So now it's confirmed (going in for wisdom teeth removal)

At the dentist check-up today, the kindly (and rather good-looking) Doctor inspected my teeth, poked around with those latex gloves a bit, made some inconsequential small talk, and then cheerfully announced that all four wisdom teeth were right underneath the gum and just ready and raring to be knocked out any day now.

In the immortal words of Captain Jack Sparrow, oh, bugger.

Somebody, anybody, please reassure me that a) I might not have to get them out after all, b) local anaesthetic is an option, or c) general anaesthetic isn’t really all that bad.

i had four impacted wisdom teeth out in one go, under general anesthesia, about 2:00 one afternoon.

was back at work the next day, so chipper that i was accused of skipping my surgery. (i had been extremely nervous beforehand.) i had no swelling and VERY minimal pain.

hear’s hoping your extraction goes as well !

I had all four of mine yanked, three under general (two upper ones at the same time, one lower one later) as a teenager and one in my 20s under local. The reason the one could come out under local was that it was not impacted, which the other three were.

I’d go for general if given an option. The local wasn’t terrible (thanks to nitrous!), but it was not completely painless and hearing all those sounds of what was happening in my jaw transmitted up through my facial bones to my ears was kinda icky.

The general was really a piece of cake. Fall asleep, wake up, teeth are out. I looked like green-and-purple chipmunk for a couple of days afterward, but that could happen with local, too, I suppose.

How old are you? I ask because my oral surgeon told me that people of my very advanced age (I’m 42) heal much more slowly than 20 year olds. Consequently, he decided to work on only one side at a time, so I wouldn’t have both sides achy or numb at the same time. He’s a really great doctor–very frank and amusing and good at his job. WARNING: This may only apply if you are an old fogey like myself.

My teeth were impacted and I was warned, again because of my advanced age, that my teeth may have fused into my jaw bone. And that’s what happened. So, under only novocaine (which was fine, by the way; I didn’t need anything stronger) I listened while he drilled and sawed my tooth out of my jawbone.

He took a look at the top tooth and left it there. He was afraid of ruining my sinuses by digging the tooth out of the bone, plus the upper tooth wasn’t doing any damage to the tooth next to it like the bottom tooth was.

5 weeks later, the pain is mostly gone. I was in agony for 3 weeks because there was a honking great hole in my gum and my nerves were exposed. He had to pack gauze with oil of cloves on it to help with the pain. I’ve taken more ibuprofen in the past month than I ever did in my life (and I’ve had 2 c-sections). And, when I’m ready, I have to make an appointment to do it again on the other side.

But I’m sure your experience will be much better!

At your age, Kyth, it should go fairly smoothly. The big question is whether they’re impacted or not. I had all of mine out in March, and it went very smoothly, because none were impacted (the bottom ones were below the other teeth, making them prone to cavities, and if you take the bottom ones out the top ones go too). They put me under general anaesthesia. The operation was in the morning, and by the end of the day I felt fine. I stuck to a mushy diet for a couple of days, and for a week or so I had to be careful how I chewed. And that was it.

If yours are impacted, it will take the better part of a week to get back on a regular diet. General anaesthesia is nothing. You’re going to want it anyway to help with the initial pain. Take some ibuprofen right before you go to the oral surgeon, and then take whatever painkillers they give you afterwards according to the instructions. Bottom line? You’ll be out of commission for a day, and inconvenienced for a week, and then you’ll be fine.

I had my (3) wisdom teeth taken out last year. I had general anesthesia because 1) I have a sensitive gag reflex and having dentists poking around in my mouth freaks me out and 2) the surgeon was afraid that the roots of one of my teeth had pierced the bone and gone into my nasal cavity, and that I would therefore require surgery to close the hole (luckily, it hadn’t.)

The anesthesia was perfectly fine - I don’t remember a thing between them putting the IV in my arm and being wheeled out to my boyfriend’s car. The recovery…well, I don’t want to freak you out, but it was awful. They gave me Percocet for the pain, and I learned that I don’t get along well with narcotics. I was nauseous, dizzy, weak, and more than a little crazy the entire time I was on it. I stopped taking it after two days because I couldn’t stand the side effects.

Despite the horrible recovery I’m glad I got it done because, as Ceejaytee mentioned, the older you are the more difficult the recovery is. I had mine out when I was 26…I can’t imagine what it would be like in my 40s!

I had all four of mine out at once, and the doc only used a local on me. Tylenol with codeine fixed me right up afterwards, although I was more than a little loopy. The only disadvantage to the local, as others have pointed out, is that I was aware of all the mayhem he was committing at the time.

When my father had two of his wisdom teeth out (uppers IIRC) he had very little pain after the operation. After the procedure was done and the anesthetic was wearing off, he asked “When will it start hurting?” The dentist told him that if it hadn’t started by then, it wasn’t going to.

I’m hoping that painless wisdom tooth removal runs in the family, because I’ve got to get my lowers out before long.

I don’t think they use actual general anaesthesia for wisdom teeth removal. My understanding is that general anaesthesia means you’re out so hard that you don’t even breathe on your own; what they did for me, at least, was twilight anaesthesia - I was totally out of it with the drugs, completely unaware, but without the risks associated with general anaesthesia. I have only the faintest memory of odd dreams.

