For a few months, I hear various dentists and receptionists refer to my first molar (on the lower jaw) like a person.
“So, here’s a referral to the endodontist for Tooth #19.”
“Here’s the referral to an oral surgeon for Tooth #19.”
“Hi, this is a call to follow up on Tooth #19.”
Tooth #19 did not have a good life in my mouth.
In 2010, Tooth #19 went through a root canal treatment in Singapore and was pronounced dead. Somewhere in 2018, an abscess popped up on the gum. I requested for an abscess drainage surgery, but the endodontist in San Francisco felt that I should redo the root canal treatment instead.
Shortly after the retreatment, an abscess popped up again in the same spot. Tooth #19 and I were horrified and wondered why we trusted the endodontist’s advice. We wish we had not had to go through the same trauma all over again.
On March 16, Monday, Tooth #19 was extracted from my mouth.
For most wisdom teeth removal and those with no intentions of getting a tooth implant, the whole extraction procedure usually ends here.
After considering that (A) I am in my late thirties and (B) I love chewing food with my molars, I took Dr Y’s advice of getting an implant. Also partly because of (C) the horrifying video that showcases neighbouring teeth sliding their way into the gap.
Speaking of gap, this was what happened to the void of Tooth #19.
The void was filled with bone graft material minutes after Tooth #19 was removed and the extraction site was stitched together – above a collagen membrane that covers and protects the bone graft material.
Learnt a new word for “stitches that hold together the edges of a wound” – suture.
I watched the thread go in and out of my mouth, while I was on local anaesthesia, but didn’t get to see the suture until the third or fourth day when the bloody site started to clear up.
Note to self: This was the time I felt a swell around the extraction site. After two days of applying the ice pack, I switched to warm compress as instructed. However, a slight sore lingers even after a week.
By the end of the week, my gums had healed quite a bit. A tiny slit in the middle revealed the collagen membrane within.
Part of the thread snapped and started poking the side of my mouth (which was quite uncomfortable). Thank goodness I had an appointment on the eight day! Dr Y was pleased with my recovery and cut the poking thread away, leaving the rest to hold my healing gum together.
“Can I have risotto yet?”
“Well, I’m afraid not. Give it another three to five days for the gum to fully close up. Then, you can have risotto.”
“Close up? Does that mean we have to cut it open for the implant?”
“Yeah, that would be in four to seven months. But don’t worry, the worst is over.“
I sure hope so! I can’t wait to have rice again.