My Amazing Dancing Teeth
Well, it all started way back in 1989. My dentist was a trifle
concerned that my lower left second molar had not turned up by
the time I was 18, when it should have turned up when I was 12
or so. An opthalmagram, a kind of panoramic xray of my whole
jaw, was ordered:
As you can see my third molar (wisdom tooth) and my second
molar are apparently preventing each other from doing anything.
I probably should have had surgery at this point - but
the decision was to wait and see what happened. And what
happened? This happened:
10 years later I mentioned to my dentist that I had experienced a
little pain in that corner of my mouth,
so another xray was ordered. My dentist
was suprised to learn that my wisdom tooth had turned upside down.
She spoke to the orthodontist she shares a clinic with. He was also
suprised. My x-ray was passed from dentist to orthodontist to specialist
and it wasn't until I was referred to one of the most emminent
oral surgeons in Melbourne that anybody had the foggiest idea of what
to do about it. He stressed that most of his less-experienced
colleagues would never had
seen a case like mine, but that an oral surgeon could expect to see a
case like mine "once or twice in a career".
The wisdom tooth had to go. Pronto. It was already doing serious
damage to my jaw - the cross-sectional area of bone in that
corner of my jaw was down to something like 30% of normal. The
second molar pretty much had to go too. The chance of it coming
up normally after the wisdom tooth was removed was minimal and the
infection risk was high. Unfortunately that dark line you can see
running through the roots of the second molar is a nerve - the
nerve servicing my lower lip.
The risk of permament numbness was given to me as 10%, and temporary
numbness as 50%. No indicators on how long "temporary" is. If the
feeling comes back, it's temporary, be it 5 minutes or 5 years.
So I approached the surgery with some trepidation. It hurt like
hell for a couple of weeks, but my lips were fine from day one,
and everything went very smoothly.