Losing wisdom teeth: It’s not as bad as you think . . . really!

By Erika Gill, Reflection –

“It looks like your wisdom teeth are coming in. The problem is your mouth doesn’t have

sufficient room for them.”

This is by far one of the scariest things a dentist can ever utter in a young patient’s

presence. I cried. I remember listening to all those horror stories my peers told about getting their

wisdom teeth removed and how I felt extremely sorry for them then. All the while, I was secretly

hoping I was in the 35 percent who never got wisdom teeth.

Fast-forward to the present. I became the one to be felt sorry for. All I could think of the

week before my scheduled visit was everything that could possibly go wrong. What if I

developed a dry socket? What if I overdosed on painkillers? What if I choked on my own blood

while sleeping?

Well, I survived the ordeal and lived to tell it. The good news is, most of my worries

were for naught.

The day of my extraction, I was extremely nervous but resigned to my fate. I had a friend

with me not only as a source of comfort, but also the one who had offered to be my ride home.

One of the most important things to remember is not to drive yourself to the appointment.

Whether being subjected to laughing gas or just the numbing shots, there is a possibility of

feeling lethargic afterwards.

After my friend gave me a hug and wished me good luck (which really helped my

nerves), I flopped down in the chair and waited to get the whole ordeal over with. Both the

dentist and the assistant were kind to me, and explained what was going to take place during the

procedure and the healing process.

After the injection sites were numbed with a mint-flavored gel, the scary part was upon

me. The shots. To be perfectly honest, I was given more than a few, and they did hurt a little. The

good news is that it was over almost as soon as it began, and I went numb almost immediately.

The actual extractions took no more than a total of 10 minutes, and with gauze stuffed in

my mouth, I was free to leave.

After reading all of the scary stories online, I had no idea what to expect in reference to

the next few days ahead of me. For anyone just as freaked out about wisdom teeth removal as I

was, here is a bit of advice: Do not read the unnerving stories on the Web, or assume that just

because someone else had a horrible experience, you will too.

For as worried as I was, the whole experience wasn't all that bad. I did not bleed

profusely afterwards and my mouth was a little sore for several days, but the pain was pretty

tolerable. I never took anything stronger than Ibuprofen, and by the third day, I even stopped

taking that.

Look on the bright side all you worry warts. This is an opportunity to be pampered by

your parents (I was waited on hand and foot for the first two days), and a time to rest and not get

judged for it. I caught up on the latest episodes of all my favorite shows, and read a good book.

Considering that I am a fatty, the worst part was not being able to indulge in my favorite

foods for a week. No chips, candy, or nuts. Only Jell-O, ice-cream, some soups and pudding

were on the menu for the first few days.

To anybody considering this procedure in the future, take it from me. Soon your mouth

will be as good as new.

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