This may interest the Dental Maven: I'm having dental surgery tomorrow. That's right, I'm going under the knife.
I have straight teeth, no cavities and healthy gums. Unfortunately my gum tissue is on the thin side and has receeded almost to the bifurcated nerve on 2 molars so they're going to patch it up with some tissue harvested from the roof of my mouth.
Yep, I expect this to be about as fun as it sounds.
I was supposed to get a gum graft before we left California but it was scheduled so that I'd be getting the stitches out right before we left and what with packing and everything I chickened out.
The American dentist, who was very excited about healthy gums and taking proactive steps to keep them healthy, wanted to graft across 8 teeth instead of just 2. He said over time more gum tissue will probably receed so why not take care of it while he's already under the hood?
On the plus side, he was going to give me a happy pill to make the surgery fly by.
There are no happy pills in Germany.
Between you and me, I'm a bit worried about tomorrow. Here are a few things I'm worried about:
1. I will lose my mind sitting with my mouth wide open for 90 minutes listinging to various surgical sounds inside my head.
2. A sloppy medical assistant will neglect to steralize the surgical instraments because she was out drinking and I will get AIDS or blood poisoning.
3. I will cough at the wrong moment during the surgery and the dentist wil cut through a nerve and one side of my mouth will be frozen forever like the Joker.
4. The graft will not take and I'll have an exposed nerve or a chunk of dead skin stuck to my gum for 6 months before we can try again.
5. It will hurt.
I fear other things as well but this is the core list. I haven't had dental surgery since my wisdom teeth were removed and that was pretty awful.
Oh, and I should probably mention that they're going to inject some protein complex extracted from pigs to hopefully thicken the gum tissue a bit and help it heal. What the hell?? The American dentist never mentioned this.
I don't think I'm totally on board with the pig protein.
There was no pre-op with the German dentist to discuss my concerns but I tried to wring some sops of reassurance out of the stern receptionist while getting my teeth cleaned last week. She heard me out as I recited my list while her eyebrows climbed steadily higher up into her hairline until finally they disappeared altogether.
She didn't deign to respond to most of my concerns but I did manage to extract a neutral promise that any dead skin would be removed if the graft isn't successful. And she grudgingly allowed that it will in fact hurt.
At which point her missing eyebrows settled complacently back into place.
So that's something.
I suppose I can take comfort from her complete lack of concern that something will go wrong.
Or I could worry even more because I'm in the hands of people who don't care what happens to me.
What do you think?
(All advice welcome except 'don't do it' because it's too late for that now. . .)