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OT - Require your Wisdom

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Old 10-13-2004, 07:28 PM   #1
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Question OT - Require your Wisdom

Contrary to popular belief, my mouth isn't particularly big. In fact, it would appear its not big enough to comfortably hold all the teeth in my head. After several weeks of intense discomfort I could no longer avoid the inevitable - thus a dental consultation ensued and its been determined my badly impacted wisdom teeth must be removed.

Now this may not constitute a traumatic event to some, but I have an aversion to dentistry that borders on phobia. For heaven's sake, I break into a cold sweat when I see my dentist in the grocery store. No amount of laughing gas is sufficient to ease my tension (once, during a routine cavity filling, I gripped the arm of the dental chair to the extent it literally broke).

Notwithstanding the dentist's assurances that I'll be completely sedated during the extractions, the prospect of this surgery has me somewhat in a dither. My own dentist refuses to perform the task (I think he holds a grudge over the chair breaking incident), so he's referred me to a specialist whose motto is "We Cater to Cowards". Yes, I freely admit to being a complete and total dental weenie. I won't even go into how the sound of a dental drill affects me other than to mention how, prior to dental appointments, its prudent for me to dip into the box of "Depends" I keep on hand for my Aunt Milly's visits. Let's just say I withstand broken bones, childbirth, migraine headaches and the passing of kidney stones with relative ease compared to having needles jabbed into my gums and sharp instruments probing my quivering mouth.

Having said that, I prefer to be fully prepared when contemplating things of an unpleasant nature (sort of a "hope for the best, but expect the worst" outlook). I'd much rather know what I'm up against than be lulled into a false sense of security only to be sorely disappointed (my mum prepared me for labour by telling me it was similar to a bad "tummy ache"). At this point a few people have told me it'll be a breeze, but these are the kind of people who describe their semi-annual scaling and polishing as "relaxing" (these same people also admit to enjoying camping in minus 30 degree weather).

So here I am, appealing to you to relate your experiences. Go ahead, be honest - if it ranks up there as one of the most irksome experiences of your life, let me know the worst case scenario (i.e. excessive bleeding, post-op pain and/or infection, severe swelling, multiple stitches and dry socket stories are allowed). On the other hand, if you survived it with nary an interruption to your life, then I implore you to let me know!

I have a few specific queries: My information is that removal of wisdom teeth is easier to bear when done at an early age (i.e. before 30). Anyone here have it done near the half-century mark? How many days should I expect to take off work for recovery? How long will it effect a moderate exercise program? When can I expect to eat solid foods again? Did anyone's significant other express the opinion that they were strangely aroused by chipmunk cheeks?

I'm trying to look on the bright side - maybe I'll drop a few pounds in the process.
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Last edited by Jillegal : 10-13-2004 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Edited to add another query
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Old 10-13-2004, 07:48 PM   #2
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I'm only 24 and I had my wisdom teeth out when I was 18, but I can share my story. I was knocked out completely (I can relate 2000% with your dentist phobia - I havent been back to a dentist since, not even for a cleaning - I take extremely good care of my teeth to purposely avoid dentists). All 3 of my wisdom teeth were severely impacted under my back molars (I was only born with 3, I'm not sure why lol).

I was freaking before they even knocked me out, but it was too late and I was passed out before I could escape. I woke up and my mouth was a bit numb, but otherwise I felt no pain. I went home, slept for a long time and woke up and brushed the rest of my mouth to get rid of the ucky dentist/blood taste. I drank soup for the first few days, although I took enough pain killers that I didnt even get hungry. After 4 days or so, I very carefully chewed solid food, although it took me an hr to eat 6 chicken nuggets.

I didn't listen to the dr and I kept smoking and ended up getting dry socket - ouch I wish I would have listened (drinking through straws can also cause dry socket too, so avoid those). I didn't go back to the dentist, and ended up getting an infection that spread to my stomach and landed me in the emergency room. I missed 3 1/2 weeks of school because I didn't take care of myself. Had I not gotten dry socket, would have been back at school within 4-5 days I am sure.

