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Waiting for the tooth fairy

So as I mentioned yesterday, on Sunday I broke a tooth. It was the back part of a rear bottom molar, and it left a sharp edge that began to slice and dice the underside of my tongue. On Monday morning I called my dentist's office only to get a message that they'd be closed until Thursday. If there was an emergency, I was to call one of the dentists at her home. This was all very baffling and frustrating, but I left a message on the dentist's home machine. She called back an hour later and referred me to another dentist in the U District. I happily called the number she gave me ... only to discover that that office was closed until next Monday. What the fricking fuck?!!!!!! I was beginning to feel picked-on at this point.

I should also mention that I was feeling like crap in general, and the lacerated tongue was definitely not improving my sense of well-being. I called my dentist back. She recommended that I try filing the edge off myself, using a nail file. If that didn't work, she'd come into the office just to file it down for me. It was almost noon by now, and I was starting to feel a bit desperate, even frantic. On the way up the Ave to Bartell's to buy a nail file (I thought about asking somebody in the office if they had one, but would anybody want me sticking their nail file into my mouth?), I popped into a random dentist's office along the way. No way they could fit me in, sorry.

So I got a nail file at Bartell's, and I filed the edge off my broken tooth, starting in the alley behind Bartell's and then, when that seemed too weird, continuing in the privacy of the bathroom in the office. It was hard to tell how successful I was, because my tongue kept running the lacerated parts against the tooth, and that still hurt. But my finger said the edge was gone, so I stopped filing.

Today all is well. The tongue is no longer in pain and is capable of registering that the edge is off the tooth. I'll see the dentist on Thursday to begin the repair process. But it was the kind of thing that made me wonder why I didn't think to file the edge off first thing Sunday afternoon after I broke the tooth. I was so fixated on the idea that the dentist would solve the problem the next day that it didn't even occur to me that I could do something about it myself. Well, okay, I fantasized about covering the sharp edge with wax or something. Not very practical! And thus I did nothing.

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( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
mszappata
Apr. 10th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
Get well soon )
randy_byers
Apr. 10th, 2012 06:13 pm (UTC)
It's getting better all the time.
gerisullivan
Apr. 10th, 2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
Better, better, beeee-ter.

It would have never occurred to me to take a nail file to a tooth. Never ever. Like your wax idea, I may well have thought of covering it somehow, but actually doing anything to a tooth's surface beyond flossing and brushing? That's a professional's job, and I'm not even a talented amateur when it comes to terraforming teeth.

I'm glad your tongue is recovering quickly.
kalimac
Apr. 10th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
Like Geri, I wouldn't even consider taking a file to a tooth unless the dentist had told me to. I'd have no idea if I were doing something unwisely irreversible. So don't feel bad that it didn't occur to you.
replyhazy
Apr. 10th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
"Gee, my tooth is hurting my tongue, so I should STICK A NAIL FILE IN MY MOUTH TO FIX IT."

No, can't say it's the first thing that comes to mind!

Glad you are feeling a bit better. Put this on your resume.
randy_byers
Apr. 10th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
I can't begin to tell you had wrong it felt to be sticking a nail file into my mouth.
akirlu
Apr. 10th, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
Not least because it's got to be awkward to do.
randy_byers
Apr. 10th, 2012 09:16 pm (UTC)
Just a tad. When I was doing it in the alley I couldn't help imagining it as a humiliation scene from a Woody Allen film.
akirlu
Apr. 10th, 2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
Yikes! Yeah, put me up in the column of people to whom it would not occur to be filing my own teeth, and with a nail file of all things. I would use a hobby file. Er, no. I think I would have gone with the dental wax, myself.
randy_byers
Apr. 10th, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
Well, this has all been very educational, because I hadn't realized that there actually are things like dental wax or dental cement for a temporary patch. Next time!
ron_drummond
Apr. 10th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
Wow! Scary. Glad it worked, and that you are on the mend.
randy_byers
Apr. 10th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
It's strange how such small misadventures can throw me so far off balance.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 11th, 2012 02:12 am (UTC)
Good grief!! Too bad I didn't leave the lidocaine gel home, which my dentist gave me when I was biting my tongue every five minutes. And not only would I never have thought of filing the tooth, I'm not real sure I would have done it even after the dentist told me to!
randy_byers
Apr. 11th, 2012 02:20 am (UTC)
It all seems a bit surreal from this vantage, but at that point I would've done just about anything to stop the pain, even as minor as the pain actually was. Hard to describe the state of mind.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 11th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
Um, that last post was me. -Denys
(Deleted comment)
randy_byers
Apr. 11th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
Uncomfortable, expensive, and long term! I managed to avoid braces, although my brother had them. Good luck!
(Deleted comment)
randy_byers
Apr. 11th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
Wow. I had a feeling that somebody might benefit from this discussion, but I had no idea it would happen this quickly. Sorry about your misfortune, but glad the comments here pointed you to a short-term fix. No files needed!
grytpype_thynne
Apr. 11th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
Were you at any time tempted instead of filing the one tooth down to file ALL THE REST TO RAZOR SHARP POINTS.

Just curious...
randy_byers
Apr. 11th, 2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
As a matter of fact, yes, I was. Furthermore, I thought to myself: if I'm going to be filing my teeth, why not go all the way and become a cannibal? Fortunately the fever subsided before I committed this idea to reality.
kim_huett
Apr. 12th, 2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
Clearly I'm in the minority because the first thing I've always done when breaking a tooth (happened twice so far) is use a nail file to remove any sharp edges on the break. I've also found blu-tack (you know, the stuff teenagers use to put posters on their walls) a useful temporary covering. Even if the broken edge isn't especially sharp I find it irritating to have my tongue rub against the damaged area so blu-tack seemed the obvious solution.
randy_byers
Apr. 12th, 2012 11:04 pm (UTC)
Ah, dental-tack. What will they think of next?
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )

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