A Mexican dentist at a clinic on 33rd Street in Union City pulled another tooth from my mouth. Unlike the adjacent wisdom tooth which was extracted last year by the same dentist, this tooth seemed impossible to pull.
Although there was enough tooth to put a crown upon, I insisted, in English, that the dentist pull it. “I’m never having another root canal. From this point forward when a tooth gives me trouble, I’m having it pulled so that I can get dentures to put next to my bed a night.”
The first tool that the dentist used could not grip my broken tooth properly. He rummaged through a drawer of tools and pulled out several others, which also seemed to have design flaws.
I started to giggle when I noticed he was growing impatient with my stubborn tooth. “Take your time,” I said, “I feel no pain now!”
After seeing the tooth come out of my mouth, I thanked him.
“I didn’t get it all,” he cried as sweat started to gather upon his brown forehead.
“Leave what’s in there alone! Soon I will sign up for Medicaid now that it is mandated by Obamacare and I’ll have you put an expensive rod and a shinny crown in there!”
The dentist ignored me and dug deep into my gum, attempting to pull what was left from the tooth that I ground and broke one night back in 2002 after being released from a psychiatric ward. I remember waking up from a loud bang in my mouth. The grinding caused by those psychotropic drugs ruined several of my teeth, but that one took the brunt of my hidden, mental struggles.
I asked for the tooth.
“Why?” The dentist asked.
“Well, I sure as hell am not going to put it under my pillow, but I do wonder if what I once imagined about that tooth was real.”
The dentist looked at me with a puzzled grin.
“The CIA put a electronic chips in my teeth. I want to look at that thing closer. There was a reason why it didn’t come out with all those tools!”