My Wisdom Teeth Extraction - Horrible Experience!

I had all four of my impacted wisdom teeth removed two and a half weeks ago. I am 27 years old, so I am considered a bit "old" to have the procedure done. About a year ago, my dental hygenist noticed that my two upper cuspids were in fact, baby teeth. (The fact that my dentist never realized this still makes me a bit nervous-I have since switched dentists). I was then referred to an orthodondist who told me I would need braces in order to anchor my adult teeth and pull them in to place. He took x-rays and told me that it wouldn't be a bad idea to get my wisdom teeth removed at the same time. So, I made my appointment. The morning of my appointment, I was really on edge. I was not nervous one bit about getting my baby teeth removed-the roots were nearly non-existent so I knew it wouldn't take much to remove them. My wisdom teeth on the other hand-that was an entirely different story. The oral surgeon showed me my x-rays again and told me what was going to happen during surgery. He pointed out that my lower left wisdom tooth was very close to a nerve, and there was a chance it might get hit during surgery. He said if it did happen, I should have feeling back in that area within a week. I signed the papers and the nurse started getting me ready for surgery. I felt like I was going to pass out from fear. I had never been put under before. The nurse was very nice and explained everything to me as she did it. She attached monitor pads to my chest and my left side. She then placed the large mask over my face and told me she was going to administer the laughing gas. I freaked at first-I felt so claustrophobic with that thing on my face! She told me to breathe in deeply as she inserted the IV in to my right hand. I remember telling her about how I had to remove my black nail polish from my toes, (a requirement before surgery to check circulation), and how embarassed I was because it left a dark residue on my nails. I think she asked about my son, but I don't remember because I was out. It took less than 2 minutes for me to be out like a light. I was told the surgery would take about an hour. When I woke up, I was told that it had taken 3 hours. My shock was compounded as the pain set in. With a vengence. The doctor had previously told me that the first day would be fine because I would be numb for quite some time. Well, from the second I woke up, I felt like someone was hitting me in the face with a hammer. Every single heartbeat was felt 10-fold in my mouth. My mouth was so packed with gauze that I felt like I was going to choke. As I lay on the recovery bed, I had to fight back the urge to scream out in pain. I would rather go through child birth again. And I was in labor for 24 hours. My friend was finally able to come back to retrieve me and drive me home. We went directly to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions filled (Ibuprofen, Amoxicillin, and Vicodin). It took an hour. I sat in my vehicle and fought back tears as the pain got worse and worse and drooled blood all over myself. When I finally was able to take the pain meds, I went to remove the gauze from my giant cheeks. My friend asked if I was going to take the gauze out of the other side too-I already had. My cheeks were huge! I took the pills and packed in the gauze. (This was a pain because of my braces-it kept getting caught in them). I got home and laid on the couch. I finally started to doze off, but kept waking up because of the pain and general discomfort. I had been told I would be out of work for three days at the most. This was on a Monday. I missed the entire week. Every single day my cheeks got bigger and bigger until I didn't think my skin could stretch any further. The ice packs were my constant companion, and then the heat packs a few days later. My cheeks were black and blue. I looked (and felt!) horrible. I could barely open my mouth to even drink water. My poor kid just stared at me. My husband did his best to make me comfortable, but nothing really helped. The pain and discomfort was excruciating. On top of that, I soon discovered the surgeon did indeed hit a nerve. Two and a half weeks later, I still have no feeling in the lower left-side of my face. I was able to return to work on Monday, but my face was still puffy and had turned a lovely shade of yellow. It took two full weeks for my face to return to normal. I still cannot open my mouth fully and I have dull pain once in awhile. I go back in for a check-up next Monday.

