - the original piece that came out. The rest is the other 2 pieces and the filling.

Tooth Extraction Smacked in the Face Look

The Gory Socket Left Where the Tooth Was
(taken a couple of hours after the extraction, socket is clean now)

Excuse the bad angle. PJKProductions is responsible/gets the credit for the pictures.

Moral of the story - there is none. As I stated at the top, I just thought I would share my discomfort with the rest of the world. Oh, and I can't chew on the left anymore, as lower left molar no. 7 was extracted a couple of years ago, so there are not enough teeth to come into contact to chew. I am now missing 4 teeth (lower right wisdom tooth no. 8 went a number of years ago as it was pushing at the teeth in front of it, lower right no. 7 went in the last couple of years, much the same problem as this tooth), but as I am 4 days short of 41, I do not yet want to go with the false teeth. Soup is a wonderful thing, and I can still chew with the fillings that have replaced the molars on the right side of my face.

PS - have you figured out what UL6 stands for?

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