Posted by: englishdubai | November 17, 2009

Pulling Teeth


After a pleasant trip to Vienna where the autumnal cold got me feeling that Christmas is just around the corner I got the dreaded sensation of toothache. So on arrival back to Dubai I searched for a suitable dentist to get a check up and see what was a matter.

A quick cry for help on twitter and a couple of SMS’s later I settled on the Modern Dental Clinic who have a branch in Dubai Marina. On entering the dentist it was not hard to spot their target market – the Russian receptionist and literature for teeth jewellery were decent clues.

I was greeted by my friendly German dentist who set about doing a quick exam which involved not only an x-ray but a really nifty camera that took photos of my teeth in exceptional clarity. Aside from the obligatory hygienist session it was clear from the x-ray that my Wisdom teeth were impacted causing me pain. The advice was to get them extracted as soon as possible.

I had a single wisdom teeth removed sometime ago in the UK and the vision of quite a burly dentist pulling with all his might on a pair of pliers was not something that I wanted to go through again. But needs must. My dentist said her husband Mr Torsten would do the procedure and he had been pulling them for 20 years. This was good enough for me. The nice thing that they did was prepare for the procedure. I was given some enzymes to take for three days before and five days after to help reduce the swelling. As well as a homoeopathic remedy Arnica again to help with the inflammation.

So a couple of days later armed only with a whole heap of anxiety I made the walk over to the dentist feeling rather like a condemned man. What follows next is a little bit graphic and you might want to skip to the last paragraph.

After browsing a Cyrillic brochure that seemed to tell me a blue gem in my tooth would be a good look Dr Torsten quickly ushered me into the treatment room. Using the x-ray he outlined what he was going to do.

“This upper one is no problem”

“Ok'”

“This lower one – is inside the jaw bone. So I will shave the bone here and cut the tooth in half and then extract. I will be sure not to go near the nerves here” – he outlined a thin white line close to the back of my tooth.

“Ok” – I was thinking – Dude – that sounds like a serious piece of work. I had a fractured cheekbone in the past and I knew what nerve damage to the face was like and if it does heal, itl takes a long time. The thought of a numb or altered sensation on my jaw would not be a good thing.

A quick rub inside my mouth with a little Novocain set him up to give me the local anaesthesia – this consisted of seven injections. As I hate needles – I thought the worst was over- oh how wrong I was. I would feel some “pressure” but no pain. So this was ok.

Dr Torsten after checking if I could feel anything set about removing my upper wisdom tooth. Quite unlike my experience in the UK this was without drama. I felt that familiar pressure, then a weird cracking sound and it was out. It probably took him about three minutes. That was quickly earned $400.

Then onto the lower tooth extraction. I now have to admit that I closed my eyes throughout the whole thing. I really didn’t want to see the “torture weapons” he was putting in my mouth. The first thing he did was to cut a gum flap to expose my jaw bone. That done he then used a drill of some sort to shave back the bone. The smell of burning was a little worrying and he quickly stopped.

“I will use the ultra-sonic drill – it will help with your healing – just a moment to prepare it.”

Good I thought – that last one was nasty.

So the ultra-sonic drill was in use and the high pitched squeal that came from it – was to my mind far worse than any drilling noise that I had experienced. After about 20 minutes:

“Good – I can see the tooth now”

“Mmmmphhhh” – Crikey, I thought – that was only the appetizer!

Then for the next hour – I went through a very difficult tooth extraction. It consisted of a lot of drilling, squeezing, waggling, cracking, pulling, blood and when he cut the tooth close to the nerve in it. Pain.

At the point where I was just about done with it and was going to ask him to stop – he did.

“Time for an x-ray”

It showed that about 85% of my lower wisdom tooth was gone. He explained that there was just no movement in it – try as he might. And that we could spend another hour trying but it would be risky as he would need to go closer to the nerve than he or I would want. It would be fine for the tooth to be left there – it was far from my rear molar and should not cause any further issues.

With that he closed and I got six sutures in the gum flap but none on the upper extraction as well as a little packing which they took out the next day.

When I got out of the chair – I felt battered and bruised. He tapped me on the shoulder

“You are a tough guy”

I looked at him – he was exhausted and covered in my blood. He had given it his all and I am thankful for his twenty years of experience to make the right choices for both me and him.

“Mmmpphhh thank mmmppphhh you”

I was then given details on the recovery – the first 24 hours was crucial. No talking, no exercise, no “excitement”, no disturbing the clot and if there was bleeding to stuff it with gauze for an hour. As well as this I have been icing my jaw 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off for 72 hours after. It also helped with the pain management as well as helped with the swelling.

The walk back home was hard. I was in a daze – my jaw was numb and feeling very strange. It is at a time like this you don’t want to be by yourself and my Dad was soon close to hand to help me out.

As I write this it is the sixth day following the extraction. I am still swollen and in pain. The upper tooth extraction site is healed but the traumatic procedure on my lower tooth is going to need more time. I had the sutures out two days and the prognosis was good – swollen but healing well.

In the meantime – the pain has been intense and I have been taking 600mg Ibuprofen like smarties, as well as the enzymes and Arnica to help with the swelling. Despite not being able to go to the gym – this has been offset by being forced into a diet consisting of soup, scrambled eggs and fish. Anything else is just too much for me to deal with right now.

I will be going back to see Dr Torsten in two weeks – I still have one more Wisdom tooth left also in my lower jaw. I don’t think I will be having this pulled in a hurry.

If you are looking for good dentist in Dubai I have no qualms about recommending these Dr Torsten and his wife. Professional, experienced and they have all the latest dentistry tech which makes a gadget lover like myself a happy man.

After all of that I am now off to buy the top of the line Oral-B electric toothbrush – a little bit of retail therapy is sure to help, right?


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