Much has been made of [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne’s[/artist] surprising adjournment in a New York courtroom on Tuesday, which saw the rapper’s prison sentencing delayed until March 2 because of dental surgery. There have even been murmurs that Wayne had the benefit of celebrity justice.
But the request made by Wayne’s defense was hardly guaranteed: He had a large contingent of supporters from the Cash Money/Young Money camps arrive with him, seemingly ready to see him off, and he has been recording music and videos at a maniacal pace in recent weeks. Above all, the delay had to be approved by a judge, and Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon agreed to forgo sentencing for the time being.
But according to an Atlanta dentist who has worked with patients with grills, the New Orleans MC’s condition is anything but routine.
Dr. Sherry Rudd, who has 13 years of dental experience in private practice and working with inmates, said that although she doesn’t know Wayne’s exact ailment, the symptoms — a cracked tooth, 10 days of recovery time, his propensity for sweets and the condition of his teeth — point toward the lyricist having an infection.
The malady is compounded further, she said, by the gold and diamonds encrusted on the rapper’s teeth.
“He probably has a bad tooth, a tooth that’s abscessed,” Dr. Rudd explained to MTV News on Wednesday (February 10). “With having all of [gold and diamond material] in his mouth, it’s going to be really difficult to get clean because of all of the different crevices. I don’t know if they’re bridges or if they are all individual. But if it’s going to be two weeks [from surgery to recovery], then I don’t think he’s going to get them all off, because of the potential damage. Without knowing what’s exactly there, it’s probably decayed and the decay got into the nerve, which causes the nerve to die.”
If that’s the case, a decaying tooth, which is possible given the rapper’s reliance on Orajel, could be treated in a variety of ways.
Dr. Rudd said one such instance could be that Wayne receives antibiotics for up to a week to reduce the infection, to avoid it spreading. An abscess can infect the nerve and then drain into the surrounding gums, tissues and bone area, she said. Also, if the infection isn’t properly treated prior to surgery, there can be complications with drainage into the throat area or even the eyes.
Without knowing specific details — and Lil Wayne’s attorney, Stacy Richman, declined to specify the ailment in court and afterward — Dr. Rudd said it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what type of surgery the rapper may undergo. She did note that the procedure probably isn’t major, but she described it as complex given the variables.
There are dentists in prison facilities who are capable of treating Wayne, she offered, but Rudd said since this is reportedly part of ongoing work Wayne reportedly has been having done, it’s best to stick with his personal oral surgeon.
“If [the tooth] just needs to come out, most dentists can do that,” Rudd said. “You have different root structures; it could be a wisdom tooth, or impacted, it depends on the tooth. When I was in school we had rotations where we went to the prisons, so they have the ability in those facilities. But if they’re going to take anything out and it’s infected — and because of the condition of his teeth — it shouldn’t be just anybody.”