I know my post was gory, but it's honest lol. Good luck with your surgery! {{{hug}}}
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:03 PM   #3
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Hi there Jill... I hade all four of mine out 2 years ago...Im 22 now. 3 were inpacted, the other wasnt even fully in yet. I have a high tolerance for dentists, and have never had any aversion to them, so my experience was a breeze. I went in at 8 am, and was finished by 10ish, home by 11ish, and slept till about noon the next day! The drugs they give you are POWERFUL!! Do NOT under any circumstances a) smoke or b) use a straw. Like Raelynne said, you'll get dry sockets! I guess I was swollen for a day or two, with a little bruising, but really the pain (for me) wasn't that bad. If you've had a kid, you can do this!!!
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:40 PM   #4
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I had mine out at 18 and I am not that fond of the dentist but they gave me an IV and I went to sleep and woke up in no pain. The worst part was the bad taste and trying to figure out how to eat without getting food stuck there. Just make sure you have some pudding or jello and some sherbert or something to eat to help clear out the bad taste.
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:57 PM   #5
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Jill...I had mine out when I was about 25. I was terrified, but not of the dentist. I was terrified that he was knocking me out completely. He said I fought the anethesia like a bearcat, but the surgery was uneventful. He gave me a perscription for Percocet, but I didn't need to take any of them. I drank liquid shakes for two days, then I was okay with a little tenderness.
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Old 10-13-2004, 09:54 PM   #6
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Hey, Im in the same boat. My dentist told me 2 years ago to get my wisdom teeth removed, and they are still there today. It hurts once in a while, but I take asprin and get over it. My reason for not going? 1. im a chicken, I can't deal with pain and Im a single mom who has no one around to help. If I can't do it and be fully recovered before school gets out? Forget it. It's not an option. I can not miss work and I don't have sick days. (Im self employed). 2. I don't have dental insurance and I don't make enough to make payments even if I had to. There simply isn't a way to squeese another 25 a month into bills. Sigh. So eventually, something terrible will happen.

I think that if you have the means and the ability to do the surgery, you should go for it. Sitting and waiting for that terrible something to happen isn't much fun. Take it from me. Good luck! Keep us posted!
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:01 PM   #7
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Jill - It will be fine. Mine too were impacted. The surgery was a breeze and I didn't feel a thing. But I was quite the little chipmunk for a few days.

You'll do fine missy!!!!

When is the big event??
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:06 PM   #8
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I have a semi horror story.. but it turns out alright I was 22 when I got them taken out, and I had to get them taken out, like fast, so the dentist just froze my mouth and popped in a movie. My mouth kept unfreezing, and so they probably re-froze it 10 times on each tooth. On the last tooth the dentist broke the tooth off in my mouth, and he looked terrified, but with some digging he got it out. It was good timing too, because my mouth didn't unfreeze that time! Anyways, it was fine in the end, I was back to work in 2 days, with some minor swelling. I did have an allergic reaction to the antibiotics the dentist gave me, but that was just because the dentist was stupid. I had no infections, and was back to eating solids in a week. I don't consider myself to have a high threshold of pain, and I would say the pain was only moderate, and with the right combination of extra strength tylenol and ibuprofen, I was good to go
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:10 PM   #9
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My advice--ask for drugs and take lots of them! Before and after.

You'll do fine, by the way. The anticipation of the event is almost always worse than the actual event.

I also have a dental phobia, and at my last root canal, the dentist asked me if I'd ever considered meditation since I don't do laughing gas (another phobia--things over my face). Never broken the arm of the chair, but I did punch the dentist once who was determined to give me laughing gas. He quickly gave up on that idea, and thankfully didn't file assault charges.
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Old 10-13-2004, 10:18 PM   #10
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Well, I'll share my experience. I had 5 wisdom teeth!! Yes 5! My were also impacted and very painful. I can tell you when I had mine extracted, the sound of the drills etc were much worse than the aftermath! I had to actually have my jaw "cracked in order for the dentist to get to the bottom of the 2 teeth being removed. All in all, I got really great pain meds that helped me drop a few pounds, and I could only eat liquids for a few days. I truly think the worst part of it for me, was the hole filled with guaze to absorb the blood. I cannot stand blood! I had minor facial swelling and a tiny bit of bruising. Other than that it was ok. I am the biggest weenie around.. I lose my sight and hearing when having blood drawn! If I can do it, I KNOW you can girl!
Good luck!
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:05 PM   #11
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I was born w/o wisdom teeth. Which explains a lot.

I'm rooting for you, Jill. You'll do just fine! *hugs*
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:11 PM   #12
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I suppose I had a pretty easy go with my wisdom teeth removal. I had mine removed relatively young, perhaps 15 or 16. I couldn't stop wearing my retainer or having orthodontist visits until my wisdom teeth had been removed since there wasn't room for them and they would have messed up all the work that the braces did. The two wisdom teeth on the top were actually not too much of a problem, but the two on the bottom were sideways and crazy stuff.

