Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removal: What To Expect

All I can say is thank god I finally scheduled this appointment and got it over with. I didn’t exactly like my experience with one of the Gentle Dental’s in Vancouver, WA so that’s why I am going to share it here.

I’ve had an impacted wisdom tooth that was partially erupted for quite a few years; I just never got around to getting it out because I was pregnant, and dental work is not really safe during certain trimesters, so I opted to wait until after she was born. Only, I didn’t really do it then either since she’s now 19 months.

I never really had bad pain problems, just the occasional swelling, and soreness but nothing that over the counter ibuprofen couldn’t handle. I guess I was lucky in those regards.

So I schedule an appointment with the recommended surgeon at Gentle Dental and go to that appointment.

I have in my head that I don’t want general anesthesia, but I am also nervous about hearing or feeling anything and everything that’s going on in my mouth. He was feeding off my nervous demeanor. I told him I didn’t want anesthesia and would just go with the local Novocain for the procedure. He explained to me that I would need a coronectomy based on my x-rays since my roots were too close to the main nerve in the jaw. Essentially, if that tooth was removed, it could cause some facial paralysis. So now I am even more nervous and he tells me to just go with general anesthesia. He said it about 3 times… just go with it; you’ll feel better about the process. Then told me about the person in the next room and how he wishes he would have gone with it because his coronectomy went wrong. Hello, patient confidentiality? I’m pretty sure that’s a HIPAA violation. Then he says I’ll give you some Vicodin for the pain or whatever Jenny wants. What if I was a pill addict? I could have gotten whatever I wanted from this dentist. (I’m not BTW) That comment rubbed me the wrong way because I do have a sister who has battled addiction numerous times and for these Dr’s to make it that readily available pisses me off.

For the anesthesia though, I have a fear of going under and not coming out of it. Hell, it’s happened quite a bit in the news lately and I’m not willing to take that chance over a tooth.

And to pressure a patient into something they don’t want because you want to make more money is highly unprofessional. They also recommended that I only do 2 teeth at a time without GA because “it’s hard on the patient to endure the process of all 4 coming out at the same time”. I don’t doubt that one bit, but the whole ordeal made me angry and not want to go back the following week for the removal.

So I leave the room and then get hounded by the office clerk who tells me that I am going to want general anesthesia for a coronectomy. Basically scaring me that it’s a daunting procedure and I don’t want to be awake for it. I’m pretty sure the surgeon told her to try and persuade me which pissed me off even more. But, I scheduled the appointment for the following week anyway because I didn’t want to waste more time before the end of the year.

Surgery day rolls around on the 29th of November and of course, I am a bit scared. He comes into the room and asks if we’re doing all 4 teeth today. I mentioned that he said 2 last week…I’m assuming since I declined GA, he decided he would try to do what he didn’t recommend, just to try and get more money out of me and insurance.

Once in the chair though, they immediately start and I am just trying to focus and breathe and think happy thoughts while he’s numbing up my mouth with about 8 shots. The numbing shots didn’t really hurt, just a slight pinching feeling for the first ones on each side. He asked if I could feel him prodding my gums and said yes a little bit, so he numbed me up with a couple more shots and everything was fine for the top wisdom tooth. The only thing that was weird for that one was him banging on the tooth which felt like I got punched in the jaw. It didn’t hurt, it was just a weird sensation. After that, he said the top was done and that was pretty much less than a minute.

Next was the coronectomy on the bottom.

A coronectomy is where they have to cut the tooth and leave part of the tooth and roots in; so there was a lot of grinding and cutting. I felt a little bit of it which wasn’t too painful, but enough to where I needed another shot, so he gave me a couple more in different spots surrounding that tooth. The grinding sound and the smell was the worst part of the removal process. I wanted to gag since it literally smelled like death. Burnt death. This process took about 15-20 minutes and then I was sent on my way home.

The first 4 days there was mild pain, and then the evening of the 4th day is when the pain really kicked in. I was a bit nervous about this since my mouth was also tasting like rotten roadkill. (I’m assuming I know what rotten roadkill tastes like) It was horrendous!!! No one mentions this part of the wisdom teeth removal process, but luckily it is completely normal. It’s the blood cells and tissue trying to heal. It eventually went away after the 5th or 6th day.

I was nervous because I was told that after the 3rd day, it would start to get better, but unfortunately, that was not the case for me. I started to think that maybe I possibly had a dry socket, but I did some research on the dry socket and realized that I did not. I didn’t suck through any straws, nor did I pick at it or leave food trapped in it, and it didn’t hurt to have cold water touching the extraction site which people say sends you through the roof if you have dry socket and last but not least, YOU WILL JUST KNOW. It’s super painful I hear. I did have quite a bit of pain, but thankfully I still had some ibuprofen 600mgs from when I gave birth that was expired but still worked. IT was the only thing that helped relieve the pain.

Now, I just hope I don’t have to go through this process again if the other 2 need to be out. UGH!

Coronectomy takes 3 months to heal, so my next appointment will be around the end of February.

So far so good though!

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