Friday, September 11, 2015

The Odontectomy For My Impacted Molar

This post has made thought long and hard on my own fears. Well, I decided to face one of them, which is taking out my impacted molar. I took a panoramic X-Ray photo of my teeth in 2009, but then I didn't have the guts to undergo the operation.

Six year later, I went back to the hospital to consult on said molar. I had to take another X-Ray photo, because, quoting the dentist, "If this (pointing to the 2009 X-Ray photo) is a human, it would enrolled in a primary school." After producing the 2015 X-Ray photo, the dentist's verdict remained the same: the third molar must be taken out before it caused more damage to the neighboring tooth.

I chose Rumah Sakit Gigi & Mulut FKG UI (the Teeth & Mouth Hospital of UI's School of Dental Hygiene Health) because (a) I've been doing scaling and consulting teeth problem there (not that I have any, alhamdulillah for dental health), and so far I'm not disappointed with the services, (b) the rate is affordable. For example, I only need to pay Rp 60,000 for scaling. And for odontectomy, they charged me for Rp 650,000 and some Rp 300,000++ for the post-operation medication.

When I first told my colleagues about it, they could not believe it. They said, scaling was at least Rp 300,000 at a dental clinic/hospital, and a tooth operation could reach up to Rp 1 million. They even asked if the scaling was really good.

Anyway, a week after taking the X-Ray, I came for the operation. The nurse asked if I had breakfast. I said, not yet. She immediately told me to go to the canteen for breakfast.

"Odontectomy is unlike other operation that requires you to do fasting. In the contrary, you should have good food because you will experience difficulty in eating," the nurse said.

Wow, so it would be like the last meal? I rushed to the canteen, ordered the spiciest meal there and savored every bite. And then I went back to the dental department to face the music...

They told me to fill a form of consent, stating that I agreed to undergo the operation and the risks. Upon reading 'the risks', I looked up and asked the doctor what it meant.

"There are risks in a dental operation, because the roots of teeth are connected to nerves. But of course, we always try to minimize them by going through the standardized procedures," the doctor explained.

Wait, what? Why didn't you tell me before?

The doctor assured me that not taking the impacted molar would result in bigger problems later on. "Okay, Doc, just make it fast and easy," I told him as I signed the letter of consent.

The doctor treated the operation like a casual thing. He hummed as he placed the equipment, made sure I laid myself comfortably on the dentist's chair (the only fun thing in a dentist room) and then placed a piece of cloth with a mouth-sized hole and the rest of the fabric covering my chest and face. I couldn't see anything behind the fabric, which was probably a good thing for I was scared to see what kind of torture equipment he would use. The doctor was kind enough to inform me what he would do, perhaps to prepare me for what's coming next.

"I'm going to inject you with anesthetic. Open your mouth."
"Okay."
Then he made a three-angle injection into the gum. It was painful.

"Here's another one, open your mouth again."
"Two injection, Doc???" I said meekly.
"Yes. Open your mouth."
"Okay."

After a minute he gently knocked my gum with one of dentist equipment and asked,"Can you feel it?"
"Yes."
He knocked on the other side of the mouth that didn't get injected with anesthetic,"How about here?"
"Hmm, it's more painful over there."
"So the anesthetic is already working. Let's start it then," he said.
Am I the only one without enthusiasm there?

"I'm going to incise your gum and remove the bone."
"Okay."
Buzzing sounds of chainsaw ensued.
"I can see your molar completely now. I'm going to crack it and take it out."
"Uh-uh." By this time, I couldn't say a word.
I could feel the cold touch of steel as the doctor did the action, but it was not painful at all. I felt like he's trying to push down the molar, instead of pulling it out.
"I've taken out the molar. Now I'll stitch the gum."
"Awk-ayy."

The whole operation only took 20 minutes. The doctor told me to come back next week to remove the stitches.

Post-odontectomy treatment:
1. Avoid hot-spicy drink/meal, drink cold beverages (Thank God for Slurpee)
2. Don't gargle for the first three day post-odontectomy
3. Despite the pain, you should always brush your teeth. I'm sure your local apothecary sells post-operation toothbrush

The odontectomy was not painful at all. After the anesthetic worn off, now that's real pain.

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