Sooo then, on this fine rainy evening in Okinawa, I wanted to share my story of having two small but extremely tough procedures whilst in Fukuoka, Japan, last year.
It all started when I realised my two bottom ingrowing molars may be affecting my voice and my throat.
See image Below:
So as you can see there were two heavily impacted bottom third molars causing slight swelling to my gums and throat, even sometimes causing fever and weakness.
As I am a singer and musician, this issue had to be resolved and pronto – There were many days that I couldn’t even speak from this condition, let alone sing.
So my wife took me to a local student dentist hospital to be assessed.
Their assessment found that I was way above average in the sexiness department.
Then they continued to talk about my impacted molar situation.
“I’m afraid it isn’t good.” The two dentists who were assigned to my case both concurred.
One, who was an experienced surgeon, advised me that the roots from BOTH Molars were trapping the nerves running underneath my jawline.
In plain English, this meant that if they did an extraction and pulled either of the whole teeth out, it would likely cause permenant damage to said nerves, leaving me in probable discomfort, numbness, tingling and even pain for the rest of my life.
So they came up with a master plan.
They advised me of a way in which they could operate and instead of extracting the whole teeth, they could lob the heads of each tooth and leave the lower halves(the halves with the roots around the nerves) for the most part undisturbed, making the procedure massively more appealing – Although they would still have to shave my jaw bones in order to access these deeply embedded blighters.
So away I went, to think about this procedure.
As a matter of sheer coincidence, my cousin in Wales, who is almost exactly the same age as me, save one week, had just gone through a similar tooth nightmare.
Now this cousin knows pain quite well as she has been through Labour twice -And her words to me about the procedure were: “It was the worst pain I have ever known.”
It really was just the kind of pep talk I needed.
So as you can see, I was in a pickle.
Did I take the continuous suffering and hope they(the third molars) just got tired of pushing and chilled out(unlikely), or do I man up and take this thing on the chin(or in this Case on the jaw)?
Well after much deliberation, I decided to go ahead with the procedure.
They would only do one at a time, understandably.
So we had the date booked for the first operation, but before I go into that, just a few words about these Japanese Dentists. They were so lovely, caring and respectful. It is tradition that when you leave with your file to take to reception they walk you to the exit and say goodbye with a bow. Really such a wonderful culture.
Ok, so on with the story.
The dates were booked and my three month tourist visa was ticking – I had around 8 weeks left before I had to exit Japan.
Wifey and I arrived at the hospital. It was absolutely terrifying. Fueled by my cousin’s words of encouragement.
There they were, the two lovely space cadet dentists. Their energy was so calming, it made things a lot easier.
I remember the appointment was for two thirty, yes that right two thirty pm.
I explained to them the joke about the best time to go to the Dentist was at tooth hurty, and they gave a slight forced chuckle, as though to humour my poor attempt at comedy.
So we were in their office and the surgeon pulled out a disclaimer for me to sign.
After reading just a few lines of this disclaimer/waiver paper, my sphincter contractions went into overdrive and I must have been resembling a ghost at this point – I felt myself becoming nauseous and dizzy as he continued to explain the procedure and possible complications.
I have a rough photograph of said disclaimer here, it’s not so clear as this paper is now almost a year old, it’s in two halves, like my molars 🙂 here’s the first:
And here’s the Second half:
Yes it was terrifying…reluctantly I signed the paper and began to blank the whole experience and pretend I was in a video game or something.
Enter the theatre room ahhh.
They asked me if I was ready, the answer was “Of course not!”, but instead I grimaced a smile and forced a “yesss.”
So the procedure began with some strong injections…and then waiting.
Waiting for them to kick in….
During this time they started to make small talk with me to try and make me a bit more relaxed, they got me talking about about my favourite subject, myself.
After a calculated period of chatting, he looks at his watch and asked me if my mouth had gone numb yet, I answered with a dribble of saliva over my bib, which apparently meant we were good to go.
They laid me back in the chair and motioned to begin….
The first part of the procedure involved slicing the gum open as a flap that would be folded over to reveal the jaw bone. Then the jaw bone would be shaved/drilled in order to give access to the embedded molar.
It was so strange as I could feel the process of being sliced open, and then the drill came out.
He kept stopping and saying to tell him if I felt sick…kind of like a proram that really did help me to feel sick, because I felt I was supposed to,
So he began drilling – Drilling my jaw bone. Bits of my jaw were flying out of my mouth and into my face…it wasn’t the best day I’d had, by a long shot.
The shaving went on for thirty excruciating minutes before he finally had access to the hidden molar.
Once there, he made a clean cut on the tooth, irrigated the area, and swiftly stitched me up.
All in all, he did a perfect job.
I’d read on the net that often people often have numbness or tingling after such an exerience but I had none, thankfully.
Tending to the wound involved irrigating with dental syringes after each meal with salt-water solution.
If I talk about the hardest part of that first one, it was the pain during the recovery period and not being able to open my mouth. I would often wake up actually crying in the night, it was so painful. I could now understand my cousin, very well.
So the pain really continued for around another 5 weeks, during which time I was booked in to have the second one done, on the other side.
At this point, I only had around 3 weeks left on my visa, but being a man of adventure, I decided to go ahead and have it done, because once it was was done it was done, was the thinking behind it.
So, I arrived for my second procedure.
It was just as scary as the first.
He pulled out the disclaimer, and at this point, I read through and signed, without thinking too much.
So again here we go, he injects me, cuts me open on the other side and proceeds to drill my bone there.
Throughout the drilling, he kept telling me how tough my jaw bone was, and that’s why it was taking so long – “These pesky great genetics!” I thought to myself.
So all was going as planned. He shaved until he has access to the tooth, cut the molar in half although this time not so cleanly. As he tried cutting it, I yelped with agony.
He gave me another injection and tried again. This time no pain as he cut through the second impacted tooth – but as he did cut through, he asked me if he could take a quick photo.
I wasn’t really up for it, but all I could do at this point was nod in agreement just to get through it smoothly..
Afterwards, I was happy because I managed to get a copy of the picture myself, which I have attached below.
Warning, do not look if you are in any way squeamish or sensitive to seeing operations. You have been warned 🙂
Yes that’s my actual jaw Bone you can see.
So yes quite a sight isn’ it? Haha
As he sat me up after the operation, he took a look at me and said ” You don’t look very well.”
“Funny that!” I thought to myself as I actually felt like tap dancing.
After the operation. The usual complications arose, swelling, massive pain, discomfort eating, sleepless nights, dry socket.
Wowsers fun and games eh?
And all with just three weeks left on my visa.
I decided that after the three weeks, I was in noooo condition to fly long haul back to Spain as originally planned, so instead we took just a one hour flight to Seoul, where I would continue my recovery with minimum disruptions.
And that my friends, is my story of my double coronectony, in Japan.
I hope you enjoyed it and Thanks for Tuning in.
Be sure to check back Frequently as I post my daily memoirs, thoughts and experiences of this wild life that I live.
With Love and Light,