Is it OK to use this blog to vent? Not you; me…I need to vent!
Sometime after Thanksgiving I went to an oral surgeon to have a troublesome molar removed. The surgeon came in, said hello, asked me which tooth and yanked it in about two minutes. I was handed a sheet of instructions for dealing with the pain and the bleeding. The surgeon then left the room.
After about a week, the area was still tender. I felt around with my finger and it seems there was still a shard of tooth left in the gum which was irritating. I had an extraction years ago, and experienced the same thing. A bit of tooth left over from the extraction was like a splinter in the gum. It eventually worked its way out. I figured the same thing would happen.
After a week or so the irritation still existed, the splinter was not working its way out, so I called the surgeon and made an appointment. I went sometime right after Christmas; the irritation had lasted at least three weeks.
When I showed up the surgeon asked what was the problem.
“I have an irritation from the extraction, I think there is still some tooth left in the gum.”
He looked at the area with one of those tiny bendy mirrors on a stick thing and told me.
“Hmm, have you been poking around, it seems to be a ‘puffalated predigital infarction’ (or some such term). What you are feeling is just bone, not tooth. Leave it along and it will heal over quickly.”
Bam, the surgeon was gone.
Now I had an irritation where there used to be a tooth, and I was also feeling guilty for causing it by poking around. I felt bad about wasting the surgeons 48 seconds of time.
Now for the last almost month I have been careful to not touch the ‘puffalated predigital infarction’ and allow it to heal over. I have been forced to chew on the non ‘puffalated predigital infarction’ side of my mouth and sometimes it has just plain hurt!
Tonight, much as I knew better, I was feeling the small perturbing bone along the ‘puffalated predigital infarction’ with my tongue and the small perturbing bone seemed to move. Against my better judgement, because it was poking that caused the ‘puffalated predigital infarction’ in the first place, I scratched at the bone with my finger nail.
The perturbing bone popped out! It was a tiny splintered shard of the extracted tooth. Exactly as I told the surgeon I thought it was before he told me it was a ‘puffalated predigital infarction’.
I felt instant relief.
I’ve been in pain for almost a month after this bonehead told me I had a ‘puffalated predigital infarction’ when all the time it was exactly what I told him I thought it was. This is the second time out of the only two extractions I have ever had that all the tooth was not removed. It must be a fairly common occurrence.
Oh look, it is common!
Oh look, it is common!
I get that with all the blood and stuff from the original extraction a shard of tooth could be overlooked, but why wouldn’t the patient be advised that this could happen? Then, when a patient says it feels like a shard of tooth is still remaining, what competent surgeon would not take a thorough look and see that it is in fact a piece of tooth still remaining?
A month of discomfort because this bubblehead wouldn’t take more than 48 seconds to look at my complaint. He should have said “Oh yeah, missed a piece” and plucked out with tweezers. I guess he skipped class the day dental college explained extracted tooth remnants.