Friday, January 21, 2011

Into the abyss and back!

17th January, 2011

The dawn was fine; Home alone. Cooked my own breakfast. Settled to work on my project when I received the phone call that I was expecting the most for the past couple of days - my dentist's assistant at the other end.

"Hello Anand! Could you pay me a visit today? Got one final check-up to do. The lab technician is coming in person to take a look at your status and what needs to done to make it fit perfect"

"What? Just today? I thought this would end today?"

"Apologies sir. The technician didn't take the cast with him this weekend (Pongal break). Sorry for the inconvenience. The procedure should be over by this Friday."

"O.K. I will be there", said I. "I will be there in a couple of minutes"

As I entered, there was an English man who I presumed to be a patient but he turned out to be the technician.

As I took my place on the dental chair, I was setup with the usual procedure, ending up with the dentist and tech guy discussing what needs to be done on the half-done work. The metal base over which the crown will be fixed was a relatively bigger, given the reduced space my lost tooth was occupying. So the new tooth had to be grown very meticulously to provide the peripheral transparency my dental setting required.

Only solution: Reduce the size of the metallic base that's already replaced the tooth's root. There come's the DRILLER's role!

If you haven't already had the fortunate chance to be at the service of this...this bugger, it looks more like an electric screw driver - with a pointy rotating tip that is used to dig in (like bore well digger) or scrap off excess material (like a grinding stone). You get the scary point! :D

To add to what is missing, here's his accomplice: An attached water sprayer, that sprays water whilst the bugger digs, to keep the heat caused due to the friction, low. (You can feel the burning smell and heat while the dentist digs or grinds your TOOTH)

And the procedure began! Now that's not really a daunting task - to bear with this. I've already gone through this procedure. The worst was yet to come. The dentist also inserts a suction pump into your mouth to siphon out the water that collects in your mouth due to the sprayer.

During the drilling, to keep my jaws apart, my dentist held my upper jaw by her left hand, and the only anchor she seemed to have access to were my nostrils. (Upper jaw didn't help, since the 1st incisor on the upper jaw is the POI (Point of Interest). With all her thoughts on my tooth, her index and middle fingers found anchor at my nostrils, now blocking the only means by which I was breathing! Awwwww!

As I was assuming the position, I had to, the water that was in the mouth due to the sprayer, filled the throat - the only other path for air to my lungs! I held my breath for quite some time hoping the ordeal would soon come to an end and yes, it did! To my relief, air gushed into my lungs as the dentist removed her fingers and switched off the driller. I was feeling better. 

I couldn't explain my problem to the dentist, for I was bleeding and I could hardly talk! The driller touched the edges of the gums and it had caused all the pain! Just when I thought it was over, the dentist and techie reviewed the change in size of the metal base and discussed over it. The techie said, it had to be still brought down in size. 

So again began what I thought would not - the drilling! The same procedure started and I was suffocating once again! With the earlier experience, I had an idea of how long I would have to hold my breath! To my shock, it was unlike I hoped it would. The drilling continued on and on... beyond my breaking point!

That's when those bizarre thoughts crept into my mind or rather flooded it! Scene of Robert Langdon fighting the Hassassin in 'Angels & Demons' to save the Cardinal Baggia and how the Cardinal drowned in vain.

Honestly, I'm still wondering why off all that could, this particular thought came to my mind! I was choking... not able to stop the dentist from what she was doing! Who'd dare push away a hand when there's a driller inside your mouth?! My hands were also under the sheet that they had spread over my chest to prevent my shirt from getting wet. So there I lay helpless! Beyond the level when I could consciously control my breath, my involuntary reflexes kicked in and there, I gulped some of the water in my mouth! That was terrible! 

Then, I never knew from where that came from... my hand shot out from under the sheet and gestured at the dentist to stop it! Phew! It was over - the agony!

All I did then was shake my head to whatever she was saying!

"Apologies for all the delay and inconveniences.... There can be no compromises in your case.... Your age requires that everything be perfect because this is going to be almost permanent...blah blah.."

Only when I was made to sit up straight and spit, did I know that I was bleeding! :( The numbness on the gums were now replaced by an unbearable pain as I stepped out of the lab into the reception and started home. 

It took almost 2 days till I finally used my mouth to speak out! and tell the tale of what happened at the dentist. That too was only because I couldn't be sitting dumb when a couple of my classmates paid me a visit. Thanks to them or I would have been dumber! :D

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