Quest for orthodontic perfection

Kristine Gill

Few individuals are afforded the opportunity of keeping, and thus intellectually benefiting from, their wisdom teeth.

I have been experiencing varying spans of immense pain for the past few weeks. Rather than flat out complain, I choose to bear my burden somewhat silently and with the help of 200mg Ibuprofen tablets.

While the pain is inconvenient when it comes to eating, talking, closing, opening and relaxing my jaw, I understand why I must suffer.

After getting four teeth pulled to alleviate crowding and to prepare for braces, I understood the realities of oral surgery. Nitrous oxide, while extremely pleasant, did not compensate for the pain and suffering I experienced during and after the removal of four adult teeth.

Yes, adult teeth. Teeth that had faithfully pushed their way to the surface of my gums, knocking out baby teeth and raking in the cash that comes with them. Gone were the teeth that had chewed my food and glistened in photographs for years. They were ripped from my mouth and sealed in a sterile plastic pouch. Of course they made a great souvenir, but four gaping holes in my mouth made it difficult to eat.

The orthodontist told me that straight teeth would make it all worthwhile. Of course, this is easy to say if you’re the orthodontist with jackal teeth who took up a dental practice in the hopes of saving others from a similar fate. It’s harder to believe when you’re staring at a man who does not speak from experience. Even harder when you’re an awkward eighth grader whose new metal mouth has instantly raised your score on the meter of lameness.

But I endured the sudden fall from juvenile social grace and went on to have straight teeth.

Only months after the removal of my brackets, wire and colored rubber bands, I began experiencing a dull pain in the back of my mouth. The braces were gone and my teeth were straight, but alas, the battle for oral perfection was not yet won!

That was about a year ago, but recently my wisdom teeth have upped their game. For the past two weeks it’s been constant discomfort. I was up to four Advil a day and desperate for a way out when Nana (my mother’s mother) introduced me to the power of Aleve. Now no amount of pain, blood in the sink, swollen gums or restless nights will interfere with my quest for wisdom.

I only wish everyone could share in my eventual glory. Sadly, not everyone gets to keep their teeth. Eager for the big bills, dentists claim patients teeth are “impacted” and need to be removed. They keep their clients in the dark, yanking their teeth, preventing the gain of wisdom and performing procedures they don’t know they don’t need.

Ironically, those too dumb to endure the temporary pain for the long-term benefits are those who would benefit the most from increased wisdom. Poor fools. They’re probably the same people who let the tooth fairy rip them off as children, waking up to mere change while the wise relished paper money.

Looks like I’ll be the one scoring the big dinero in the future, coasting through college with divine molar wisdom and earning myself a seat in some high-paying job as a renowned intellect. I guess Subway will be out of the question.

Kristine Gill is a freshman journalism major and humor columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].