I extracted my bottom third molars yesterday! It was a surgery under local anesthesia, so I wasn’t unconscious or anything, but my gums/chin/lips were all numb. All I felt was pressure, no pain, though I could HEAR the surgeon drilling into my teeth or bone (whichever, I don’t really want to know!).
According to my surgeon (the same one who will be performing my jaw surgery!), the extraction is necessary for all patients who intend to undergo jaw surgery, because the third molars lies in the area where they want to split the jaw and will complicate the procedure. Most do it 6 months before their jaw surgery, although some do it during. If you’re reading this blog, you probably have already extracted them/need to extract them.
For my case, I needed to have them extracted even if I wasn’t going for jaw surgery, because my jaw’s too small to accommodate the extra teeth. It wasn’t that bad really, but I thank the heavens that I don’t have upper third molars, otherwise it’d be twice as horrid! The bottom ones heal faster, I reckon, since gravity = less blood than upper teeth extractions + faster clotting.
Anyway, after spending the previous day worried about post-op pain, I’d like to report that:
- IT’S REALLY NOT THAT BAD. No pain.
- I am a wimp for freaking out about it.
After the surgery, the nurse gave me two packs of gauze (10 pieces in each) and sent me to the pharmacy to pick up my medicine:
- 5 120mg tabs of Arcoxia (painkiller) – taken every morning
- 30 250mg caps of Amoxycillin (antibiotic) – take two after meals
- Kin Gingival Mouthwash – rinse after meals and before bed AFTER THE FIRST 24 HOURS
I’d also like to add that you should pick up MORE gauze at the pharmacy, because those two packs certainly weren’t enough for me, and I’m ultra glad I picked up another pack – otherwise it’d look like a damn bloodbath in my home, and I’ll be trying to salvage the bleeding with tissue (which you should not do, since remnants will get stuck in the teeth socket)
The nurse told me to eat one painkiller immediately when I got home, even if I didn’t feel any pain yet. So I did, while a good part of my face was still numb and everything.
LET ME TELL YOU HOW DIFFICULT THE SEEMINGLY EASY TASK WAS.
Your throat will be parched after the surgery, and it’ll be difficult to swallow. It’s as if your mouth forgot, after all those years, how to shove a small little pill into your throat. That, coupled with the fact that you CANNOT feel water in your mouth and you’ll have no idea how much you poured in, means that you should conduct this messy procedure in front of a mirror, above a sink.
Yes, so this seemingly easy task of swallowing a puny little painkiller ended with a stained shirt + blood everywhere. Don’t risk it folks, don’t risk it. Also, don’t wear a white shirt.
Test the Temperature of Your Food: Lunch was tasteless because my tongue was still numb. That wasn’t so bad. The important thing is to remember to test the temperature of your food with your fingers if you are still numb, because your mouth won’t feel any pain if you get scalded! Also, hot stuff will aggravate swelling.
Don’t Freak Out From All The Blood: If you are going to take a nap (like I did), you might find your gauze soaked, and a huge quantity of blood in your mouth (like I did). You might also freak out about it (like I did). Just remember that it probably isn’t as much blood as it looks, since all that blood mixes with tons of saliva. So just monitor the situation for a while; if you still think you are excessively bleeding, give the clinic a call.
Ice Packs to Reduce Swelling: I also put ice packs around my face, even though I was not swelling yet, since swelling and bruising were highly likely. I think it helped, because I barely swelled today, and my friend’s face was as big as a balloon (okay, an exaggeration. Maybe like a chipmunk.) on Day 2. You can buy those ice packs that strap to your face from the pharmacy, or if you don’t want to spend the money/get out of the house, just DIY! That’s what I did, with two hair ties, and a small pillowcase which I put two bags of ice in. I look like an idiot, but it works – so whatever.
(Edit: Apparently ice packs only work for the first 24 hours, after which you should use heat packs. On Day 3 my swelling worsened, and the ice packs weren’t working anymore, so I switched to heat packs. It did end up helping to reduce the swelling.)
Dry Socket: I freaked out over getting a dry socket, which is an utterly painful condition that can happen when your blood clot is dislodged. However, I haven’t felt any pain yet and the clots are still there, so I reckon all is good. For those of you who are worried about the same thing, just follow the doctor’s/nurse’s instructions and you’ll be fine. Namely, don’t smoke, don’t suck from a straw (just don’t do sucking of any kind, ok?) and don’t prod at your extraction site. Yes, even if food gets stuck there, DON’T PROD. It’s a great test of willpower that you’ll have to overcome.
I believe that is all. No pain yet, minimal swelling – hoping it stays this way. Day 2’s supposed to be the worst, right? Hopefully it all gets better from here.