Wisdom Tooth Extraction On Valentine’s Day

I’m terrified of the dentist. I also wanted to keep all my wisdom teeth (the more teeth the more to chew with), but it ended up being an inconvenience to clean and maintain, that I decided to remove another wisdom tooth on Valentine’s Day, but this time WIDE AWAKE.

I had a different wisdom tooth removed about 2 years ago because it was crooked and I was afraid that it would get enough food particles stuck there to create decay and cavities on the next tooth over. So I decided to be put to sleep under anesthesia for about 45 minutes while the oral surgeon did his job. I was afraid I wouldn’t be knocked out completely, but within a few moments of the injection with 2 nurses on my side, the oral surgeon told me to think of something happy, so I did, smiled, and was instantly knocked out. Before I knew it, I was awake and it was over… sort of.

For that, I was in traditional stitches. That part probably wasn’t the worst part. I was prescribed 3 different things. 2 antibiotics, a pain killer, and was advised to take an over the counter antihistamine (Advil or Tylenol for example).  I’m not big on medication.  I also couldn’t have solid foods I think the first 2 or 3 days if I recall, and my face was swollen like a chipmunk. I was so dizzy from all the meds, and in some pain once numbness wore off (pain killers didn’t exactly help too much). The day I had to return to get the stitches to be “yanked out” and removed (about a week later), I mentioned the dizziness so the surgeon allowed me to reduce dosage and stop some of the meds all together, which helped a lot. After that (along with rinsing with hydrogen peroxide regularly), it all healed as if nothing was done there, and everything was good. (Minus me missing my wisdom tooth!)

For once, I didn’t have dental insurance and I was in between jobs/freelance so that was $500-$600 out of pocket (including discount). I’m not sure if that hurt more or the pain I went through. 😛    Regardless, I do recommend that oral surgeon, he did a good job and still way less painful than my childhood trauma. Just expect to hurt a little more if your wisdom tooth is not straight like mine.

This Valentine’s Day about 3 days ago, I had an appointment to have my tooth removed by a Dentist (not an oral surgeon), wide awake. I was also terrified out of my mind, leading up to that point, more so than being put to sleep. My individual dental plan wouldn’t have covered either anyways, and I wasn’t going to pay another $600 for a wisdom tooth out, especially if I think I’m going to get another one out after this as well. I had a tiny surface cavity on this one, and considering the fact that it is really hard to clean (having to use my fingernails to reach back there every night), I thought it would be more convenient to remove it, instead of refilling it.

The dentist swabbed my mouth with numbing stuff, then injected me with what I believe is novocaine, about 5 different areas in the mouth to make it all numb. (Note that I do not like needles and that did hurt a little). After she was done injecting, she said “Now the worst part is over.” My thoughts were racing all over thinking that the worse part was to come. My worst imagination manifested thinking that I’d hear drilling noises, tooth being yanked out of the socket, and all sorts, (resulting from a childhood incident at a different dentist where that DID occur and they took more than an hour to yanking out a tooth WITHOUT numbing me, while I screamed and cried out in pain and in terror).

But surprisingly, the whole process from numbing to pulling out the tooth took about 15 minutes. My tooth was not crooked (grew straight down) which is probably why the process was not as gruesome. All she did was loosen it up, then pull it out without me realizing it was out. I freaked out at first thinking it was going to hurt, but I only felt a lot of pressure while she was pulling, but no pain. My mouth was still numb, but I was ready to go and I drove to an office store right afterwards with a gauze still in my mouth, to look at printers and ask customer service questions.

I went home, the numbing wore out about 4 hours later, and all I needed was Advil every 4-6 hours (anti-inflammatory) as advised, and to rinse my mouth the next day with salt and warm water. There was little to no pain. I think most of the discomfort seemed to be where the needles were injected, but that will heal. I also made mashed potatoes, eggs and cheese and sprinkled a lot of Turmeric (which works wonders as anti-inflammatory!) I’ll have to write about the wonders of Turmeric later. I was still eating cheesecake the day my tooth was removed. Yesterday, I was eating pasta and chicken without a problem. My face never swelled up like a chipmunk and right now I only feel soreness. It’s more tiresome to try avoid touching the side of my tongue on the wound.

I decided to get the other one out next month that is hard also to clean. I personally don’t think that wisdom teeth all really need to be pulled out unless it really might cause issues. I just didn’t want to risk decay and major cavities for being hard to clean and also the convenience of trying to clean it. My friend unnecessarily removed all hers and regretted it. She now has dry mouth, bad breath, and had to take medication for that. How I see it is if you’re older and you do lose other teeth, wisdom teeth are a good back up and there’s more to chew with.

But anyways, so that was my wisdom removal experience on Valentine’s Day. I didn’t have any Valentine’s plans that night (just the weekend before with a bunch of my friends). I gave out Valentine cards to friends, the dentist, the dentist staff, and my apartment building neighbors (as a surprise at their door). They loved it. Oh yeah and the waiter that didn’t seem to look so happy over the weekend. Maybe he just needed cards and the ameretto chocolate dipped stick to make his day. (It said “You’re the Best, Valentine!” Hello Kitty love.

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