1 February 2013


I have created some excitement in the Singaporean dental community. A week after my tooth extraction and suffering five days of the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced - a collection of dentists, endodontists,  oral surgeons and one mighty oral maxillofacial dude have determined that I have a very unusual 'dry socket' disorder. 

My dentist Derek had only read about it before and the endodontists and oral surgeons that I had seen had themselves only seen a handful of cases. The maxillofacial surgeon was called into to remedy it. I have just returned from his Mount Elizabeth practice. 

My entire face is numb. 

I am blissfully pain free.

Apparently this condition was sparked by the death of some blood capillaries. A sneaky and persistent and very nasty microbe crept into the bone in my jaw where it quietly took up residence. An infection has been living there for a while apparently. It made itself at home. It also slipped ever so discretely into a large nerve bundle that belongs to my left sinus. 

It was explained to me that having the tooth extracted somehow unleashed and enraged this beast. It unleashed it's fury and attacked me with no small degree of brutality. I enquired as to whether this was related to the thing I had last year. 

That which was blasted away with radiation. 

They thought it might.

So armed with my bundle of X-rays, CAT scans and MRI's I went to Dr. Wee Tze's clinic this afternoon – once again at the Mount Elizabeth hospital but this time the new Novena one. Dr. Wee Tze is the Oral Maxillofacial Dude. He seemed pleased to see me. He even rubbed his dainty little hands together in pleasant anticipation.

"Yours is a very interesting case" he informed me.

Even though he looked ethnic Chinese, the Doctor's accent was British. 

It was clipped. 

It was posh.

"So I believe" I replied.

"You are going to fix it?" I added.

"I am" he responded. 

His voice was confident and assured.

"So what exactly are you going to do to me?" I asked. 

My voice was anxious. I have endured a lot already this week. Much of it horrific.

"We will start by cleaning out your socket" he explained.

"We will dig out the surface infection down to the bone. I will then insert an antibiotic and anesthetic package that will dispel the pain and heal the wound"

"Into my bone?" I queried.

"Yes" he responded

"Oh shit" I thought. 

I did not say that though but it didn't sound very nice.

"Then we will numb the upper part of your mouth through your lip" he said,

"Then I will inject an antibiotic and anesthetic through your sinal nerve into your jaw"

"Through my mouth?" I enquired. 

I was more than a bit anxious now

"Through your face" he replied

"Oh fuck" I thought. 

I may well have said that aloud too. This didn't sound good at all.

"And my pain will be gone?' I asked

"It will" he responded.

"Then let us begin" I declared. 

My voice was shaking though - my whole body was in fact.

I will not describe in any detail the horror of having a hole drilled deep into my jaw. Nor the sight of pus being drained from within. Even now I am trying to block out the vision of the hypodermic syringe being pushed into my face. Through the sinus and into my jaw. My whole face went entirely numb. When asked to rinse I could not even move my lips. I dribbled. 

A lot.

I am pain free though now for the first time in what seems an eternity. 

It is wonderful. 

It is marvelous.

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