Submariners And Wisdom Teeth
My middle kid just got all four wisdom teeth pulled this afternoon; this got me thinking back to when I got two of mine pulled at the Naval Dental Clinic in Charleston. I had kept all my wisdom teeth intact through all the pre-submarine screening and my first sea tour, but then ran into a Navy dentist who wanted to pull as many submariner's wisdom teeth as he could. I didn't want to lose any, so he decided he'd only pull the two that were partially impacted.
I had them pulled on the day before the "four-off" started because I was the only qualified Shift Engineer on my shift and couldn't miss any work. (This situation persisted for 11 months.) A few days after the teeth were pulled, I noticed some pus coming from one of the wounds. I went into the Weapons Station Clinic, where they took an x-ray and noted that there was still a piece of tooth in there. I came in before the last night of swings to have it removed; it turns out they had to do essentially the same procedure as pulling the tooth! He gave me a prescription for pain meds and I said, "I can't take these; I'm working in 2 hours." He said, "Good luck with that".
I lasted about halfway through the shift before I had to pop one. I went back to Maneuvering at the MTS to tell the EOOW to "ignore me if I give any stupid orders". Luckily, it was a quiet night, and I didn't get too stoned. (I did check the bottle to see if it said I couldn't operate nuclear reactors, but it only mentioned "heavy machinery".)
Did any of you Submariners get through your whole career with all your wisdom teeth intact? Are the Navy dentists still militant about pulling the wisdom teeth of Submariners as a preventative measure? Do any of you have any good Navy dentist stories?