Wisdom Teeth Extraction: What to Expect

Source:  Wisdom Teeth Extraction: What to Expect    Tag:  pictures of canker sore
I respect Doctors of all types. I always felt there was an art to their craft. They seem to have a deft touch with their instruments that separates them from the rest of us. This was until I had two of my wisdom teeth extracted on Wednesday. There is nothing graceful about having your wisdom teeth extracted.

Pre Procedure
While a dentist can often extract your wisdom teeth, my bottom right wisdom tooth seemed difficult to extract so I was referred to an oral surgeon. My appointment was at 3:30 and after a couple of questions about my medical history from the assistant, I was in a chair by 3:45. My surgeon was old, about 65. This sort of scared me because I wanted to be sure he wasn't going to pass out in the middle of the surgery (RIP Jorge- Died when the oral surgeon dropped the drill in his face). However, he had a good sense of humor as was evident when he explained to that there's a chance that removing my lower right tooth might cause temporary/permanent nerve damage, but there was nothing we could do about it. Let me repeat that, extracting your lower wisdom teeth can cause permanent nerve damage along your jawline/lower lip! Pretty scary thing to hear 5 minutes before you're about to get one taken out. No time to think about it by then, four or five shots of anesthetics and 15 minutes get my mouth feeling pretty numb.

The tools used for the surgery were a drill, dental forceps, and small variations of a pick ax. My lower wisdom tooth was the first to be extracted. It was drilled, pushed, and pulled for a good 25 minutes. I could tell it was not easy because the surgeon kept giving that "WTF?" look as he persistently tried to jar my tooth loose. Eventually, he was able to remove it and later told me it was toughest one he had removed all year. My upper wisdom tooth took a fraction of the time. A couple of smacks, a forceful pull, and presto. My wounds were stitched and I was done by 4:40.

Post Procedure
After the teeth were out, a piece of gauze was placed in my mouth to stop the bleeding. I was given a long list of what to do and what not to do. Replace the gauze every two hours. Take prescribed anti-inflammatory medicine every four hours, prescribed antibacterial medicine every six hours. I was told I couldn't eat anything solid or hot for the first couple of days and nothing spicy for a week. I was also told to not exercise for a week (fat chance) and to rinse the are with salt water a couple of times a day.

For about two hours afterwards I'm thinking this is a piece of cake. Why do people complain so much when they go through this? Then the anesthetics wore off. It is painful and highly uncomfortable. It adequately feels like part of your gums was torn off. A piece of gauze in your mouth, the taste of blood, and not being able to close your mouth correctly are quite a nuisance. I hate taking anything for pain relief, but at this point I took two Tylenols and that seemed to do the trick.

The next day wasn't bad. No pain to be reported and the bleeding had stopped the night before so thankfully no gauze! However, it became clear that eating real food was not an option. I tried nibbling a slice of pizza but even that was too much work. Since the extraction my diet consists of mostly juice. My most hardy meals have been mashed potatoes sprinkled with parmesan and a bowl of cream of wheat. My plan is to resume eating normal foods tomorrow and basketball by Sunday.

Overall the process is mostly annoying. If you're planning to get yours extracted I highly recommend you do. Julia asked me what's the worse that can happen if you don't. The answers are gum infection that can spread to the cheek and neck, pressure pain, cyst formation, etc... Also, the longer you wait to get your wisdom teeth extracted, the harder they are to remove. What I'm most happy about is no nerve damage! Good luck to you all going through this or those who will go through this.

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