Hi Dopers! Long time no lurky/posty but I’ve been busy with my first year of grad school. Future librarians unite!!!
So I just went through oral hell. The two lower wisdom teeth were impacted and causing infection, and the upper right was decayed (mostly because it had never occured to me to do that flip-top head thing to brush behind it, like in the Reach brand toothbrush commercial). Only the two impacted ones were covered by insurance, so I scheduled to have the third pulled free-of-chage in my dentist’s office.
Well, last Monday I get to the appointment at the oral surgeon’s expecting to have nothing to pay for – I CAN’T pay for anything, I just paid for summer classes! – and I’m immediately hit up for the $450 anesthesiology fee. After crying on my fiancee’s shoulder in the lobby, I secure a temp loan from him to pay the fee and proceed with the surgery. Since the third tooth will only be $215 on top of the anesthesiology, I say “what the hell” and agree to have that one pulled too. Might as well get it done all at once.
They put me under, and after what seems like seconds later I’m awake again and staggering to the little recovery bench. I have no pain for the first 24 hours, though the local anesthetic sure takes a long time to wear off. In fact, 48 hours after the surgery, my entire lower left lip, chin and teeth are still numb! I’m dribbling food and water on myself like and idiot. I call the oral surgeon in a panic, and he calls me in the next morning for a quick consultation.
“As I told you before the surgery,” he says (NO HE DIDN’T TELL ME BEFOREHAND!!!), “the left root was sitting right atop a nerve and was pretty difficult to get out. So the root is pinching the nerve that controls your lower jaw, causing the numbness. IT CAN TAKE WEEKS TO MONTHS TO GO AWAY. Just wait it out.”
Oh, lordy. I got a second opinion from my doc, and he says it’s perfectly normal and if it’s still bothering me in a few weeks to make an appointment with him. In the meantime, I’m drinking liquids at work with a straw, I can’t talk without biting my lip, and my smile is pretty darn lopsided.
As for poetential permanent damage? I talked to a friend whom I’ve known for 9 years, and I just now found out he has permanent numbness in the same areas as me. He has to be careful when he shaves or he slices skin right off. I am thinking positively that mine will wear off eventually, and hey, it could be a lot worse – I could be in agonizing pain instead.
OK DOPERS: I want your wisdom tooth extraction hell stories, please! The more macabre, the better! Let’s wallow in self-pity with one another!!!