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Revenge of the wisdom tooth

July 7, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

I haven't always had an easy time with my teeth. My mouth was too small for all the teeth I got. My permanent teeth came in crooked. I had a gap in my two front teeth that rivaled David Letterman's. And I had an overbite.

Since I apparently had too many teeth, seven of them were removed before I got braces. A couple of those errant teeth were even under my gums. When I was 11, I got braces. I also had to wear the headgear to correct my overbite. But I was just too embarrassed to wear it during the day. Junior high with glasses and a pouffy perm was bad enough, why add to the fun? That's probably why I still have this overbite. And I should've had my braces on a little longer as my bottom teeth have now shifted. That all started when my bottom retainer, which was basically a wire melded onto the back of my center four bottom teeth broke. I wear a clear plastic thing on my bottom teeth but to no avail.

I still have crooked teeth and an overbite. All that orthodenture for naught.

When I was 18, It was determined that I would have two of my wisdom teeth removed. I'm thinking OK, no problem. At least it's not all four in one shot. So I went in, got put under and hoped that I got rid of two of the four. Turned out that the oral surgeon had a hard time just getting out one of the wisdom teeth, and that the other one was left behind.

I vaguely remember sacking out on the couch trying to watch Oliver Stone's "JFK" after I had my surgery. I really didn't pay that close of attention to the movie. It was more of trying not to bleed, eating pudding and making sure my gums were rinsed with salt water.

So now 22 years later, that wisdom tooth that was left behind is apparently causing problems. It's not so bad, but it made my dentist take notice and make a referral to the local dental oral surgeon. That will take place in less than two weeks, the referral that is. I just got the medical history paperwork I'm supposed to fill out. There's more than 90 items on the form. Yikes, this will take a bit. Osteonecrosis? What the heck is that? If I don't know what it is, hopefully I don't have it. It's daunting, sure, but it's definitely necessary.

Now that I've had heart surgery since the last time I had a wisdom tooth removed, what can I expect? How should I prepare? I already take an antibiotic before my dental appointments. Wonder if I'll have to up my dose before surgery.

But I'm jumping the gun a little. I don't have a wisdom tooth surgery scheduled; maybe I won't have to worry about getting this stubborn tooth taken out.

Sigh. I'll find out soon enough. Guess I may have to stock up on pudding.



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