All four of mine were “impacted”, whatever that means, but recovery was actually quite easy. I had a mild headache for a couple days - I think from the pressure of trying to hold the gauze pads in place - but nothing serious. I took two of the vicodin they gave me, but only because I had them and figured I might as well use them. Ibuprofen would have been perfectly effective.

I wouldn’t worry too much.

I had mine out three years ago. I was uncomfortable and chipmunk-esque for a week or two, but I never needed anything stronger than ibuprofen for the pain (which is good, because I can’t stand feeling medicated).

I was knocked out completely, thank goodness. I would not have agreed to get them removed otherwise. All four of mine were impacted. I was unconscious for most of the following 3 days and pretty miserable for a couple weeks after. I was also unable to eat solid, sharp, or salty foods for those two weeks. It was much the same as getting my tonsils out (age 21), only with more uncomfortableness overall. If I had to pick one to have done again, I’d definitely go with the tonsils.

Everyone else I know was recovered within three days of getting their wisdom teeth removed. I’m just unlucky, I guess. You’ll probably be just fine in a couple days.

I was 18 when I had my 4 impacted wisdom teeth taken out in a single operation under general anaesthesia. If yours are sitting happily under the gum and aren’t impacted, you probably won’t need major surgery for your teeth. Most of the people I know who had to have their wisdom teeth removed just had it done in the dentist’s chair.

I wasn’t very puffy afterwards, and I was only on prescription painkillers (I forget which kind) for three days before switching to ibuprofen. The bit that hurt most was the hinge of my jaw, which they had wedged open during the surgery. I remember it was hard not to poke at the gaping holes in the gums with my tongue…

Keep your mouth clean after the surgery, don’t eat anything too hot or cold for a while, and good luck.

I had all four of mine yanked a year or so ago. It wasn’t bad. I remember going in and the doc says “I want you to count backwards from 10.” And it’s JUST like the movies. You go “10… 9…” and since I’m a big guy I began feeling the effects and out of ego I considered trying to fight it and see if I could stay awake but then I realized I didn’t want to be awake for this so I kept going “8…7…” and next thing I know I’m back home in bed.

I have very wishy washy memories of leaning on the nurse as we walked out to where dad had the car but yeah, after a day I was back up and about.

You’ll be fine hon :slight_smile:

I was under general anasthesia just last Thursday for a laparoscopy. That’s the one where they stick a tube down your throat to help you breathe. It’s also where you can’t eat or drink anything for 12+ hours beforehand to keep you from becoming ill. The actually event itself is really a peace of cake: get IV, wait a bit until it’s time, feel loopy all of a sudden when the medicine starts to kick in, then BAM! wake up with people yelling at you (they weren’t really, but that’s what it seemed like to my addled brain). I simply dreamed the entire time I was out. Two hours later, I went home. You’ll probably have a sore throat and need some narcotics for the tooth pain for a few days.

I had my wisdom teeth extracted one at a time as they came in, so I never had anything but local and nitrous. My sister had all four of hers done at once and was put under.

I’m almost 50 and I’m here to report that none of my wisdom teeth have ever come in. I just consider myself to be more highly evolved than some.

Seriously, Kythereia, good luck. As someone who’s had more than his share of oral surgery, it’s amazing how far dentistry has come in the last few years.

I’m 18 and I got all four removed at the same time, with general anesthesia since they hadn’t really come in yet. I was in a lot of pain for about a week, but that’s kind of unusual. As long as you have people to take care of you, it’ll be fine.

I had mine out a year and a half ago, and it was pretty much painless. I had them out under local anesthesia because I have a phobia about vomiting, and general can do that to you. I brought music to listen to on headphones, and they gave me a prescription for tylenol w/ codeine, and I was fine – no swelling, no pain, nothing. It was great! I lost almost 10 pounds because I wasn’t allowed to eat solid foods, I got my husband to wait on me hand and foot , AND I got complete control of the remote. Lovely. :slight_smile:

I had all four of mine out at once a couple years ago. Like yours, they were just under the surface (a couple had a little corner poking out).

They don’t usually give you a general anasthetic unless there are some big problems with your teeth. From the sounds of it, yours are fine and you will just need the local.

I hate the novacaine needle. Hate it with a passion. So what I had them do was give me some laughing gas (to relax me), then I got the twilight sleep (after which life was beautiful and wonderful), then they gave me the novocaine last. I don’t really remember much of anything at all…I remember feeling a tugging in my mouth at one point, but other than that, I might as well have been asleep for an hour. I didn’t even have any pain afterward. Good luck…you’ll be fine!

I had all four wisdom teeth removed under general anesthesia AFTER my mother had frightened me with stories about people dying during this procedure. My surgery went fine; one minute I was counting backwards and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room. I had no complications and was eating solid foods within 48 hours. IIRC, there used to be more problems with people dying under general anesthesia because it was being administered by the same person performing the surgery, who was thus not paying sufficient attention to that part of the process - I believe surgical prodedures these days require a dedicated anesthesiologist.

You guys are all very reassuring and wonderful, and many and many thanks to you. :slight_smile:

I’ve never been under anaesthetic before, and the thought of general kind of creeps me out–especially after reading Cecil’s article about people waking up while still paralyzed–but now I’ll print this thread out and keep it for the consultation. Thank you!