First and foremost I want to say that I am currently writing this on the same day I got my tooth extracted. It is currently one hour after my extraction and I have taken my pain medication and I am still a bit numb.
I think almost everyone that has to get their teeth pulled for any reason gets scared and does months of research of what to expect. Or is that just me? Yes? oh, okay.
Well, yes, I spent months researching dentists and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. I found some “getting your wisdom teeth removed isn’t really that bad” and some “my HORRIBLE wisdom extraction experience!!!” (the latter scared the life out of me I won’t even lie. I searched high and low for all the “what-ifs” of wisdom removals, asked my mom about her experience until I knew her story like the back of my hand. Once my appointment was scheduled, I searched for other bloggers who’ve had their wisdom teeth removed. I found three that really spoke to me:
- SURVIVING WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTION 101 on LadyCodeBlog.com
My experience getting my wisdom teeth out on GiantBomb.com
- The Real Deal. Wisdom Teeth Surgery. My first Operation. on Claires-flair.com
These posts helped shape my fear of tooth removal into a deeper depth. Everything that revolved around my tooth being pulled just caused me great anxiety. Reading Claire’s post about her removal…well, I couldn’t finish the entire post once I saw that she needed an IV for her operation. Nope. That wasn’t for me.
I had wisdom problems for almost a year now and I have put it off for this long because there are nothing but horror stories about the pain and aftermath of an extraction. Okay, so that’s not completely true, there are some good experiences out there. But let me tell you, I am the most nervous person when it comes to pain. Before the process started I began shaking and my anxiety was kicking up. I honestly wanted to run out of the room and beg my mom to come in the room with me to hold my hand. I was scared.
Now that that is out of the way, I want to start from the beginning. I went to UNLV dental school to have my extraction. Yes, I went to a dental school. I’ve heard horror stories about that too. My appointment (which was honestly a walk-in) was scheduled Thursday, June 2nd. Today is Monday, June 6th. I did not have to wait weeks or months to have my work done. Well, this isn’t entirely true. As I stated above, I’ve put my extraction off for a good year. I don’t have the best dental insurance (they only cover x-rays and emergency extractions, literally), and I had only one oral surgeon other than the school available to me. The certified surgeon had even more bad reviews than the school did, I read that he was very rude, impatient, doesn’t wait until the numbing takes full effect and more. I did visit his office and while his assistant was one of the sweetest people I’ve met here in Vegas, the dentist himself, seemed to prove all those reviews correct. I chickened out of two appointments with him because of that.
Anyways, I had a 12.30pm appointment with the school but I wasn’t seen until probably 1:30 maybe 2:00pm. The clerk at the reception desk was extremely helpful and nice. She didn’t go out of her way to make me feel comfortable but she was honest with her work and I felt like I could trust her. After I filled out my papers she helped other patients and with the little bit of conversation I overheard, she was honest with them. If she wasn’t sure of something she would tell them and explain why, then try her best to call higher-ups to answer the question or solve the problem that she could not. I admired that.
When I was called back into the room, I had questions and what not to deal with. This honestly took most of the time. I didn’t mind though because the questions were pretty close related to dentistry and considering these are students, they have to do a little more than a qualified dentist with a license. We all know how school works. After the questions were answered, I was taken back to the x-ray room so they could get a shot of my teeth and know exactly what they were dealing with. The whole time the dentist ( a woman about my age, I’m sorry I forgot her name!) was very patient and sweet. She knew I was very nervous so she made sure to crack jokes here and there.
I then was taken back into the dentist room where she confirmed with me that they would be able to remove my tooth and confirm if I still wanted to go through with it. I wanted to scream “No! Im leaving and never going to get this pulled!” but I told myself (mentally) that I could do this and it needed to be done. She then got the OK from her teacher or higherup (he was licensed so I assume he was one of the teachers?) and proceeded to make sure my nerves were still good enough for her to work on removing my tooth. At first I thought “wait, she is actually doing the procedure??? There is no one that will come in and watch her to make sure shes doing right??? Shes a student!!” but I did feel good having the chance to get to know her through the question part and she was very nice. She was very helpful in keeping me calm while numbing me. I hate needles so she gave me something like a sucker (I have no idea what she called it, my mind was reeling with all the what ifs) and that made it a little easier to deal with the numbing shot. I did still feel the needle but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
She noticed I was shaking prominently by this point so she sat down with me and gave me some time to gather myself. Once I was pretty collected again she called in an assistant to keep my mouth dry while she worked and began to work on getting the tooth out.
Now I will be honest with this part. It was hell. They told me I would feel a lot of pressure but assured me that I would not feel pain and if I did to let them know immediately. Well, I felt a hell of a lot of pain. Whenever she pulled on my tooth I felt that. When she tried pulling the tooth out (though she was still gentle) I felt it. She ended up giving me the needle of numbing medicine about 5 times in all, within about 10 minutes. They then had to call another student who was studying to be an oral surgeon, in the room to help with my tooth. While the girls kept trying to calm me thinking it was my nerves that made me feel pain, the guy doctor did a pain test, noticed I was still feeling what I shouldn’t, gave me two more shots of numbing medicine, did the test again and I was, thankfully this time, fully numb. I couldn’t feel anything. He got to work and got my tooth out within 10 minutes. He also was very nice.
Once he was finished pulling my tooth, he bid me goodbye and a speedy recovery on healing and the lady got back to work cleaning my gum and preparing me to go home. Once everything was done she gave me the low-down on after procedure instructions and what not. I felt bad that she had lost points on her homework for having to call in the oral surgeon and he numbing me correctly then removing my tooth, but she was still very sweet. She checked my blood pressure and pulse after the procedure to make sure my anxiety had calmed down then walked me out of the room and office, bidding me goodbye with a genuine smile.
I feel so bad for all the extraction experiences that went wrong and people feeling pain and what not because I still don’t feel much pain. I wasn’t prescribed any specific medication. I am taking 2 200mg ibuprofen every 4-6 hours and so far I am fine and dandy. My mouth is still a little bit numb but I’m feeling great and am thankful for my experience. I didn’t look at my tooth because I’m a wimp and cant stand blood. I had a gauze in my mouth for about 30 minutes and it did come out bloody but not with a scary amount.
Would I go back to the dental school? I cant say for sure, if I knew I could have the same people again then I more than likely would but again, these are students. They are learning and you are their practice dummy. I would however work with these people in a licensed brick and mortar in the future.
Okay! That was a lot to read but I hope you gained something important if you are currently in the process of looking to get your wisdom tooth(or teeth!) removed. That is my experience.If you have a wisdom tooth needing to be pulled, don’t go to just anybody but please make sure you get it done and that you can feel safe with the people who will work on your tooth.
Stay safe and fresh!