Oral surgery

Namine finally had the last tooth pulled, removing the final roadblock to getting her complete braces.

Before they took Namine back for the last tooth extraction, she had to get a 3D X-ray. Namine was perfectly fine going back with the nurse by herself, but sitting in her wheelchair she was too short for the X-ray machine. I didn’t mind going back to help her into the booster seat.

Nurses and techs always comment on how Namine is such a good patient, but I’ve always said that a lifetime of scans will teach you patience. Getting an X-ray is old hat for her.

After the X-ray was done, the nurse wanted to get Namine’s vitals before taking us back to the waiting room. She said something I thought was odd: “Let’s kill as many birds with as many stones as possible.” Yeah, I don’t think that’s the right saying, but okay, lady.

When the oral surgeon was ready, they brought us back into the room. He told Namine again exactly what he was going to do, showing her each tool while explaining each step. (If only every doctor were this patient and honest with Namine!) She still had questions, but the doctor was in no hurry to get started. He was happy to wait until all Namine’s questions had been answered.

Namine had a stuffed animal with her, but she also wanted me to stay with her. She wasn’t being put to sleep, but the doctor was still adamant about not having either parent in the room while he did the procedure. (That’s fair, since he wouldn’t know how well I handle blood.) He let me stay until Namine’s mouth was numb, though. Namine never cried during the numbing injections, but she did squeeze my hand pretty hard.

When the doctor confirmed with Namine that her mouth was completely numb, she gave me a thumbs-up that she was okay with me leaving. The nurse led me back into the waiting room with Jessica.

The procedure didn’t take long, only about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. I don’t really remember. I do remember thinking, when the nurse came out to tell us she was done, Already?

Namine was doing fine. Her face was still completely numb, of course, and she was biting down on gauze to staunch the bleeding. She has sutures which should dissolve in a few days, but there didn’t even seem to be much swelling.

The doctor showed us Namine’s tooth which he’d pulled out. He didn’t have to cut very deeply to get at it, and it wasn’t much to look at, either. It was — and this is a direct quote — “just a nubbin, not even a functional tooth.” It was, however, bone enough to cause problems once her braces start to move the teeth into proper position.

Now that all the teeth that needed to be removed have been, Namine can get the last remaining section of braces put on the lower front and right side of her teeth.

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