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THIS bilingual BLOG


nothing in this blog will ever ever substitute a sincere consultation and a meaningful advice of a doctor.

மருந்து தருவது மருத்துவன் கடமை. ஆரோக்கியம் பெறுவது ஆண்டவன் அருள்.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It is no wisdom to have wisdom tooth !!

Two decades rolled and Tamil Nadu had five  General Elections since I had my wisdom tooth extracted  way back in 1990s..I would start this story with how on that historic day,   Dr.Rajaraman B.D.S.,  who had just returned from the services of the Army, hammered it out. I still remember the sixty minutes, when he sweated and fumed as he extracted it, to the horror of those waiting outside his surgical room. Dr.Rajaraman was  tall and equally obese with the shape and size  of a lion. Nevertheless, seeing him sweat so profusely as he started hammering and pounded and extracted my wisdom tooth,  his fees looked pittances  indeed !!

In the last fifteen years, I had my mouth full of not teeth, but agony.(An unhealthy mouth neglected never gets better) Not unoften, even with a little mint or chocolate,  not to talk of laddu , murukku or vella cheedai or paharka bakoda which I used to buy  at Grand Sweets)  pain let loose its monstrous wings. ( You remember Veerappa, the villain in Tamil films!! ha ha ha haa !!!) And that too on days, when I had important programs in my faculty career.  On such terrible days,  antibiotics, probiotics,  painkillers of every brand I swallowed but never had the courage to  get all the bad teeth extracted since it revealed on me that it was more of a process than a finish . I had to stop also aspirin at least for two days.My cardiologist had earlier  cautioned that  teeth extraction is ok  on local anesthesia but  no adrenaline be administered.

Also, as most of the dentists  I met preferred not to extract with the help of lignocaine alone(as they insisted combining with adrenaline) , or experiment with a patient  of my type and frame of mind. One dentist suggested that I bear the pain rather than remove them, for, he said, that teeth after decaying give no more problem. Not many doctors agree with his view but  I chose to live with those painful teeth, remembering the old song on books "AS UNFAILING FRIENDS ARE THEY, WITH WHOM I CONVERSE DAY BY DAY". ( Do you just throw away your wife, just because she is scolding you too often !! = the hurting teeth are sort of that perhaps!!!)

Finally, when my son said, 'Thus far and no further.. you must have a denture,' Half -willing I started searching for a dentist who would suit the mental game

There the small screen episodes started.
You have read the Sindhubad story in the DINATHANTHI. It started when I was just 8. Now I am 68. It continues even this day. Like that in a lighter vein.

It was sheer accident that I met this good dentist. One evening, my good friend Mr.Chakrapani suggested that I approach Dr.Shankar Guhan  for recasting or remoulding the denture of my spouse. The old lady was silently crying for a new denture for a pretty long time. As the procedures of casting a good denture  for my spouse started, I developed sufficient admiration for this gentle dentist. Reasons were not far to seek. First, he had all his tools sterilized A dental clinic so hygienic is a rarity at Chennai.  An operating table so neat. Immaculate to his appointments.A phone call whether one is keeping up the appointment .  Never I found such a dentist or a clinic  in my earlier years, to be honest.

Dr.Shankar Guhan, the  dentist examined my teeth, leaving me wondering whether he would start pulling out the teeth right at that moment. No. It was not to happen. He removed his gloves. Asked me to have my cool.  Said he would better have a digital view of all the teeth before deciding what should be done. ( A judge never pronounces a judgment till he hear all the witnesses, you know.= like that.) We then approached a x ray theatre, exclusively meant for picturing the whole universe of what appears inside your mouth. A camera peeped inside my mouth and filmed the entire teeth.  I was horror struck when I saw the x ray film .(It was not digital, but sufficient for me to understand the status quo)  Is it that with these bad creatures, I have been living so long!!  I decided to have  my teeth  extracted one after another. But it was not also so easy. Having developed an intimate relationship, I bore no ill will towards my teeth though they were quite hurting and often too painful to bear. The dentist suggested extracting, mending, bending, bridging etc., I nodded my head as I had no other go. Thus started root canal treatments, painful extractions one by one for a full two month period. And finally came  the D-Day  Aah !!  I had my lower denture ready for fitting.  My dentist Dr.Shankar Guhan said, hey ! this is what u are  to wear !! Look at it !! I looked at with awe and admiration with an element of surprise, shivering and  realizing that this denture is to be part of my anatomy and physiology or in another words a life partner, with no jealousy from my better-half though. Aah ! my dream of having orderly good teeth is soon to see the light of the day !!

I lowered my eyes sheepishly even while lying on my dental surgical table  to have a  casual look, I wondered the denture  had only 12 teeth. What happened to the remaining four ?? (Did I pay only for twelve instead of sixteen ! ) Conventional wisdom warned me that humans have sixteen below and sixteen above totaling to thirty-two teeth.

You remember when we get angry we say, u shut up , or else i shall break all your 32 teeth !!

Dr Sir !! Should I not be having Sixteen ?
(The Sweet Sixteen I wanted to say but did not say lest my spouse would throw at me an angry glance. )

My dentist  explained  (even as I thought that he thought that I never needed wisdom any more , reaching or reached age 70) that the wisdom teeth practically serves no purpose indeed. It is another vestigious part. ( Is it like appendix, I asked him.) .  My dentist was patient enough to explain that the practical utility of wisdom teeth is almost nil and it is conventional wisdom to remove the same even before it creates a nuisance value in the jaws.   He also suggested that in onward march of human evolution, it is quite possible that given the type of food that humans consume wisdom teeth may never grow !!
(Or wisdom itself will never grow !!! )

Getting back home, I pondered .
God would never have created anything without a purpose, I thought. So half-unbelieving in what my dentist said, i searched in the google to find a host of interesting articles .

Methought this would be interesting to those whose wisdom teeth ache !! ( at least )

An article in the web said: 
Wisdom teeth used to serve a useful purpose, but are now considered vestigial organs. A vestige is a degenerative or imperfectly formed organ or structure having little or no utility, but in the earlier stage of development of a species performed a useful function. The reasons that wisdom teeth are now "outdated" are many. Until quite recently, our diet included mostly very coarse food, as well as impurities such as dirt and sand. This coarseness would abrade teeth so significantly that they would take up less space in the jaw. Permanent teeth were also frequently lost at an early age, which would create more space in the jaw. Because the diet was so coarse and hard to chew, the jaw itself would develop into a larger bone because of this constant workout. All of these factors would create more space for the wisdom teeth when they came in.
(more of it when you click above)
What are the Challenges and Advantages of Wisdom Teeth ?
Read Here.

( to be continued...)

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