The Mexican PollywogPosted: September 27, 2013
We finally got back to the dentist in Mexico on Wednesday to get my implant work finished and for Bill to get a couple of old crowns replaced that had cracked and come off. We arrived for our 10 AM appointment and were ushered into separate exam rooms. Impressions were made for my crowns and for Bill’s and all seemed to be going well until they took a look at Bill’s x-rays. It appeared that he had, at the very least, an infection, or at worse, an abscess in his left upper lateral incisor. They even pulled me into the room for the consult and a look at the digital picture of the problem. After much discussion between Bill, me, Hector the translator, and two dentists, the consensus was that the tooth would have to go. So we extended the Granny Nanny for one more night and schedule another appointment for the next day.
Thursday morning we each went into our designated exam room, Bill with more than a little trepidation, and me, with barely contained excitement to finally have a couple of upper molars where none had been since my old permanent bridge become impermanent almost four years ago. Crowns were fitted, black carbon paper was placed and bitten down upon, sanding and shaping was performed, grinding and final polishing was completed and, after about an hour, Bill and I had our crowns.
It was time to pull the tooth.
I waited in the reception area, calmly reading a Jack Reacher novel on my Kindle while keeping my ear cocked for any sounds of groaning, grunting or screaming. All was quiet until Hector burst into the room and motioned me back.
All three of the dentists in the practice, plus Hector, plus Rafael the courtesy van driver, plus Grace the receptionist, were all crammed into the small 6 x 8 exam room in a tight circle around Bill’s chair. They moved apart and made a hole for me by his right shoulder. He was still in a reclined position so I ended up looking down at him, a combination of concern and question on my face.
“Are you okay?” I whispered, patting his arm.
“Sure,” he said looking up at me with a smile, showing not one, but two missing front teeth. “It didn’t hurt much at all.”
“Oh my God,” I cried. “They pulled two teeth?”
“What,” he responded, obviously alarmed. “No, no. They were only supposed to pull one.”
“Well there’re two gone,” I exclaimed.
“No, no, no, no,” broke in Hector, waving his hands back and forth for emphasis. “Not pulled. Just removed for a minute.”
“Removed? Removed?” Bill shouted, using his tongue to search for the missing tooth.
“Gone,” I said.
“Only for a minute,” Hector yelled, trying to be heard over two of the dentists, who were shouting in Spanish and holding up what appeared to be a dead pollywog.
“Wait, please, one moment,” broke in Grace, insert a calm voice of reason. The room quieted and she continued. “The second missing tooth is an implant and the doctor will put it back in. He didn’t want to damage it when he removed the bad tooth next to it.”
“Oh,” I said, somewhat sheepishly. “Sorry honey. I didn’t see the post, just the hole.”
“But,” Hector broke in with a big smile, “the good news is there is no infection.”
“Well that’s great,” I replied. “So what was the discoloration on the x-ray?”
“It was this,” he said, pointing with pride at the dead, pale pink pollywog that Dr. Perez was holding up.
My confused stare garnered an explanation. “It was a siesta,” Hector announced with a broad smile.
“Nap?” I asked. “It was a nap?”
“Cyst, honey,” Bill translated. “It grew back from the one I had removed twenty years ago because they didn’t get it all.”
An hour later, we were through U.S. customs with meds and rum and on our way back home. Bill had popped a pain pill so I drove.
“They really seemed to be proud of that cyst, the way they were showing it off,” I commented once we had merged onto eastbound I-8.
“I know. I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up on YouTube or in a Mexican dental journal. Before you came in they were all over it, taking pictures and stuff.”
“Yup, next to a ruler, holding it up. They even did a group shot.”
“The dead pollywog?”
“The dead pollywog.”
“No too much dental excitement going on in Mexico I guess,” I concluded, setting the cruise control to 80 and settling in for the three hour trip home.