I plan on complaining. haha.
jmendoza jmendoza
2 Responses Sep 28, 2011

I just got my wisdom teeth remove before I went back to school. Surgery was fine, but recover was hell for me. It took me longer that I should. On week 2, I got an infection and bruising were to come back from the bleed in my chin. I went back on week 1 to find out I had food on my socket. When I went back for the infection, he check to see what happen so he gave me antibiotic. Then the next week he check to make sure there was nothing and it was all good. Now I got a another x-ray to make sure there was nothing since I could not open my mouth and there was nothing. So yesterday (oct 1, 2013) I go back to see that my muscle is really thigh and need it a way to open it. So now he wants me back again next week. Just to make sure nothing get worst and more. My sister got her teeth pull by the same person who did me and and no trouble. I just said to myself that it was me who reacted like that, he did not do anything bad.

Well unfortunatley I have my own horror story. This happened 20+ years ago and the experience was so awful I still have problems getting any kind of dental work done (I'm dealing with that but that's a whole other story).

In my early twenties I was told all four wisdom teeth were impacted and had to be surgically removed. Because they were impacted so badly my dentist referred to be a maxofacial surgeon.

Okay. Went to the surgeon. If they used a genearl anestheic to put me under the procedure would have to be done in a hospital (with an anethesiologist) and their pay rate would be capped according to hosptial rates (not ideal for the surgeon) so they decided to do it in their office instead using freezing. All four wisdom teeth were done at once and it took 17 needles to get all the freezing in. I almost passed out somewhere around the 14th needles so they 'kindly' paused to give me a bit of a breather.

So, as frozen as I could possibly be the procedure started. My dentists have alway told me I have "large teeth, small mouth". This was no different. The wisdom teeth were large and the roots were long. The extraction was difficult. In a couple of cases the tooth had to be broken so it could be extrated. The roots went all the way into the jaw bone. To make a long story short, the extraction was very difficult; in fact, the surgeon charged me extra because the extraction was 'difficult'.

After a long difficult process he sent me home packed up and swollen with a prescription for motrin that said 'take as required for pain'. Whoope! Well, as you can imagine once the swelling started to wear off the pain was pretty bad. I took some motrin then 45 minutes later I took more mortin and so on and so on and so on. Around 5:00am in the morning my husband took me to the hospital emergency room. My ears were ringing - we had no idea what was happening but thought something related to my dentail surgery might be causing a problem. Turned out I had overdosed on Mortin :/.

I did manage to get through the pain, swellling and overall misery of this surgery. However, it effected me for years after. I avoided dentists (who wouldn't really?). The next time I had to see a dentist was about 2 years later for an abcess. I couldn't believe it. The minute I walked into the dentist's office i felt panicky, sweaty. As soon as they sat me in the dentists chair I started to cry uncontrollably. I'm a rational person - my professional background is a science background. As I sat in this dentists chair, no matter how many times I told myself this was irrational - that I was not going to experience the same thing I did the last time - in fact, I was here to get help and relief - the experience of utter panic and depair would not disapper. For years after, I could not even go into a dentists office without crying uncontrollably.

There is an upside to this story though. Here I am 20 years later and I am finally able to visit a dentist and a dental hygenist on a regular basis to properly manage my dental health. I found an understanding office who will work with me (using medicaiton, careful explanation and other methods) to manage my anxiety. I guess my message here is simple - extracting wisdom teeth is not just another simple dentist visit to get a tooth pulled ( and believe me, I had a number of those done too). Depending on the complexity of your case this can be a major operation. Make sure you talk to the surgeon before hand - understand exactly what he's doing and why. An most importantly of all - QUESTION EVERYTHING. In the research I've done afterward, I've never encountered another case where all four wisdom teeth were surgically removed unless general anestheic was used. Ask about everything - are we doing 2 at a time or 4 at a time and why? What kind of anesthesia will be used and why? What kind of medication will I receive afterward to deal with pain? What are my options?

Be educated and ask questions. And hopefully, you will have a far better experience than I did. And for those of you who were unfortunate enough to suffer through something similar to what I did, please know it can actually get better. It takes work and finding a dental team who's willing to work with you - but they are out there. And at the end of the day your dental health and your mental health are important. You should actively deal with and take care of them both.

Best of luck to you all!