It took two mouth-doctors (one dentist, and one oral surgeon) to remove what was left of my battered bicuspid from my jaw this morning. The dentist shot some X-rays, got me numbed up pretty good and futzed around for twenty minutes or so without being able to get more than a sliver or two of tooth out.
So he packed my mouth with gauze (think Brando in The Godfather) and sent me down the street to an oral surgeon who also, thank God, works Saturdays. After more X-rays and enough Novocaine to take down an elephant, he unwrapped what looked like (but surely couldn't have been) a sterile pair of surgical Vise-Grips and a little prybar, paused to determine the best angle of approach, and had the whole damned thing out in about fifteen seconds. Then he put a couple of stitches in, re-packed my mouth with gauze and sent me on my way.
I'm sporting an ice-pack and a gap-toothed grin now, and will be blogging under the influence of Vicodin for the next few days... but even the post-surgical pain is a tremendous improvement over the "shattered tooth with exposed nerve" pain. Once things heal up a bit, we'll discuss the pros and cons of bridgework vs. dental implants; although I'm proud of my hillbilly heritage, the toothless look is not one that I'd care to sport for long.