What to expect before, during and after wisdom teeth surgery


Bokarik Karu, Writer

A third molar, most commonly known as the wisdom tooth, are the last set of teeth to erupt in the mouth. Some people don’t have enough room for their wisdom teeth to grow which can lead to problems such as overcrowding, impaction or cause decay and infection of the neighboring molar. Thus, the reason why millions of people get them removed.

It just so happens that I had to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed last week. My left wisdom teeth were causing problems for my lower molar. Due to the overcrowding impaction on my lower molar, I also had to get that removed because it was completely infected. So overall I had five of my teeth removed.

Before the day of the surgery, my dentist informed me it was required to get a negative Covid Test from a clinic or pharmacy in order for me to do the surgery. It was really difficult to find a clinic or pharmacy that didn’t charge for Covid tests. I ended up going to four different clinics and hospitals and they didn’t give out Covid tests to people unless you have symptoms. One of the clinics was nice enough to give me at-home Covid tests, though. Eventually I found a clinic that was able to get me a Covid test for no charge. I was finally eligible for the surgery.

When I got home, I ate all my favorite foods. My dentist informed me hours before that I couldn’t eat or drink anything 8 hours before surgery. I assumed that if the surgeons found food on my teeth it would be harder to extract my wisdom teeth, but the real reason you should avoid consuming any liquid or solid food before surgery is because of food is because if there is food in your stomach it can cause life threatening consequences like

I was so nervous about the surgery that I actually wanted to miss it on purpose just so I could have the surgery another day. The idea of being under anesthesia while someone’s hand is in your mouth is terrifying to say the least, but thankfully I had a nurse to warn me about the side effects of sedation.

The nurse also gave me a bag with a toothbrush, extra gauze pads in case the bleeding wouldn’t stop when I got home after surgery, and a syringe to clean out food and debris out of my sockets.

One thing I was surprised to learn was that sedation can make you itchy around the groin area which feels like a colony of fire-ants in your pants. The uncomfortable pain lasted for ten seconds, though.

I was curious about the process of going to sleep. I always assumed that people would remember closing their eyes to sleep. To my surprise, I don’t even remember dozing off to sleep. The last thing I remember was a surgeon placing a mouth rest and another surgeon getting ready to dig deep in my mouth.

I don’t remember anything at all during the surgery, of course, but I do remember having a weird fever dream of being at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, but then things started to get weird. I suddenly started spinning around. The massive sculpture started to spin too. What was the Mount Rushmore National Memorial became the Bikini Bottom National Memorial. One by one each U.S. president was replaced by SpongeBob SquarePants characters. Then unexpectedly, I felt some sort of force in my mouth.

My memory was a little foggy after the surgery. The only thing I remember is being pushed in a wheelchair and being put into a room. From there, a nurse wrapped an ice pack around my head. I remember trying to take the gauzes out my mouth but the nurse stopped me before I could. Thankfully, I didn’t cause a ruckus when I was on IV Sedation. I really didn’t want to say anything embarrassing in front of the nurses and my dad. However, after the numbing relinquished, the pain was irritating. When I went home, I was in so much pain. My sisters had to drive to the pharmacy to get my medication.

For the whole week I was on a strict liquid diet. I was only allowed to eat mashed potatoes and eggs and that was it. I also had to be careful of hot foods so the mashed potatoes and eggs had to be cold. As the days of my recovery passed, I was able to add more food to my diet like bread, pasta, rice, etc. I also had to follow my daily routine of taking my meds, using mouthwash for my surgery wounds, and using the syringe to fish out food that may be stuck in my wounds.

If you are getting your wisdom teeth removed soon and you’re nervous about it, the best thing you could do is to assure yourself that it’s going to be okay. The recovery process is dreadful, but at the same time you won’t be bothered by your third molars anymore.