What hurts you more – tooth extraction or a politician?

It has become traumatic to regularly write about politicians and their antics.

As such, this week I decided on something far less agonising but painful enough to make me cringe just by the thought of it – tooth extraction.

Nine days ago, the filling of one of my molars came off and I made a dash to my regular dental clinic the next day. It was a Saturday and only the standby dentist was in. After assessing the rotten tooth, he said it would have to come out.

The tooth was cracked and hollow, thus the job would have to be done by someone more experienced.

I went home with a temporary filling in the tooth and permanent feeling of fear of the pain that was to come in two days.

On Monday, I was back at the clinic to see Dr Rose, my dentist for about 20 years and the only dentist I trust.

She gave me more disappointing news. She said even she could not get the job done as there was no grip to extract the hollow tooth the normal way. It would require the expertise of a dental surgeon. And if the procedure was complicated, it might cost me more than RM1,000.

I almost fainted in the dentist’s chair on hearing that. Well, not really but my tooth was hurting, and now, my pocket would be too.

I asked her for options but there were none. I told her it was fine. I would pay whatever the cost and probably live on instant noodles instead of banana leaf rice and nasi kandar for the next two months.

Then an appointment was fixed for Thursday (three days ago) to see the torture through.

The dental surgeon was a nice gentleman who kept calming me down as he could see that I was gripped with fear. I feel like an idiot because I didn’t even get his name.

My trauma lasted a good 20 hours. Actually 20 minutes but it felt like much, much longer. After the procedure, one side of my mouth was stuffed with gauze to hold the bleeding and I felt a bit giddy as I got up from the dentist’s chair.

I thanked the good doctor and walked towards the reception for the next shock – the bill.

There was a surprise waiting for me. The bill was not RM1,000 – they charged me “only” RM300. I gladly paid up, thanked everyone there, including Dr Rose, and made my way home.

The bleeding finally stopped after five hours as I kept changing the gauze in my mouth every 20 to 30 minutes. And the pain of the extraction was kept at bay with some painkillers. I am very sure the lower-than-expected bill also helped tremendously.

All’s well that ends well. Moreover, no politicians were involved in this tale. Otherwise, the hurt would have been unbearable despite everything else that turned out good.

Moral of the story: When in intense pain, think of how politicians can make it much worse. That will ease the agony somewhat.

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