The Time I Got My Wisdom Teeth Removed

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The Time I Got My Wisdom Teeth Removed

Madeline Frambes, editor in chief, staff writer

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Summer 2019

Leaving my dentist’s office, I was devastated–my wisdom teeth were moving and would soon need extraction. 

The Mayo Clinic says that wisdom teeth are “ the last permanent teeth to appear (erupt) in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people never develop wisdom teeth. For others, wisdom teeth erupt normally — just as their other molars did — and cause no problems.” Over the past year or two, I’d been experiencing slight pain in the four corners, leading me to suspect I had impacted wisdom teeth. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include infection or gum disease, trapping food or debris behind wisdom teeth, tooth decay in a partially erupted wisdom teeth, damage to surrounding bone or teeth, and development of a cyst around the wisdom teeth. 

 

December 3, 2019 

I went for my consultation with my oral surgeon. My surgeon informed me that all four of my wisdom teeth are impacted and could cause pain and shift my teeth that I’ve worked so hard to get through braces. Clearly, to avoid complications, I needed to get my wisdom teeth removed. 

 

He explained all of the pre-op preparation such as the required saline solution rinse the week leading up to surgery, and not eating or drinking past midnight the night before. 

 

He also explained the type of anesthesia I would be under, since there are three main types of anesthesia–Local (numbing of the gums, you’re awake for the procedure), IV Sedation (numbing of the gums along with drugs to make you drowsy), and General (IV or gas to put you to sleep). He explained I’d be receiving general through an IV. 

 

7 pm the night before

The date came sooner than expected, My mother and grandmother and I went to see Cats to distract me from the impending date, and then we had my “last meal” and went home.

 

12 pm 

I followed the doctor’s orders; no food or water past 12 the night before.

 

9 am (December 31st)

The surgery date had arrived, and I  went to the appointment with my parents. We arrived and signed in. Although I was nervous, I was happy to get it over with. We read over the paperwork and said our goodbyes. I was lead back to the operating room. 

 

They took my blood pressure and hooked me up to a heart monitor (which was super weird to hear) and they prepped the IV. I was most nervous for this part–they put in the needle and the filter bit and proceeded to connect it to the drip (I’d been put under Twilight when I was 10, so I was expecting this similar drug to feel the same; like ice water through my veins). To my relief, it didn’t feel like anything. Besides, the drugs made me calm and sleepy. There was no pain and I eventually fell asleep.

 

12 pm 

When I woke up, they lead me to a room where I could lay down and my parents would meet me. I was pretty loopy and was smiling and nodding my head as the doctor explained the post-op care to my parents. In response to amnesia there are usually 3 responses: being extremely tired, crying, or being very talkative. I was extremely talkative and basically acted normal. I was singing in the car and talking to my parents as if nothing had happened. I went home and watched some TV before going to get some rest.

 

4 pm

I woke up in pain and took my first opioid, which after a few minutes made it just feel a little sore. I basically just ate normally, but tried to be careful.

 

11 pm 

I hung out with an ice pack on my face and watched the ball drop live at Times Square.

 

January 2, 2020

The next day was the worst because of a little pill called clindamycin– the antibiotic I was prescribed. I took it after lunch and proceeded to have a terrible stomach ache, and I finally threw up in the evening and didn’t stop until midnight. We’ve concluded that I’m allergic to clindamycin. Every day after I stopped taking clindamycin, I felt a little better.

 

Overall, the experience was relatively pain-free and easy. There were a few bumps in the road, but it didn’t really affect my day-to-day life. I’m now looking forward to a life free of wisdom teeth complications. 

Many Americans get their wisdom teeth removed each year–a whopping 10 million according to vox.com–and I think with just cause.  The ability to live the rest of your life without complications from wisdom teeth is worth the week-long recovery.