Wisdom Teeth Extraction Blues

Sorry for going silent there for a few days.

I had a lot to get done at both work and home before Tuesday.

What was special about Tuesday? It was THE day. The day I had been trying to schedule, pay for and make happen for months (actually, years..) finally came.

I had oral surgery to remove my 4 impacted wisdom teeth.

While this was completely and totally necessary, I have been dreading the procedure ever since I learned that I would need it several years ago. You see, I’m terrified of dentists, and to top it off, I was even more scared of the IV sedation. I’ve partied, in my day, but never have I lost any period of time. I always have had the capacity to recall how dumb I behaved while under the influence of a substance. The idea of being pumped full of drugs and simply losing 2 hours of my life wasn’t really something I looked forward to.

I spent all of Monday feeling anxious. I called and confirmed my appt. with the dental school’s oral surgery department. It took like 5 phone calls and an hour of my life. I kept trying to reach the “appointment” line of the department, but every time it would just shove me on hold. As a last ditch attempt, I chose the “billing” option and I got right through.

Interesting, no?

They confirmed my apt for 2pm on Tuesday and reminded me that it was going to cost $1,366, since I couldn’t get a payment plan for the school. Can you say financial ouch?

I spent all of Tuesday morning hungry. You can’t eat or drink for 8 hours prior to surgery, and unfortunately, since my case was complex, I had to be seen by a resident or instructor. They don’t come in until the afternoon session. Lucky me.

At 1:30 pm, my friend Peter came to pick me up and take me to the appt. We got there at about 1:45pm and I checked in. First I was called in by a woman who explained that I had been chosen to participate in a study. I pretty much just have to write down my pain levels and adverse effects for 4 days, mail it back to the school and they will give me $25. I consented to be part of the study…might as well get something positive out of this experience!

Shortly after that I was taken back to the surgery room. I met my surgeon and the nurse in charge of anaesthesia. They got a little medical history from me, told me there was nothing to be scared of, and then hooked me up to a heart rate monitor, oxygen flow and an IV.  Then they turned the overhead lights off and covered me up with a blanket, as the doctor said it gets cold in the room. I don’t remember too much more, as within 2 minutes of the IV drip starting, I was out.

I woke up at one point, heard mumbling about only one left. I think I heard the doctor tell the nurse to give me more of something. Then seconds later I felt like I was waking up again. My suspicion is that I started to wake up one tooth too early. It all kind of blends together. I remember the room looking all rainbow-colored as I started to come out. The second time I remember waking up, all of the equipment was being removed. I tried to talk, but I was packed with gauze. Everything was a little foggy, but I knew where I was and what had happened. I heard someone say they were going to get Peter. Then I remember asking if I could see my teeth. They showed them to me…two were whole, the other two broken into pieces. I guess I must’ve asked to keep the whole ones, as they were wrapped in a plastic zip loc bag and put with my things.

Then they brought Peter in. They explained what I was supposed to do afterwards to him, and I found out later that before they brought him in, someone had sat out in the waiting room and explained that they were going to bring me out in a wheelchair and he should watch for profuse bleeding. He said it kind of freaked him out and he had asked them if I was okay. They reassured him it was normal. I ended up not needing a wheelchair. Peter helped me up and got me out and to the car. Then to Walgreens where I sat pathetically in a seat while he got my prescriptions for me, pointing to me and reassuring the pharmacist that he was picking up pills for me because I couldn’t talk. Apparently I looked so awful that the pharmacist threw in 2 ice packs for free. Thank you, Walgreens!

Peter got me into my apartment, helped me figure out what medicine to take, wrote down a note for me so I would know when to take the next dose. He then went to the store to get me milk and supplies. Once he was really sure that I was going to be okay, he took off for home and I settled down for a long evening of watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD. He called and checked in on me at 7:30pm, made sure I was okay and reminded me of when I could medicate again. He told me today that I had seemed so pathetic and sad yesterday that he felt really bad/worried about me. I have such good friends.

I felt pretty awful for the rest of Tuesday, but thus far, Wednesday hasn’t been as bad as I expected. The pain has been mild, but the swelling is out of this world.

In order to avoid scaring/scarring you, I’ve dolled up the pictures. Let’s do a comparison.

Alexa: Grumpy at work…all teeth accounted for.

