My Wisdom Teeth Experience...

Having your wisdom teeth removed in the near future?  Feeling a little anxious or uneasy about the procedure?  I felt the same way too.  Now that the procedure is over, I thought I'd share my experience with you... maybe it will help?

I had my wisdom teeth removed on Friday, July 27 near Atlanta, Georgia. I'm 27 years old. My dentist had been urging me to have them removed for almost ten years, and I finally decided to have the procedure done. I was referred to an oral surgeon in the area. During my evaluation, it was determined that all four wisdom teeth would need to be removed. Three were impacted, and the fourth had partially erupted through the gums. One of the teeth in my lower jaw was coined "risky" because of its close proximity to the nerve in my jawbone. I was a little scared hearing that, hearing that temporary or permanent numbing may occur. However, I knew that it had to be done, and my condition wasn't going to get better, so we set the procedure date for the following week.

I was prescribed four medications - Percocet (I received the generic Oxycodon), Motrin 800 mg (I received Ibuprofen 800 mg), Medrol (steroid), and Amoxicillin (antibiotic). As directed, I started taking the Ibuprofen the day before my surgery. It would help with the initial swelling.

On the date of surgery, I did not have anything to eat or drink. The procedure was at 10:15 AM.  My father drove me to the surgeon's office and waiting while the procedure was being done. After filling out some paperwork, I was asked to swish a "pre-operative" liquid in my mouth.  It tasted pretty bad, but I'm sure it was meant to cleanse the mouth prior to the surgery.  Next, I was brought back to the operating area by a nurse. She took my pulse, and hooked up a variety of monitoring devices (one on my ankle, one on my wrist, and one which rested against my throat to ensure I was taking in oxygen during the procedure). My pulse was also monitored. The nurse placed an oxygen mask over my face and I began to breathe.  She then told me she would begin administering the nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which did not affect me much. My arms did began to feel a bit cold, but I did not have the "floating sensation" that you hear about sometimes. A second nurse hooked up an IV to my arm, which I barely felt.  I could see a 7" syringe in front of me, and that's all I remember.  I was out like a light. No counting to 10 for me. I was out. I'm assuming that a tube was placed down my windpipe to administer oxygen (my throat was a bit dry for the first day).

The procedure lasted about 50 minutes. When I awoke, I was totally coherent, able to speak clearly, was aware of my surroundings, and even could have walked to the car (but was taken out in a wheelchair instead). No pain at all. I had no recollection of the procedure, nor did I want to think about it! Ice packs were already wrapped around my face, and I took them home with me and continued to ice the area. That afternoon, I applied gauze (provided by the surgeon) to limit the bleeding, which was moderate, but not bad. It stopped after a few hours of replacing the gauze every 30 minutes. I also took my pain medications. None put me to sleep. In fact, I didn't go to sleep until late that evening.   I was home by 12:00 PM (less than 2 hours after my initial appointment time).

The first afternoon, I expected to be sleepy.  This wasn't the case.  I was awake, as if it was just a normal day.  Every 30-minutes for the first three hours, I replaced the gauze to help stop the bleeding.  By 3:00 PM, it had mostly stopped so I discontinued the use of gauze.  I took my first Oxycodon at the same time, which helped to prevent any pain or discomfort.  Still, I wasn't sleepy.  For supper, I had some whipped mashed potatoes along with some pudding and apple juice (not the most desirable meal, but it was something I didn't have to chew, and it was easy to swallow).  By 6:00 PM, any local anesthetic that the surgeon used had worn off, so I could feel my lip and inside my mouth.  I was afraid of nerve damage, but it looks like I'm in the clear.

Currently, it's been 48 hours since the procedure and I have been taking less and less of my pain medication. I have not taken any Oxycodon today. My diet has consisted of jello pudding, scrambled eggs, and mashed potatoes. Apple sauce has also been good. While I'm certainly craving a hamburger, I know it's still too soon to start thinking about that.   It's very important to stick to a cold, liquid diet during the first 24 hours.  Anything warm runs the risk of causing additional bleeding.  By the second day, you can have warm food, but again, it should be smooth enough that you don't have to chew. 

*** UPDATE ***

I developed a dry socket in one of my lower extraction sites.  It wasn't a sharp pain, or unbearable pain.  It was a consistent, dull pain I was experiencing. Ibuprofen or Naproxin (spelling?) made it go away rather quickly.  I was concerned however, and made a follow-up appointment with my oral surgeon.  He examined the area, and packed it with a small piece of gauze and clove oil.  I have to admit, the clove oil tastes pretty disgusting, but it made the pain go away within a few minutes.  The only problem was the packing fell out about 18 hours later, so I had to return to have it packed again.  I probably could have done without it, but decided it was best.  Well, two days later, I am no longer on any pain medicine and finally on my way to doing great again.  My surgery was 2 weeks ago.  I can eat whatever I want now, but am still a little cautious around things like chips, nuts, and sticky foods. 

Dry socket is certainly a possibility, and I did everything I was told... it just happened.  However, don't let that frighten you to death.  It's really not so bad, and with some medicine and the clove oil and gauze, you'll be all good to go.

JGarner26 JGarner26
26-30, M
3 Responses Jul 29, 2007

*Update* - Had wisdom teeth pulled on Friday and it wasn't bad at all. I was awake with only numbing shots. Thank goodness I only have top wisdom and none on bottom. It took 5 minutes on each with no stitches. Pain level has been a 1 across the board.

I am scheduled for next Friday to have my upper two wisdom removed and I am scared. My dentist showed me the x-ray and said it should be pretty easy - there isn't that much tooth on them and one has decayed a little bit. Wish me luck.

Hey Mello.<br />
<br />
I had all four teeth taken out surgically in the hospital. My scenario was very similar to that described by JGarner, with 3 out of the four teeth impacted, one badly.<br />
<br />
After the surgery, the first few days are a bit painful. If you take your pain medications (I was on codeine and one or two other things) it is not so bad, but I was very tired. I slept through most of the first couple of days.<br />
<br />
I had no issues with swelling, mostly because I kept the ice pack they gave me pretty much glued to the side of my head. It worked.<br />
<br />
When I was examined, they said there was no swelling at all. <br />
<br />
I also ate the same things. You are pretty much limited to jello, pudding, apple sauce, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs and oatmeal. I also had soup after a couple of days, though you have to make sure it is very tepid and not hot, otherwise it may cause bleeding.<br />
<br />
It took me about 2-3 weeks to fully recover though I was on my feet within about a week. The rest was just my system trying to bring my energy levels back up to 100%.<br />
<br />
So in other words:<br />
-It's gonna be a bit painful, but not impossible if you stay on your prescribed painkillers.<br />
<br />
-It will take you out of the loop for a few days. Book off a week, maybe two, if you can.