Hello from my bloated gums and face. I had an impacted wisdom tooth extracted yesterday, and I’m just so glad to finally tick this off my checklist. I’ve been putting it off for months, and I even got sick before my original surgery schedule. This really deserves a huge sigh of relief.
A combination of trust in the Lord (seriously!) and trust in my dentist helped to boost my confidence and actually get me excited (weird, I know) about the procedure. I was a bit worried about feeling pain having already experienced getting 2 of my upper molars out, but I was generally more enthused and just wanted to get it over with as I have accepted it as a part of #adulting.
Side note: I love the dental clinic that I go to in Eastwood. It’s called Smileability Dental Clinic, and I’ve been going there since 2014 for cleaning, check-ups and permanent/temporary filling. My usual dentist is Doc Sara, and she’s pretty awesome–very welcoming, and not masungit at all even when I’m makulit and ask a lot of questions. My favorite thing about their clinic though is how friendly the receptionist and the assistants are. We banter and joke around whenever I visit. My mom also goes to Smileability for her dental needs, and we’re about to line up my sisters. If you aren’t convinced to try them out yet (they are accredited by Maxicare anyway), you should know that Marc Nelson also goes there. So, if you are #blessed like me yesterday, you’ll have a chance to sit beside him in the waiting area, get a quick smile from him, and move your foot to let him pass by. Hahahaha!
Before I had my procedure, I may have bugged 10+ friends regarding their wisdom tooth extraction experience. So that you won’t have to ask me in person (I’m not masungit, I’m just efficient lolz), here are some things I have learned wisdom tooth extraction (and life) through personally going through the process:
- Do not scrimp on yourself. I asked around and found out that there were some dentists who were offering wisdom tooth extraction for a low low price of 3,000-4,000 pesos. That’s such a “steal” considering that mine caused my wallet to take an 8,000-peso hit. I do not have regrets though, since I was worry-free about the procedure and I realized that it was something that I had to do for me. I’d pay 20,000 pesos to buy a gaming console. What’s half of it for my health? Also, I’m so distrusting when it comes to medical/dental procedures, so I can only imagine the stress that I would’ve gone through if I picked a new dentist for an important procedure. I’m not saying here that it has to be expensive to be good, but I’d suggest that you go with your usual dentist no matter how much it might cost you because…
- You need to do it with someone you trust. Just like how you wouldn’t get into something serious with somebody you do not know, it doesn’t make sense at all to undergo this procedure with someone you just met. If you trust people and are not bothered by having a stranger working on your mouth for two hours, then good for you. For me though, it mattered that I already was comfortable with my dentist and dental clinic. I had so many questions pre- and post-procedure, and I was brave to ask them ’cause I knew the people already.
- Don’t overthink it. For the first time in my life (a hyperbole, maybe), I did not overthink something. I just sat on the dental chair, ready for the experience, just trusting that God will take care of the outcome. It felt good. I did not spend my precious time in fear or worry while Googling wisdom tooth extractions gone wrong. I just wish I can apply this learning to other areas of my life.
- Come prepared. While you do not need to overthink, you still need to come prepared. I drank the meds I was required to drink 1 hour before the procedure (amoxicillin, hemostan and paracetamol). I wore comfy clothes, as I didn’t want to feel cold for 2 hours. I freed up my day and took a sick leave. This honestly helped in keeping me at peace before, during and even after the procedure–knowing that I did my part.
- Use your “downtime” to reflect/relax. I am fortunate enough that I had my procedure when the dental clinic already moved to their new office at the 11F. The dental chair was facing the roof-to-floor glass window and I had a nice view of Quezon City/Marikina. It was relaxing, and helped me not to think about the slight pain in my mouth or the time it was taking for the procedure (mine took more than an hour). When I couldn’t stare outside, I just closed my eyes and thought happy thoughts (e.g. Marc Nelson, Nate Archibald) and relished the moment of not having to be in the office. Haha.
- This too shall pass. Despite my generally pleasant experience, it is a known fact that it’s difficult to have your mouth open for almost 2 hours. I wanted the procedure to be done. Also, some minutes into the procedure, I heard Doc Sara mentioning something about having difficulty taking out part of my tooth. I chose to ignore, and just assumed that it was a common occurrence, but I must admit, there was a slight concern on my end. Towards the end of the procedure, I was even coughing up that I felt like I was gonna choke since I had all these dental apparatus in my mouth and I was having a slightly tough time breathing. But, I knew that all was well when the dental assistant exclaimed a “Praise the Lord” followed by Doc Sara pulling out the last piece of my tooth’s roots. I breathed an inward sigh of relief. All difficult things come to an end.
- It’s not as bad as you think it is. Doc Sara caution me about bleeding, swelling and pain after the procedure and I was scared that I would not be able to function for a week. Surprisingly, upon getting home, I just had a one-time gauze replacement and the bleeding already stopped. There was pain and discomfort, but I just slept it out. When I woke up today, my cheek and gums were swollen, but the pain was very tolerable. I was even able to take a call with my boss earlier, though speaking has been very difficult. Right now as I type, I am feeling very uncomfortable–as if someone stuffed a huge chunk of cotton balls inside my mouth. It’s tough to eat food–solid and liquid alike. Yet, it is not as bad as I expected. Thank God. The major thing that I do not like post-procedure is that I cannot exercise. How sad. (Wow.)
- Take care. I normally am one who will not follow directions for “taking care” of myself. This is part of my being a pseudo-independent woman. Haha. This time though, I actually read through the brochure given out about post-procedure care and I followed it almost down to a T. I used cold compress, I gargled with salt solution, etcetera. Sometimes, we really have to follow the rules and stop being a rebel when it’s actually better for us :)
Unflattering photo of me pre-actual procedure. That is disinfectant all over my mouth that made it yellow/orange. Also, already had anesthesia so I couldn’t feel the right side of my fez.