Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Toothless and swollen

Yesterday I had all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. It's actually a good thing, because they were causing me a constant, nagging pain and occasional, excruciating migraines. Their removal would make a huge difference in my overall mood and well-being for sure.

I purposely did not mentally prepare myself for the procedure, because I didn't want to talk myself out of getting it done if I heard too many "horror stories". So I entered the dentist's office cold, with no idea what I was getting myself into.

I knew for sure that I was going to do it strictly on nitrous oxide, my dental anesthetic of choice. I was aware the planned treatment was the extraction of my #1, #16, #17 and #32 teeth. No biggie right?

My concerns began to arise when I was presented with the Consent For Extraction Of Teeth, a two page document upon which I was to initial point by point a list of possible risks that I was to be aware of. The list includes swelling, bruising and pain, stretching of the corners of the mouth that may lead to cracking and bruising, possible infection that might require more treatment, dry socket (jaw pain beginning a few days after surgery, usually needing additional care), possible damage to other teeth close to the ones being taken out, numbness pain, or changed feelings in the teeth, gums, lip, chin and/or tongue, trismus (the ability to open the mouth only slightly), bleeding, oozing, sharp ridges or bone splinters at the edge of the hole where the tooth was extracted, remaining tooth roots, sinus damage resulting in further treatment and my favorite, jaw breakage...JAW BREAKAGE?!!?!

Nevertheless, I initialed every point and assumed the patient position in the chair. The nitrous was attached to my nose, and I drifted in and out of reality listening to Elvis Presley and Nat King Cole croon Christmas tunes while my teeth were yanked from my face. The entire process took about 45 minutes.

When it was over, they contacted my ride (my wife) and with pain prescription in hand, I left the dentist's office. This is how I looked and felt afterward...
Jett now had another toothless, drooling baby just like him to share the back seat.

My entire face, from my upper lip down, was completely numb. I had gauze in the back of my mouth to aid in blood clotting. I couldn't feel my tongue or if my fingers were touching my chin. After about an hour, it wore off and the dull incessant pain began. I took some medication for the pain and when I got home, rested my throbbing melon. I was prescribed oxycodone for the pain, which after I took it, promptly wiped me out.

Today, my face doesn't look like it does above, it's actually looks even more puffy and bloated (think beach ball). I can only open my mouth slightly, eating off of a teaspoon (tablespoons are too big), and I can't chew, meaning I can drink (non-carbonated) beverages and eat soup, pudding and ice cream. Just like I am when I get migraines, I'm much more sensitive to lights and sounds and vampire-like, prefer a quiet, dark room. In fact, I'm going back there right now. Talk to you tomorrow.

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