When I was sixteen, I had my annual visit to the dentist’s office. After a check up and some minor cleaning, the assistant told me that my wisdom teeth were coming in very fast. She suggested that I consider having the surgery to remove them. At sixteen, this surprised me, because I wasn’t even aware that my wisdom teeth had come in at all, let alone grew so fast that the dental assistant was offering the idea of surgery. As expected, I politely declined, saying that it was too soon and to see if there were any drastic changes later down the road. As a precaution, she brought in the head-honcho dentist for a second opinion, who told me that there was plenty of room in my mouth for more growth, and that I shouldn’t have to worry about taking my wisdom teeth out at all. Ha! Take that, dental assistant! This was a big sigh of relief for me, since I’ve never had any surgery on or in my facial area, except for the stitching required when my lower teeth split clear through my bottom lip when I was eight, but that’s a different story. Twenty minutes later, I was allowed to go back into the waiting room with my mom and sister to go home.
A year later, at seventeen, I had another appointment with my dentist. It was very warm out that afternoon, so I wore a simple tank top and my cargo shorts. This was an obvious and very amatuer mistake, because the dental office was freezing on a regular basis, no matter the weather outside. So there I was, laying back on an ice-cold dentist chair, trying to hide my shivering as a different dental assistant scrapes and picks at my molars. A couple of x-rays later, the topic of my wisdom teeth comes up again. Awesome.
The assistant once again suggests surgery, then, once again, brings in the dentist for a second opinion. This time, to my surprise, the dentist agrees and asks me when I would like to schedule the appointment. Now I’m sitting there, shaking my head and shivering like a leaf while I explain how the other dentist told me that I would be fine without the surgery. They both give me skeptical looks, but shrug and lead me back to the waiting room.
Now, at eighteen, I had begun to feel a dull pain in my lower jaw. I figured that it was simply from me clenching it so much when I read or slept during the night. It couldn’t be my wisdom teeth, right? After all, I hadn’t been having any problems for years, so why would it start now, at such an abrupt time? I try to ignore the pain and move on with my life, but the aching continued for what felt like hours, being at its worst whenever I would be eating or moving my mouth too often. After all of the conversations with the dentists over the years, I really hoped that I wouldn’t need their surgery they had brought up so many times. I didn’t want to walk into that dentist office and hear an “I told you so.”
Unfortunately, the pain would not subside, the dull ache becoming a sharp pain on occasion, and I thought that my very jaw was splitting apart right under my nose. After a thirty second conversation with my mom about the pain, she picked up the phone and contacted our dentist, explaining the details and arranging an appointment while I listened warily from the couch across the room.
I’m not sure why I was so against their surgery. It was not an issue of fear or phobia of dental instruments (I’ve never had any fears of going to the dentist), nor was it the stress of healing or the pain that I would endure, because I would most definitely be provided with quality anesthesia. I think that it was just the thought of altering my body, losing a piece of myself just because of some occasional pain. I thought about this surgery as letting go of something I had for such a long time, and as weird as it sounds, I didn’t want to let go of it.
Regardless, my appointment will be this afternoon, and I’ll be off to get my wisdom teeth removed. Maybe I’ll have my mom there with her phone so she can record the whole ordeal. All I know is that I’ll have to make sure to turn off my phone and tablet. I’ve seen enough post-surgery YouTube videos to know just how loopy you can get from that anesthesia.
If all goes well, I’ll just have a twelve-hour nap and wake up tomorrow afternoon perfectly fine. I’ll make sure to post my post-surgery experience separately so you can check up on how everything went. Though it might be coming from my mom’s miouth instead of mine, since I probably won’t remember anything.
Fingers crossed! I hope you readers have a wonderful day, keep your chin up, and remember to take care of yourself, because there’s only one of you (:
Stay gay, my friends.
-Sara, aka The Dyke