Aaron Russell Wong
Aaron Russell Wong

Wisdom Teeth

Aug 19th, 2014

 

So this morning, I had my wisdom teeth removed.

 

It really wasn't as scary as a procedure as I thought it would be.  Could be due to a good dentist and nurse to walk me through every step they were going through, or even just my basic compliance with dentists/doctors and such.  Either way, it went really well.  So well, in fact, that I can write about it 6 hours later.

 

My appointment was at 10AM, on August 19th 2014.  As part of the sedation, I had to take these little pills, 0.5mg each that would supposedly make me sleepier and reduce any anxiety I had.  At this point, there wasn't much more sleepy-ness or anxiety that needed to be added.  I had to wake up earlier for these, had to take them at 9AM, when I normally wake up at like 10AM.  Waking up earlier than I normally do, so I can take drugs that will make me go to sleep is pretty counter-intuitive, but I guess the pill-sleep is different than normal-sleep.  Whatever, I took the pills.  Now, after getting the pills at the pharmacy, I realize that the twilight anesthetic may have been a mistake.  I was under the impression that I would take the pills an hour before, show up to the place, they'd do the surgery, and I'd 'wake up' from consciousness not remembering anything that happened in the past few hours.  Like if my life was a book, that page would just be missing, even though I know exactly what happened.  I'd know what was going on at the time, but afterwards I wouldn't remember it.  Twilight anesthetic, not like that for me.  I was fully aware for all of it.  Which in a way is great, because now I have the memories and can write about it.

 

I'm at the place by this point, my dad and I go up to the counter and tell the receptionist/nurse ladies when I last ate, when I had my pills, and general verifying who's coming to pick me up.  It all goes well, and they lead me into this room at the back of the office and sit me in the surgery chair.  A nurse walks his, makes casual small talk, probably to make me feel more at ease.  a little after that, Dr Matthew walks in and explains a bit more of their procedure.  Everything's totally professional.

 

The first step is to freeze the inside of my mouth.  To do this, I had to bite down on this rubber opener to leave a gap where these freezing injection needles could be inserted into my mouth.  This was probably the most painful part of the procedure.  The needles were stinging a lot, and I was about to ask for more painkillers.  However, I realized that this was probably going to be the most painful part of the procedure, so I figured i'd be ok.  In total, there were 10 needle injections, 5 per side, the final one being the most painful.  These needles were for the top of the mouth, so they had to like hold the needle perpendicular to my mouth, kinda pressing on the other side of the mouth.  Uncomfortable and a bit painful, but I only had to do it twice.


After that, I had to wait a bit for the freezing to take effect, or spread out across my mouth.  The entire sides were frozen, and the tongue.  Looking now, it feels like the bottom was way more frozen than the top, which makes sense.  Even now, 7 hours later, it's still frozen.  I'm worried that once it unfreezes, the pain will be more prevalent.

 

After waiting a bit, they come back and suit up in their surgical gear.  It's pretty nuts, we're talking down, cloth poncho like things that tie together at the back, these see-through hats/masks that look like they could be used for welding but see-through, paper face masks and of course, surgical gloves.  They set my chair down so I'm lying horizontal, ready to remove the teeth.

 

The first one they do is the bottom right.  It's really strange, I don't vividly remember the details, maybe because I was drowsy, maybe because it was also a bit painful and I was squeezing my hand to distract myself.  I guess they were digging around, breaking bits of the tooth apart so that it's easier to remove.  They used this super small drill like thing, and a super small shield and just were drilling holes around or on the tooth until it was loose enough to pull out.  Whenever the drill went, I could feel the vibration through the rest of my skull.  This was probably the worst part of the whole thing, it was also pretty loud.  It was over soon enough though, I'm thinking it was a 10 minute thing, there wasn't really any breaks between teeth.

 

Next was the top right tooth, the procedure was pretty much the same.  Same drill and shield, but because of the angle again, they had to lever it from the other side of the mouth.  At one point, I had to tilt my head to the right, and Dr Matthew was really pushing against the other side of my face to get the top right corner.  Thankfully that only happened once or twice, and it took less time for the top tooth to get out.  Fully intact as well.

 

Third was the bottom left, same procedure.  Before they started the left side, the break was a little bit longer.  Not much, but I guess it was an opportunity where I could have asked for more freezing, or more painkillers or something.  I didn't need either, It wasn't hurting too much at all.  And I was fully conscious.


Last tooth was the top left.  Exact same thing.

 

By the end of it, they left to I guess clean their tools and do whatever else dentists need to do after a procedure.  The nurse put gauze in my mouth to stop the bleeding, and gave my teeth in a little container.  Eventually, my dad came into the room and the nurse walked us through about what I need to do for the rest of the day and for the following day.  No joke, there's so much stuff I have.  When we got home, there's 4 different drugs I can take, 3 of which I have to finish to completion.  Each one has their own intervals and rules, like no eating 1 hour before/after or whatever, so it's a whole mess, I haven't figured any of it out yet.  Should though, maybe tonight.

 

But otherwise, the surgery went great.  I feel totally awake now, I had a bit of a nap afterwards and I'm taking whatever pills I need at the right time.  Mouth hurts a lot though.....the bottom is frozen, and I'm worried that it will hurt when It unfreezes.  I had to hold gauze in my mouth for a few hours, so that was annoying, even slept with some in there.  Can't really eat solid food today or tomorrow, so it's just been congee.  Tomorrow, I may upgrade myself to rice pudding, that sounds delicious.

 

Drinking lots of water, I think the bleeding has stopped for the most part.  That's a big worry, that the cuts will either keep bleeding, or get infected with something.  The prescribed mouthwash is supposed to help with disinfectant, so hopefully that does it's job.  

 

There's this Tylenol-3 thing which is the most heavy painkiller, I've taken 3 pills so far, and I was worried that my body may become slightly addicted to it, but it seems to be ok so far.  Pain is moderate.....I'm not really showing it because the rest of my body feels fine, it's really just my mouth that is annoying.


That about sums it up....I'll make a list of what pills I can take tomorrow, because I don't wanna mess that up, that could screw me up a bit.  Other from that, I think my parents are happy that I'm now sleeping, or drowsy, or otherwise incapable of taking care of myself.  With Max, it'd be hard if I had trouble doing basic stuff.....I feel fine, so luckily we don't have to go through that juggling. 

 

Here's to a fast, quality recovery, if that doesn't go as well, I'm going to be really annoyed.

 

Edit Aug 22nd: So I forgot to add a detail that could be crucial, while they were removing both of my bottom teeth, they were also sewing in the stiching.  I remember at the time, being really confused because I thought they were pulling some string stuff out of me, but it makes sense now.

 

Cheers,
Aaron

 

Aaron Wong

Simon Fraser University

Beedie School of Business 

Aaron@arwong.com

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