Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
22 June 1944
It is just noon now but I just don't feel like eating. O, I have an appetite alright but circumstances being what they are, I believe I would not enjoy the meal so very much. If you haven't guessed the reason by now, you never will. The tooth was pulled, as per schedule this AM not more than forty minutes ago. Let me tell you all the gory details. The roots were so imbedded in the jaw that Capt Stieler took at least five minutes in loosening it up and extracting it. By the way, it didn't hurt at all and was nothing like the time Dr Kolar took out that back molar. Of course, that time, the tooth was level with the gum and he had a much harder time getting hold of it and had to dig straight down inside the tooth to get a grip on it. But now back to the latest extraction. I was all nervous and tightened up when I didn't have to be and after the fourth minute of working over the tooth with both the Dr and myself sweating pretty much, I calmed down and that is when the tooth came out. He was very considerate and mentioned the fact that the crown may break off and should I hear a snap or something on that order, I shouldn't get worried. However, he said he was going to try to pull the thing out whole, and he did. He showed me the end of one of the roots and it had something that resembled a fuzzy ball which he said indicated that the tooth had been abscessed.
Prior to pulling it he asked me various questions about how bad the tooth had pained and when it pained. I told him the exact truth of the history of that tooth and he mentioned that it would most likely have to come out but would take a look to make sure. That was what I was afraid of that he would start up the pain again which was something awful. He did start it up but to my surprise it died down again, mostly because my attention was directed to him and his instruments as he then gave the rest of my mouth the once over just as he did in New Cal.
He discovered that the tooth was gone and would have to come out and in the check of my other teeth, I believe he found at least four others (it might have been three) that need out. The wisdom tooth, he said, was too soft to keep on filling for it was no earthly good and would only continue to decay. He said my teeth were too soft and evidently my porcelain fillings in the front of my mouth are going to give way again for he was rather interested in checking them and testing them out. I'm really ascared of those for they are lulus. As for fillings, I guess I have the usual fifteen or so to be filled as it is every time I do go to the dentist. One thing that surprised me very much and that was his telling me I should brush my teeth and really get after the back ones, and that I had been missing them. My concern over those front teeth and trying to keep them in condition probably has led me to forget that the other teeth are just as important and instead of scrubbing them I must be just hastily giving them a single brush or two.
He put two shots of novocaine or whatever he uses into the area surrounding the former tooth and that deadened not only the tooth, shriveled up the gum but affected the corner of my mouth and lip which has been numb ever since than. Now here is something peculiar. I don't know if you know it or not but living in the tropics for any length of time thins out the blood considerably (that is what is really meant when people refer to this becoming acclimatized) and as a result, the blood is slow in clotting. You just can't put some blood stopper on the hole and walk away. For the last half hour I've had a wad of cotton in there which I have been biting to keep in place (and not talking to anyone). I'll take it out after finishing this letter.
My next appointment is rather far in the future but the day will come altogether too soon, just wait and see if it doesn't. July 13, 1944 is my next appointment at nine-thirty. That is probably the time he will get busy on this filling the teeth business and some of them are pretty bad off. O yes, your telling me about the Amalgam and Silicate words prepared me for it this time plus my new frame of mind in expecting teeth to be "lined" and others to be "carious". The first hurdle has been successfully passed.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman