The harsh reality of wisdom teeth removal


Anna Engels

Wisdom teeth removal isn’t always as glamorous as I make it look.

Anna Engels, Staff Writer


Thursday, the day before surgery: The dreaded day is almost here. By now, almost every awful thought of things that could possibly go wrong has crossed my mind. Every day up until now I have been excited. Excited to see the funny things I say and do, and excited to finally feel relief from the constant ache in my mouth. But now that the day is nearing, I think I would rather sustain the small discomfort of keeping my wisdom teeth. I mean think about it, the oral surgeon is cutting through my flesh and tearing out four teeth; no wonder they numb me and use anesthesia. Oh gosh… 12 more hours to go. 

Friday, the morning of surgery: Of course my mom had to book the 7 a.m. appointment. The thought of what has yet to come ruins this perfectly good morning. On the way to the surgical building my phone buzzes with a few “good luck” texts. Don’t get me wrong, I love the caring messages, but I’m hoping I won’t need luck for this. After a few long minutes of surgery talk, with some concerning side effects mentioned, I am finally taken to the backroom to start the procedure. Here are a few of my concerns at the moment. Number one: the anesthesia will put me asleep, but I could still feel everything that the surgeon does (yes, this happens to some people). And number two: the IV. I think that’s enough said. The assistant surgeon is very polite in telling me everything she is setting up for the surgery, although I could have gone without some specific details. Twenty minutes later, everything was organized, and I’m hooked up to so many machines I swear I have an electric current running through my veins. The oral surgeon is next to walk in and I barely get to look at his (dreamy) face. The next thing I know, I am crying in my mom’s car. 

Friday, post-surgery: Everything feels like it’s in slow motion. Dang, my teeth hurt. I’m crying hysterically. My bottom lip feels how I would imagine Kim K’s does. Everything is so sad! And I’m out again. I wake up in my own bed to unimaginable pain and a foul taste of blood. I finally feel lucid and my big lips are just about back to normal. Naturally, the first thing I do is check my phone. I’m disappointed, but not surprised to find a few captivating selfies and many screenshots on my Snapchat story. Luckily, most people are in school so I take them down before too much damage is done. Whose idea was it to give me my phone? After getting up and moving, having something to eat and taking my pain medication, I feel on top of the world. At this point, it is 6 p.m. and I’m feeling ready for the football game. GO PATS!

Saturday, day two: I didn’t sleep too well last night. Following the pain meds wearing off, I was thanking my mom profusely for not letting me go to the game. I’m running on about four hours of sleep and find it very challenging to open my mouth. So far the swelling is minimal, and I’m praying it stays that way. Sorry, there aren’t many details on day two; sleeping consumed my entire day. 

Sunday, day three: After sleeping for almost 20 hours, waking up today is still pretty sucky. Swelling is beginning to become noticeable, but for anyone that doesn’t know I had my wisdom teeth removed, it definitely just looks like I gained weight. I start the homework that I missed on Friday and very quickly realize I shouldn’t have put it off so much (thank you AP physics). Overall, day three is undoubtedly still miserable, but I am starting to see the light at the end of the very long, dark tunnel. 

Monday, day four: Wow, waking up this morning isn’t complete torture. Looks like a good start. Glancing at myself in the mirror wasn’t too horrifying either, as the swelling has mostly subsided to only one side of my face. I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Update: definitely a bad thing. I look lopsided. I was very unsure about our volleyball practice today, but it turns out that I can actually do most of the drills. I’m just trying not to think about what would happen if I got hit in the face with a ball. Pain is still causing discomfort today, but the road to recovery is definitely in sight. To be honest, this all could have been a lot worse.