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Chris Graham: How do you get a tooth stuck in your jaw?

chris graham accMy wife talked me into getting Invisalign, because she was doing it, and why not, seemed fun.

This required me to first get a standard dental X-ray done so that they could figure out whatever it was that they’d need to fix.

And so our story begins.

I don’t know when the last time I’d had a dental X-ray, if ever.

Never had a cavity, didn’t need braces as a teen.

“Were you aware that this was there?” the X-ray tech asked me, pointing to an odd sight.

I had a tooth partially embedded in my jaw.

“No, I was not aware of … how does that happen?”

I would learn that it was a wisdom tooth, and that it should have been causing me pain for the past 30 years, and who knows, maybe it did, though actually, no, it didn’t.

Anyway, I’d also go on to learn that I would need this tooth removed, immediately, because I was at risk, mainly of a broken jaw, if one of a number of things happened, including me eating a piece of steak, which I do like to do from time to time.

Easy enough, except that it wasn’t.

The doc, Jonas Collins, a thorough dental surgeon, if I’ve ever met one, and I’ve now met one, explained to me that he might need to remove other teeth to get to this one, because not only was it partially embedded in my jaw, but it had settled under my back teeth.

Oh, great, said I, a person still working to overcome severe anxiety, said to myself, this won’t cause me to go overboard or anything.

And actually, it didn’t, which is a credit to my therapist of six months, who probably wouldn’t want me to name her here, but has, importantly, helped me realize that I don’t need to be constantly on edge just to make myself feel like I’m safe.

I literally sauntered into Dr. Collins’ office last week for the surgery, not worried about a thing, even the worst case of having to have additional teeth removed, because, I don’t know why, the therapy must be working overdrive.

The procedure is something that I wished they’d put me under for. Yep, it was weird, to say the least, to hear various pieces of machinery making noise because it was being used on my head.

I swear I could see sparks flying at times.

OK, I’m making that up, but still, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

Way, way, way too much drilling and yanking later, doc had the tooth.

I was still so loopy that I went home and got in a Peloton ride, before the meds wore off, and it hit me.

More to the point, it felt like Mike Tyson had hit me, for some reason with a ballpeen hammer, as if he’d need one.

My face looked like I’d fallen out of an airplane without a parachute. Couldn’t open my mouth more than to suck down pudding and ice cream for three days.

Lost five pounds, which is nice, I guess.

But I’m not writing this column just to complain. What motivated me to write was the realization that, people have actually figured out how to do something as complicated as get a tooth partially embedded in a jaw and located under several other teeth out in under 30 minutes and for less than $3,000.

Medical advancements like this are nothing short of amazing.

But then, yeah, I might not have ever known of it if not for the random dental X-ray.

I mean, maybe I’d pop off something smart to a guy in a bar about how the National League should adopt the DH, and the guy, a lifelong National League fan, would take it the wrong way, and break my jaw with shrug of his shoulders, leaving me to wonder just how damned soft I am, to let a shrug of some drunk baseball fan’s shoulders break my jaw.

Either way, Dr. Collins, great job, man. I won’t be eating anything solid for another couple of weeks, at least, but that’s not your fault.

Chris Graham is the editor of Augusta Free Press. He could stand to lose another five pounds.


augusta free press
augusta free press