6 Things That Happened When I Got My Wisdom Teeth Removed
If you're like me, trips to the dentist are a nightmarish event.
A stranger poking sharp tools into my sensitive gums is not my idea of a good time, so it's only understandable that I was overly nervous when it came time to get my wisdom teeth removed.
Would it hurt? What kind of crazy things would I say in the aftermath? What if I was a particularly difficult case and something went horribly wrong? This and more questions plagued my young mind on the tortuous drive the to oral surgeon's office.
Despite all my fears, I clearly survived my wisdom teeth extraction experience. Scroll below for six things that happened when I got my wisdom teeth removed.
1. I Slept Through the Entire Surgery
Depending on your oral surgeon, you will get one of two numbing options during your wisdom teeth extraction: local anesthetic or IV sedation. With local anesthetic, your surgeon will numb the parts of your mouth around your wisdom teeth with a shot of Novocaine, and you may also breath laughing gas to help you relax. With local anesthesia, you may dose during surgery, but you are usually fairly alert. In my case, my surgeon opted for IV sedation, where the numbing and sleep-inducing meds are administered through the IV. Although it's a little nerve-racking to get the IV needle inserted, this type of sedation also means you sleep through the entire surgery. I wasn't able to feel worried or nervous about how the surgery was going because I was asleep! When I woke up, my surgery had gone smoothly and it was time to go home.
2. The Medicine Made Me a Little Loopy
With all the crazy post-wisdom teeth extraction videos that fill the internet, one of my main fears going into surgery was that I would say something ridiculous or embarrassing while I was still feeling the effects of the medicine. I am slightly disappointed but also slightly happy to report that I didn't do anything worthy of a viral video in the aftermath of my surgery. Mostly, I picked at the cotton in my mouth and informed my mother that I was George Washington because the weird ice pack contraption the surgeon wrapped around my head to help the swelling looked like a beard. I was aware of what was happening around me and I remember everything clearly—I was just a little bit out of it. It was almost as if the medicine removed my ability to form coherent sentences, but I didn't make up a crazy story or reveal any embarrassing secrets.
3. The Pain Made Me Cranky
Immediately following my surgery, I didn't feel a lot of pain. But as the effects of the medicine started to wear off, the pain set in. It wasn't anything unbearable, but there was a general sense of discomfort in the back of my mouth that was more annoying than anything else. I didn't want to talk to anyone, and I can remember feeling a bit frustrated because my loving mother wouldn't just let me eat my ice cream in peace. My pain-induced crankiness resulted in a day of laying around the house sprinkled with a few intermittent naps. After that first day, the pain subsided to a very dull ache and I was basically back to normal, but I definitely recommend planning a day of movies, snacks and sleep following your surgery.
4. Eating Ice Cream Got Old
Trust me, it was a shock to me as well, but eating as much ice cream as you want isn't as fun as it sounds. On the first day following surgery, it's suggested that you eat soft foods, and ice cream seems like the perfect solution because it keeps your mouth cool, which can help to reduce swelling! Prior to surgery, I went to the store and picked up three containers of my favorite ice cream. I was extremely excited to have an excuse to fully indulge in one of my favorite desserts, but after two or three bowls I found myself craving some real food. However, because I was only allowed to eat soft foods, nothing was really satisfying my craving. I followed the dentist's instructions and abstained from eating potentially harmful foods, but I also learned that ice cream is most enjoyable when you're only allowed to have one bowl.
5. Recovery Can Be Gross
One thing I was completely unprepared for regarding my wisdom teeth extraction was the gross aspects of recovery. When you get your wisdom teeth removed, it effectively leaves a hole in the back of your mouth that takes a few days to heal. Before it's fully healed, however, it is basically a magnet for any kind of food particles that find their way to the small opening. The dentist usually gives you a syringe with instructions to rinse out those areas of your mouth at the end of each day. I won't go into too much detail, but I will say that brushing my teeth during those post-surgery days was a gag-inducing experience.
6. It Wasn't As Bad As I Thought
Overall, getting my wisdom teeth removed wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined it would be. I healed fairly quickly, there were no scary complications and I even lived through the gross elements of recovery. Most of my fears were completely ridiculous, and wisdom teeth removal surgery was a great excuse to participate in a couple days of laziness!
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