Yes it was a surgery!
So I was supposed to pluck out all of my wisdom teeth before leaving for studies. I had actually wanted to get them plucked out last year cos the top two were giving me problems, but it was my A levels year so I decided not to be too adventurous. And this year I am confronted once again by the same thing that bothered me last year 😛 As much as I dreaded going under the knife (or dental instruments, to be exact), I decided that the benefits of having them plucked out now outweigh that of leaving them alone and having the chance of getting wisdom teeth problems while I’m overseas.
To make this post a bit easier to digest for my readers (and to make this blog post easier for me to write HAHA), I shall do this in an FAQ fashion. This includes the most common questions I get from my friends when I told them about wisdom teeth, as well as some stuff I think are worth writing about over the past three days of recovery 🙂
Q: Why exactly did you go for wisdom tooth surgery? / How do you know if you need to pluck out your wisdom teeth?
Alot of reasons, ranging from overseas study requirements to personal choice. (‘my mouth too small so I could not contain all the teeth OOPS!’) But the main one would be that my bottom two teeth were severely impacted, i.e. they were pushing against the rest of my lower teeth and affecting their functioning. For the past year or so my lower left jaw would randomly hurt after eating, say, dense chocolate; I suppose that was because of my wisdom tooth there as well. So removing my lower wisdom teeth was a must. And since my upper two were already giving me problems, why not remove all of them?
Q: When and where was your surgery?
This Monday, 9am, at MMI. Just a funfact, I started searching on recipes of soft diets the night before the surgery, and the next morning (just before I went for surgery) I had a breakfast of roti prata and a fried chicken wing. Sinful much but yeah you can see how much of a foodie I am!
Q: What was the surgery like? / Local or general anaesthesia? / Was it painful?
The surgery lasted for about an hour, and I underwent local anaesthesia (meaning the dentist injects the area of surgery with something to numb the teeth to be taken out).
The injection to numb the mouth is often said to be the most uncomfortable part of the surgery; in my opinion, however, it was really not as bad as what many would think it be. I had to endure the needle four times, once each for the four teeth, and to be honest having a needle jabbed into your mouth is quite a nasty thing; but the pain you experience is not that much different from that of having a jab in your arm. For those who have drawn blood for blood tests before, the pain from having a gum injection is less than that!
Personally the part I found the most uncomfortable was the removal of the bottom two teeth, because that is when the dentist will really put a lot of pressure on the teeth to get them out. You really have to trust your dentist that he would not yank out your tooth by accident, although the feeling you get on your jaw is different, because the pressure is just massive. Being under LA also means that I could hear everything that happened during the surgery – which involves cutting the tooth into pieces, cracking the tooth etc to make it easier to remove. (speaking of the eek factor…) So for that 30 mins my dentist spent on the lower teeth, I totally felt like a lab rat.
(As for the upper two wisdom teeth, the dentist poked – or whatever I thought was poking – them for 3 seconds each, no feelings at all, and then they were out!)
Overall, I suppose the pain was ok to handle with? (I have quite low tolerance for pain so if I could survive it, most people could!) The important thing is to trust your dentist. I knew my dentist could totally be trusted cos he looked at my lower left tooth and knew straight away that I had been experiencing pain from that tooth for the past year – just shows how experienced he is. 🙂
After the surgery I was given two thick slabs of gauze to bite on to help with blood-clotting. Basically for the first hour after the surgery I had to keep the gauze there, and I was not supposed to spit at all within that day – i.e. I had to swallow back whatever blood was coming out from the wounds. My mouth was still numb from the LA so I could not really tell if I was swallowing correctly or even keeping the gauze in my mouth, most of the time I was just trying to keep anything from getting out of my mouth. :X (more eek factor…) Waited a while for medication, I was given antibiotics (to prevent infections), painkillers (for after the anaesthetics have worn off I would be experiencing pain for a good 12 hours or so), and a mouthwash. Left MMI to find my mum and a taxi waiting for me downstairs – the importance of support from family. ^_^
Q: What was recovery after surgery like?
To be real honest, my first day of recovery was probably worse than the surgery itself. Blood oozing out from the wounds almost non-stop, having to swallow all the blood back, not knowing if you’re actually swallowing or just choking yourself, not daring to eat or drink anything (even medicine), not being able to feel your mouth and chin, throbbing pain that starts after the numbness in your mouth goes off – combine all of that together and that’s your first 12 hours after surgery. I freaked out so much that I cried, but after a while I decided to just pop the painkillers and sleep it off.
It is in times like this that you really need support from your loved ones. I’m really thankful to my mum for being there all the time, helping me buy extra gauze and dampening them for me, pouring milk for me when I woke up from my long nap, hugging me when I cried, cooking awesome porridge that I could just slurp up in gusto. With less than two weeks left in Singapore, I am indeed glad to have her around, especially in a time when I was under utmost distress. Thank you mummy 🙂
And also, a pleasant surprise from a special someone. 🙂 At 3pm I was just lying in bed and staring at the ceiling / checking my phone when I heard a guy’s voice outside the house. I assumed it was my dad coming home from work (at 3pm? Talking about post-surgery derangedness) so I didn’t really care what it was about. But a few moments later my mum appeared in my room with a huge and beautiful bouquet. The moment I saw the sunflower in the bouquet, I knew who it was from. ^_^
That afternoon my mum just kept on teasing me about the unexpected present. (She even reminded me not to smile too widely cos my wounds were still bleeding LOL) But to the special guy who sent me the bouquet, I really have to say a huge thank you ^_^ you have no idea how much the flowers and cute little turtle brightened up the rest of my day and the next few days to come. I was even tempted to cuddle the bouquet to sleep cos it’s simply too pretty and too precious. ^_^ Thank you, really, for keeping me in your mind almost all the time and caring for me like this; I’m indeed a lucky girl. 🙂
Probably because of all the sleep I got and the little things that perked up my recovery process, I was way better the next day; I could talk somewhat coherently and move on a little from the porridge and soups; the amount of bleeding had reduced substantially as well. Went to the neighbourhood to do some shopping, and even dropped by Macs to indulge on some coffee and cheesecake. I mean, they were melt-in-the-mouth, so why not? 😛
Today was even better, no more pain in my mouth at all, just that my gums had swollen quite a bit (which is perfectly normal after wisdom tooth surgery). I could more or less talk normally, and even managed to conquer a bowl of noodles for lunch + rice& various dishes for dinner. (Chicken kaarage, anyone? XD) Now I’m just waiting for the swelling to dissipate, hopefully by the end of this week. And then I can go to London happily and without worries over my teeth! 🙂
Woah this post ended up quite long sia. Time to sleep zzz haha. Had been trying to study, but I seriously need to reduce on procrastination. Shopping for UK is almost complete, now I can start throwing everything into my luggage! And I have some special gifts to prepare, you just watch. ^_^
To the spots on my gums where my wisdom teeth used to be, get well soon! ^_^