Firsthand experiences from a wisdom tooth extraction survivor

Personal Column by Audrey Yost ’18

Who knew four teeth could cause such a dilemma? I sure didn’t. My mom and I didn’t anticipate such a painful recovery. And my mouth was sure not up for what I had just gone through. 

If you are unaware, your wisdom teeth are in the way back of your mouth. Most people have four, and if you are lucky, you get to live with them. On the other hand, some people have to get them removed. Some have to remove one or two, but it is not uncommon for your dentist to tell you that all four need to come out. 

For some people, getting wisdom teeth out is a piece of cake. The pain lasts for a few days and then, they’re back, and it’s like nothing ever happened. But for some people, the pain is intense, the medicine doesn’t help and everything is miserable. Absolutely miserable. 

img_9220.jpgFor me, I had my wisdom teeth out the first day of Easter break. It was a Thursday, and my mom and I thought I would be back and doing great within a few days. Everyone we had talked with said, “Oh it’s not too bad, you’ll have pain for a few days, but then you should be alright,” Well, that was not the case for me.

If you tell someone you are getting your wisdom teeth out, almost 98 percent of the time they say, “Oh my gosh, have someone take a video and send it to me please.” The next few hours are quite hysterical as you come off the anesthesia. That part is all fun and games. For me, those videos were sure a laugh, especially me singing “The Greatest Show” from “The Greatest Showman.”  The not-so-fun part comes when you get home as the numbness starts to wear off and the throbbing pain begins. 

I had absolute throbbing pain for a little more than a week after I got my wisdom teeth removed. The medication they had given me upset my stomach, so I was left with Advil and Tylenol. I spent almost a week in bed, binge-watching the television show “Friends” with ice packs and then heat packs on my face.

As if I wasn’t struggling enough, the heat pack began to give me a rash on my face. I decided that I needed to give up the heat pack as my pain went down a little. It took me about a week and a half longer than usual to get back to my normal schedule. 

My advice for anyone awaiting their wisdom teeth surgery date is to block out a week after your surgery. Give yourself no responsibilities, time to rest and time to recover. Once it’s over with, you can say you conquered the worst experience of your life, or the easiest experience for some. 

Following the oral surgeon’s suggestions is imperative. My cousin got his wisdom teeth removed and did not follow the surgeons orders and had to get a root canal a few weeks after his surgery. You are not allowed to drive home after the surgery, so choosing a trustworthy person to be with you is a good idea.

If the surgeon or the staff give you any instructions on cleaning out your sockets, clean them out. It might kill for a few seconds, but after a while it will start to feel better. 

Finding an oral surgeon shouldn’t be too difficult, your dentist should know some good ones around the area. Different surgeons have different rules to follow and you should take account of that. 

If you’re anticipating wisdom teeth removal, you’ll live through it, but definitely take in to account that it could be really painful or it could be a breeze. 

Have a Wisdom Tooth story to share…leave us a reply…

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