Wisdom Teeth Removal: Q & A

Several months ago when I had my wisdom teeth removed, I received numerous questions from friends and co-workers about the the process –  how long it took, how painful it was, what I ate after, how long it took to heal, etc. – as it turned out that many of them needed to have theirs removed as well.  So I thought it might be helpful to do a blog post all about wisdom teeth removal, in hopes that it will help answer any questions my readers might have about the process as well.  So let’s get into it!

How long did it take to have your wisdom teeth removed?

About half an hour.  I had an appointment at 12 PM and was done by about 12:30 PM.

Did you feel any pain during the procedure?

None at all.  I was under anesthesia and fell sound asleep in the middle of making small talk with the oral surgeon before the procedure.

Did you have any adverse effects from the procedure?

Yes.  The anesthesia made me EXTREMELY NAUSEOUS, and I was unable to leave the recovery room for at least 20 minutes after the procedure.  Every time I made even the slightest movement, I would start vomiting everywhere.

I experienced NO PAIN whatsoever after the procedure.  However, I went to a highly recommended oral surgeon who had his own technique for removing wisdom teeth that he claimed was different from that of other oral surgeons.  He claimed that it would not require stitches, would not cause pain, and that I would be able to eat within a mere two days after the procedure.  Everything he said proved to be true.  That being said, I’ve heard that most people do experience pain after wisdom teeth removal, and that they are unable to eat solid foods for about a week or two.

The most concerning adverse effect I experienced was a NUMB LIP.  After the procedure, I could not feel the entire left side of my lips (top and bottom).  This was not due to anesthesia, but rather due to a bruised nerve.  How can you tell the difference?  The right side of my lips was also numb after the procedure, but I regained feeling on the right side after maybe an hour or two, when the anesthesia wore off.  The left side was still completely numb.  Keep reading to find out more about the numb lip!

How long did any adverse effects you experienced last?

As I previously mentioned, I was able to eat normally within a couple of days, which may not be true for all people.  I did have to be careful not to chew too far back, only because the idea of biting down and feeling the food falling into the holes made me squeamish. But it wasn’t painful to eat.

I had my wisdom teeth removed at the end of December 2016 and as of right now, I can still feel at least one of the holes (the top ones are hard to reach).  They are healing and closing, but it’s a very long process before it completely heals.

And the question on everyone’s mind when I told them about my wisdom teeth removal story: do I still have the numb lip?  Yes, slightly.  After the procedure, and after the anesthesia wore off, the entire left side of my lip (top and bottom) were completely numb, with no feeling whatsoever.  It took roughly a month to fully regain feeling in my lip.  The first couple weeks, there was no improvement whatsoever, and I was truly worried that it would be permanent.  Towards the end of the month, I could slightly feel things touching my lip, but only slightly.  Finally after one month, I had fully regained feeling in my lip.  The reason I say I still slightly have a numb lip is that 8 months later, that area will still act up every now and then, and I can feel a tingling, numbing sensation in that area.  It’s a bit annoying, but it’s transient, so it’s not the end of the world.  It’s better than having a permanent and entirely numb lip!

Any advice you would give to people preparing to have their wisdom teeth removed?

If you are prone to nausea, ask your oral surgeon if they can provide you with anti-nausea medication along with your anesthesia.  The assistant told me that if patients have a history of experiencing nausea from anesthesia, they will give them both an anti-nausea medication as well as the anesthesia.  However, since I had no history, they just gave me the anesthesia alone.

Don’t wear light clothing!  I wore a white t-shirt that day, which was completely soaked in blood from all the nausea and vomiting.  There was no salvaging that.

Plan ahead.  You will need at least two days worth of appointments – one for a consultation and one for the actual procedure.  At the consultation, they will take x-rays of your teeth so they know what they are working with.  They will also provide you with all the information and instructions you need to know.  You will also be asked to sign a consent form.  You may also want to plan your appointment so that you have the next day or two off from work or school.  Depending on your own personal experience, you may or may not need those couple of days to recover.

Eat a large evening meal the day before the procedure.  You will be asked not to eat for a certain number of hours before the procedure.  When I had my procedure done, I had to start fasting since the night before.  By the time I finished my appointment at 12:30 PM the next day, I was starving.

Any information people should know about wisdom teeth removal?

Younger is better.  The younger you are when you have your wisdom teeth removed, the better.  As you grow older, the roots of your wisdom teeth extend further and further down, potentially hooking around the nerve the runs along your jaw.  If that occurs, it makes it infinitely more difficult and risky to remove the tooth.

Nerve damage can last for days, weeks, or months, or it can be permanent. Understand the risks and understand that you are signing a consent which inevitably states that you understand the risks.

What is the maintenance process after having your wisdom teeth removed?

Medications.  The typical trio is a pain medication, an oral antiseptic rinse, and an antibiotic.  Since I had such an intense emetic reaction to the anesthesia, I was also provided a medication for nausea. The pain medication and the nausea medication are taken as needed.  My antibiotic course lasted 7 days.  I was instructed to use the oral rinse for 16 days.

Flushing.  You will be given an oral syringe to flush out the holes where your wisdom teeth used to be. This will help to flush out any food particles that accidentally fell into the holes, keeping them clean and reducing the risk of infection.  I used the syringe probably for a few weeks, until I felt that the surface of the holes had healed and food wouldn’t be trapped in the healing flesh.

Food.  I tried not to eat anything with seeds, rice, or anything similarly small, again until I felt that the surface of the holes had healed.

That’s all the information I have to share.  I hope some of you find this helpful!  Laeve me comments down below if you have any questions I didn’t answer!


Thanks for reading!


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