My dentist just froze my mouth with a needle and popped the two top ones out (with a shout of "it's a boy!"), though he had to spend some time digging out the bottom ones. He gave my teeth to me in a bag when I left. I'm sure they're still around somewhere. Though now that I recall it, I think he did the right side one week and the left side two weeks later, just to leave me with a functioning half-mouth. I don't recall taking any time off of school and I know that I played in a ringette tournament on the weekend following one of the extractions (though my coach was not particularly happy about me scheduling a wisdom tooth removal so close to a tournament!).

I remember it aching for awhile, but nothing unreasonable. The worst was the bad breath, and getting little things like Rice Krispies stuck in the holes. Actually, no, the worst is the freezing. I hated the freezing the most. The numbness just feels weirdly unnatural for me. I often refuse freezing when having cavities filled, especially if it's just a small cavity. My old dentist rarely used freezing, but his replacement is addicted to using the stuff.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:35 PM   #13
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weenie raising her hands here. in fact, after i saw what my younger sister went through when she had all 4 removed at the same time, i refused to go to the dentist for like 20-25 years!!!!!

sooooo. i'm now 51. and i still have all my wisdom teeth. one has actually erupted, but it has a huge cavity in it and has to come out. i'm delaying that process.

the consensus is: hmmmm. badly impacted wisdom teeth, but they're not bothering you. soooo let's leave them in!!!! as long as they have THAT attitude, i'll keep going back for cleanings and such... if the tune changes...ummmm. i'm not sure what i'll do..
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:01 AM   #14
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Jilly

I can totally 100% relate... and understand exactly what you're going through. Here's my story, advice and experience.

When I was 19, my dentist told me I had to get all 4 out or I would be in extreme pain and have major problems with my teeth. He wrote me a referral note for an Oral Surgeon that even explained how "terrified" I was and to make sure to talk to me about anasthetic. However, I was so scared... I didnt even go. Yup, tucked away the referral note and forgot about it. Finally, over 1 year later... they started bugging me and my gums hurt so I went back to my dentist who "yelled" at me wondering why I hadn't taken them out the previous year when he gave me the letter? So it was time.. Anyways, I dreaded it for months - it was all I could think about..went for the Consultation and even told the Surgeon to give me something or I would not end up showing for my surgery, and he gave me 1 valium to take 1 hour before I came so I would get the courage to have it done and not be sooo tense. I was not only scared of the surgery but scared of the anastethic as I've never been put out before.

So, the day of the surgery, I got up, had a bath... got in comfy clothes and popped the valium. About 20 minutes later, I was fully relaxed and asking Steve to take me for a car ride. I didn't even care that we were going to the dentist. Anyways, so we got there, had to wait for a bit.. I got a tiny bit nervous but was really too "drugged up" to care. Then they took me in the room and lied me on the bed, I advised the anasthesia guy I was a scared... he hooked up the IV told me to think about the beach, and all I remember from there was being a little upset, and feeling the fluid rush up my arm and got a strong bad taste in mouth AND BAM! I woke up!

So to be honest about the procedure, its not as bad as you think... seriously! LISTEN TO ME! Although tons of people told me the same thing, and I wouldn't listen.
The after effects were alright, I got it done on a Thursday and was back at work on Tuesday (would have probably gone on the Monday but I had tonsalitis too). I had some minor bruising, face swelling and pain (but had T3's and IBprofun400's). The day of the surgery, you're too drugged up to notice anything. The next day is the worse of them all, then its all uphill.

You'll be fine my luv, just fine! Hope my story helps ease your mind just a little.. I can totally relate to where you are right now and you'll be fine! You'll be in my thoughts huney!

Wanna know anything else, just ask me...
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:02 AM   #15
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i am a huge chickenfied wuss when it comes to dentists. i'll share my story though. when i was 15 i got braces put on to straighten my teeth. the dentist who did the x rays said i didn't have wisdom teeth (which is no surprise because my mom never had hers). i had my braces on for 2 years before i got them off. when i was 19 my freakin wisdom teeth started coming in!!! i was in pain. i let it go and they kept trying to come in for 3 years and finally i had had enough. i was in so much pain i had to do something. i went to my mom's dentist who could not pull the one i wanted to be pulled (bottom right) but was able to pull the top right one. i got a lot of laughing gas before the shots and it actually felt good when he popped that tooth out. now, the horror part of it. my gum around the bottom right tooth was infected and severely swollen. he had to cut it off. he gave me shots and sprayed deadener on it before he went to cutting. it didn't matter because i still felt it. i cried like a big baby right there in the chair. and afterwards he hooked me up with lortab and percacet. i didnt care much about the pain after i popped a couple of those.

he said i'd have to go to a surgeon to get the 2 bottoms out but i haven't had any problems since. and we have only one dental surgeon in our town who will charge you your firstborn plus your limbs.
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