Dental Horror Story: The Happily Ever After Part

Well, in the last week or so I’ve shared with you the trials and tribulations of my summer. I’ve told you about the bad and the ugly where the wisdom teeth were concerned, now let’s flashback to just three weeks ago. I’d done all of my daughter’s back-to-school shopping over the weekend. They’d scheduled my surgery so that by the time we got to meet the teacher on Friday, I would be able to talk some and on her first day of school some of the swelling should be down.

I got up early that morning, it was a Tuesday, I had a lot to do and my extraction was scheduled for 1 p.m. The morning raced by faster than the previous ten weeks dragged. At 1 p.m. I was at the dental college and parked in the chair. I was starving. But I hadn’t eaten as I’d been instructed. I’d also brushed my teeth before I went (you know how it is; you don’t want the dentist to smell bad breath!) They put me on oxygen, got my I.V. set up and then the doctor said something and I was asleep. I woke up partially during the procedure, I felt some pain, complained and then it went numb.

The doctor was trying to explain to me in my numbed out state that apparently I have a little apnea, my throat kept trying to close while I was under anesthesia so they brought me out of it. Now he was pumping my mouth full of Novocain (that Novocain would take nearly 2 full days to wear off and I was worried for a bit that I wouldn’t be able to feel my tongue!)

Some Things We Don’t Want To Know

Part of the reason I wanted to be unconscious is I didn’t want to hear what they were doing. I heard the doctor explaining to students about the impaction, the angles and why he thought no dentist had ever offered to remove them before. He also made his opinion that based on the angles and trajectories, these teeth had likely been causing me a tremendous amount of pain for years. (No wonder I have a high pain tolerance!)

The wisdom tooth on the bottom, back right of my mouth wouldn’t come out. I could feel someone holding my head down while he tried to pull it, but it wouldn’t come. Then I heard a sound I never want to hear again – the disintegration of the tooth and the removal of the little pieces.

All in all, about 2 hours after I arrived at the dental hospital, the doctor was explaining things to me and my husband. They’d packed gauze into my mouth. There was some care and feeding instructions (specifically no sucking) and more. I sort of only half-listened to be honest because he’d gone over all of this before and I’d committed it to memory.

Mostly I just wanted to go because I was tired and I wanted to sleep. I was pretty much over the anesthesia except for the pound of Novocain in my mouth. My husband got me into the car and off we went. Now here’s where it gets funny.

The Funny Part

I was happy that it was all over. No, I couldn’t feel any of the pain in my mouth and I felt pretty swollen already, but they were out. After weeks of agony, they were out. I was happy. My husband on the other hand kept talking to me like I needed to answer. I was hoping for simple yes or no questions, but when he wouldn’t let up I tried to talk and he got the idea much faster.

The Better Part

Over the next week, my face swelled up like a pumpkin. I was living with ice packs and alternating between the hydrocodone and the ibuprofen the first three days, but gradually the swelling came down. One week after the procedure, only the back right socket was really swollen. I was bruised, black and blue and I look like someone had punched me in the face several times.

But except for aching soreness, my mouth didn’t hurt. All I ate for 2 weeks was mashed potatoes or puree’d meat. I lost 12 pounds. But here’s the best part – it’s been three weeks. I can eat real food. My mouth is only a little sore when I yawn real loud. The sockets are all closed.

And I haven’t had a headache in three weeks. Now I might attribute that to all the medication, but I’ve been off any form of pain killer for 9 days. Not one headache. Not a single pressure, tension or otherwise headache – not in three weeks. Not in 9 days.

We’ve had two major storms sweep the area over the weekend. My head didn’t make an ounce of protest. The dentists — all three of them – speculated that the force and power of my headaches were all related to my impacted wisdom teeth with their roots driven up into my sinus cavity.

What do you know?

It’s a whole new world.

So at the end of this tale of catastrophe, frustration and horror – I found my happy ending. Was it all worth it?

Right now? I’d say yes it was. Every moment.

Thanks for listening to my dental horror story and remember – the next time you’re frustrated about dental costs, check out the local colleges for their dental schools – you might be amazed by how much you can save and still get quality work.

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.