It all started with a pulsating dull ache at the back of my jaw. Months later, the ache still refused to go away. Heeding the advice of a few friends, I went on to visit Unity Denticare (Raffles Place Branch) to get my teeth checked.
The dentist assigned to me was Dr. Adrian Lee Aik Sheng (BDs, National University of Singapore, Grad Dip Dental Implantology (Singapore), National University of Singapore), a fairly young – but experienced dentist nonetheless. Upon the X-Ray examination, Dr. Lee told me that I had four “impacted” wisdom teeth and that I MUST get them surgically removed. GASP!
Fun fact: I learnt recently that this is a modern day medical problem, i.e. it did not happen to our ancestors. Because our foods are softer, our jaws are unable to fully develop. Also meaning, we’re wayy too pampered compared to our ancestors.
If you’re lucky, your wisdom teeth are positioned correctly and you won’t need to remove them. However, in many unlucky individuals (such as myself), our wisdom teeth do not have sufficient room to grow properly and may cause problems.
It was mostly out of fear of the rumoured pain that I started delving into my week-long research into wisdom teeth surgery. Apparently, if the impacted wisdom teeth are not removed, it can cause various complications such as :
- Incessant pain
- Periodontitis (Gum disease) like swollen or bleeding gums and bad breath
- Damage to surrounding teeth
- Extensive tooth decay
- Difficulty in opening up the mouth
- Fluid-filled cysts & tumours (in a few rare cases)
So I decided to just go ahead to do the wisdom tooth surgery and stop procrastinating…
“My surgery day”
On D-Day itself, I had a heavy breakfast consisting of my favourite fried bee hoon, knowing fully well that I will not be able to eat solid food for around a week after the surgery.
After filling up some paperwork and the Medisave forms (FYI, it is Medisave-claimable only if you are going for wisdom teeth surgery for impacted teeth!), I entered the room when my name was called. Though anxious knowing that it would hurt, I was also excited that I would be getting rid of the pain I have been suffering from all these months! I sat down on that large, fateful dentist chair and let Dr. Lee administer FOUR local anaesthesia injections into my gums.
To be honest, that was pretty painful and scary; but after a while, the anaesthesia kicked in and I was not able to feel anything. Just like Dr. Lee has promised, I did not feel any pain during the surgery, which I was really thankful for.
When the wisdom teeth removal was completed, Dr. Lee stitched my gums up and placed a gauze over the holes. After around 45 mins, the surgery was finally completed! There was a dull ache at where the teeth used to be, but otherwise, my mouth just felt numb. I was given antibiotics, painkillers and some gauze to bite on to stop the bleeding and was told to come back on the 4th post-op day to remove the stitches.
Oh, there was also five days of MC given! Yay.
The nurse told me that my face may be swollen these few days and it was good to stay home to rest. Thankfully my face was actually fine post-op and there wasn’t much swelling; but it was a good break from work nonetheless!
“My total bill for my wisdom teeth surgery”
This was how much I paid for my wisdom teeth surgery (after deductions using Medisave):
|Impacted Wisdom Teeth Surgery||$1,100|
“My post-op recovery experience”
As the anaesthesia gradually wears off in 3 – 4 hours, the pain in the gum started kicking in. I was told to take the painkillers regularly and I found it particularly helpful. My jaws were swollen and stiff, and there was a bruising sensation. Ice packs greatly helped (thanks to the research that I did previously!).
As instructed, I went back to see Dr. Lee on 4th day post-op to remove the stitches. After around a week or so, my wound has pretty much recovered.
“My very own wisdom tooth surgery recovery tips”
If you are going for wisdom teeth surgery like me, here are some tips which may be helpful for you during your post-op recovery:
- Bite on the pieces of gauze given to stop excessive bleeding from the gum
- Use a straw to drink, but do not suck too hard as there is a tendency for the blood clots to loosen and started bleeding again.
- Don’t gargle too vigorously (for similar reasons!)
- Use mouthwash to clean your mouth instead of brushing for the first few days after the surgery as your gums will feel tender.
- Eat liquids and soft diet (I found myself turning to mash potato and ice-cream every so often during my recovery.)
- Avoid strenuous activity for the first five days after the surgery (you probably won’t feel like doing much anyway).
I hope this post was helpful for you if you’re going for your wisdom tooth op, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. I know it can be scary to sit in that dentist’s chair, but I would say it was a fairly easy surgery and those of you who are feeling pain from your wisdom tooth, definitely go for it so you won’t need to tolerate the sufferings any longer!
 Mayo Clinic (Dec 03, 2016). Wisdom Teeth Removal: When is it necessary? Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wisdom-teeth/expert-answers/wisdom-teeth-removal/faq-20058558 (Assessed: 13 December 2019)