Alexa: Grumpy at home…missing 4 slightly useless teeth.

Due to this incredibly “not cute” swelling situation I have going on, I’ve spent most of the day doing this…

…while looking at this:

I foresee a lot more of these two things in my future.

Do you still have your wisdom teeth?

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10 Responses to Wisdom Teeth Extraction Blues

  1. Average A says:

    OUCH. I only had two wisdom teeth grow in (not sure about the other two!!??), and had them removed on spring break in college. SPRING BREAK… because I know how to party!! Amazingly it wasn’t that bad. I took one day’s worth of pain meds then … well, we don’t need to talk about what broke college kids do when they need money and I had leftover medication.

    4 at one time… you’re a trooper. 🙂 Get well!

    • girlinchucks says:

      None of mine had grown in. They were all under the gums and tilted sideways, pushing into my (I guess, 2nd?) molars. They would hurt occasionally, then stop for a few weeks. I was told that if I didn’t have them yanked, I could wind up losing my (again, 2nd?) molars or getting a really bad infection.

      Spring break, huh? Yeah. Par-tay! 😉

      Had to do all 4…since I was being knocked out for the procedure, it just didn’t make sense to split it up. Plus, getting IV sedation is expensive.

  2. Eric says:

    I’m glad I never had wisdom teeth (wiki says 35% don’t ever get them, but I don’t think I’ve ever run into anyone else like that (maybe that’s why there’s a “citation needed”)). Have had a couple others pulled, though. Never with IV, though. First time they used NO2, which made my vision go all static-y, causing me to think I was Robocop. And then I think I saw Garfield. Then we moved & I had to get more pulled, & the new dentist just stuck a needle right into my mouth. Needless to say, as a kid, I was none to happy about that, & refused to let them do the other one- we found a different dentist that used nitrous again. Only way to go.

    Apparently they removed 5 bicuspids (one of each set, & both on the bottom left), so I now have 23 teeth. Thank you, wiki! (Also, did you know you can sometimes harvest stem cells from extracted wisdom teeth?)

    • Eric says:

      Apparently I can’t count (hey, it’s hard to count your own teeth with only a tiny desk mirror). They only took 3, so I have 25 teeth. Oh well. Still an odd number.

      • girlinchucks says:

        That’s weird. They told me when I got braces that they like to take even numbers so they are symmetrical. Were you having them pulled for reasons other than braces?

    • girlinchucks says:

      Damn. I wish I had thought I was Robocop. I didn’t even get to see Garfield. I’m completely blacked out for everything except for the rainbow colors at the very end when i woke up.

      I’ve had 4 bicuspids pulled when I got braces. The first two were double rooted…took more than an HOUR get get them out. I just had novocaine and I was practically in tears during the procedure. The second two popped out in 10 minutes and were no big deal. Having remembered how it felt to have those double rooted ones pulled, I KNEW I needed to be knocked out for this.

      Are you sure you don’t have wisdom teeth? Maybe they just haven’t errupted? Or have you seen that they are missing on x-rays? I’m jealous of your lack of them, or at the very least pain from them if they happen to still be there.

      • Eric says:

        Not sure why they were pulled- they were too close together or something. But they were pulled long before I got braces.

        Yeah, the NO2 was awesome. There was also a weird sound the whole time, like a pulsing generator. To think, ~15 years difference and I could’ve been “Eric after the Dentist”. :P”

        Don’t remember specifically seeing the x-rays of my lack of wisdom teeth, but I remember that somehow that fact got brought up at parent teacher night in 9th grade (no idea why), and my Biology teacher saying that means I must be higher on the evolutionary scale. o_O; Um…. sure. >_<; Wonder if I could call up my old orthodontist & get a copy somehow.. wonder how long they even keep those around… oh well. not that important.

  3. Amanda says:

    Aw, I hope the swelling goes down soon, I know that’s no fun, I had my wisdom teeth out when I was about 20. I just remember eating lots and lots of mashed potatoes LOL. The swelling was definitely the worst, the pain wasn’t bad for me either.

  4. Maddie Essig says:

    No fun for you! When my boyfriend got his wisdoms out I brought smoothies – those seemed to go over well but they couldn’t have seeds…
    I hope you aren’t swollen and sore for too long!

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