paging Dr. DeKing

There are a handful of relatives of mine who hold doctorates; one cousin is a pediatric specialist in Rochester, an uncle holds a doctorate in something (probably anthropology, history or some such) while my sister-in-law is an otolaryngologist.

Last night I became a dentist.

Years of prescription narcotics (and the resulting dry mouth) have caused a lot of problems with Lisa's teeth. It has been nearly a year since she drastically reduced the dosage of her meds - and she has completely dropped the powerful ones - but the damage is done. Her primary care physician just recently gave her another pill, this one to promote saliva production and alleviate chronic dry mouth. It would have been nice to have this medication a long time ago, but there you are.

Dental coverage is always hard to come by and typically has high co-payments. Medicaid is no different. We have been trying to get a referral from her doctor stating that her teeth are a medical issue: they all need to go. Abscesses are almost a monthly problem of late. The worst-case scenario is that eventually one of them will go septic.

She has a prosthetic knee and was told by the surgeon to beware of dental infections and abscesses as they can travel to the prosthesis. He gave her a prescription for a cycle of Cipro in case she needed any dental work done.

And so, last evening, Lisa asked me to pull one of her teeth. It was already half gone, wobbling badly and preventing her from eating. The odd thing is that it didn't hurt at all - not even when I pulled it. It was a dead tooth.

I used a new, clean pair of needle nose pliers, doused with peroxide and isopropanol and wiped down. The tooth came out easily with almost no blood. I started her on Cipro and cleaned the socket with peroxide. This morning it looks fine and is already healing well, with no residual pain.

Looks like I'm on my way to medicine man status ;p

I've already got a can of Bag Balm and a basic knowledge of First Aid ("stabilize, clean, apply Bag Balm and bandage"), some dental experience that now includes extractions. I observe and learn, have better-than-average knowledge of physiology and psychiatry.

OK, maybe not medicine man. It was pretty cool pulling a tooth, though.

1 comment:

  1. This post freaks me out. I'm torn between being awestruck at your awesomeness in doing this (both of you), and revulsion at the fact that we still live in a country where such a thing even has to be considered.
    Anyhow, Congratulations to you and to Lisa.