Lacking Wisdom

Reprinted from May 17th, 2010



Have you had your wisdom teeth removed?  I have.  And I have the stories to share.


I think it was back in ’89 that I had to have my wisdom teeth pulled.  My plan of attack was to have my upper and lower wisdom teeth pulled from my right side first.  That way, at least I could chew on my left side, right?  No, I mean left side, correct?


So I made my appointment with the surgeon and Paula drove me to the office.  The surgeon numbed me up good and started getting to work.  My wisdom teeth were impacted, meaning that they were already pushing against my molars.  And it was under my gums so the doctor had to first cut my gums to get to them.  With my eyes closed and ears open, I could only guess what he was doing.


I heard him drilling into my tooth again and again – like he was trying to split it into two pieces.  Then with his pliers, he grabbed them.  I could hear crunching as he twisted and pulled the pieces out.  Then he stitched up the gums and repeated the whole process again on the lower tooth.


After it was all done, I had a wad of gauze to soak up the blood, and an ice pack to hold on to the side of my face to keep the swelling down.


Then we headed to the pharmacy to pick up some Tylenol 3 (the one with codeine).


Even though I took the medicine before the pain wore off, it didn’t help.  And it took all night before the bleeding finally stopped.


All week I had to use a curved syringe after each meal to rinse out any food particles that might have gotten in the puka where my tooth used to be.  It hurt like the dickens (okay, it hurt like something else) when the pointed tip of the curved syringe just touched the affected area.  But I survived.  I returned in 1 week to have the stitches removed.


Then around 6 months later, I went back to have the 2 wisdom teeth from the other side removed.  I figured I was a veteran at it so I wasn’t going to play it up too much.  I was prepared.  Pretty routine.  Numb, cut the gum, drill the tooth into two and pull out the pieces.




The upper one came out without a problem.  But when it came to the lower one…


When I heard the surgeon grunting as he was trying to remove the lower tooth, I should’ve know something was up.  Then he brought out a hammer.  Yes, a hammer.  As his pliers grabbed my tooth, he began hammering the pliers upwards to get that tooth out.  He was determined.  I ended up with a black and blue jaw.  I could actually see the bruise along the jaw line of my face.


My mouth was packed with gauze again, and I was holding the ice pack against my face again as I left.


But I was relieved.  All my wisdom teeth were out and I won’t have to go through such an ordeal ever again.


A week later I returned to get the stitches removed.  I was feeling good.  I pressed the elevator button with a smile.  When the door opened, I saw a girl coming out – holding an ice pack to her face.


That was the quickest I ever lost a smile.


Did you have your wisdom teeth extracted?  What was your experience like?  How about a root canal?  That’s one thing I’m not looking forward to (knock on wood).  We want to hear your stories.



Coming up this Sunday (4/14/13) – a benefit for our own Sassydog


31 Responses to “Lacking Wisdom”

  1. DIO says:

    Kage: If you’re wondering why :mrgreen: didn’t work in your first post, it’s because you used the * key, instead of the : key.

  2. Mark'75 says:

    I still got that wisdom tooth with the twisted roots. somewhere.

  3. Kage says:

    Oh, how come it did not work?

    gotta get it right. 🙁

  4. Kage says:

    For years I after I did not go to the dentist.
    I finally went because of the need for root canals. According to xrays I only needed two.

    After the dentist completed the one another tooth started to hurt. It did not show any decay but hurt like a ….. I soon got my third root canal.

    I think back and wonder why I put up with all that pain and stink breath. Now I go to my dentist every 6 months. *mrgreen*

  5. Kage says:

    When I had my two bottom teeth extracted it was the worst night of my life. I could not eat anything except a little bit of soup. I was so hungry. I took the pain killers and thought I was dying. My stomach cramped because of the meds and no food.

  6. Kage says:

    I still have my two top wisdom teeth. They emerged about 3 years ago. They are growing sideways into my mouth. Kinda funky.

    My dentist says they should not be removed because there is a chance the hole may be too close to my sinuses. Plus at my *ahem* age, the teeth are so set in the bone it makes it harder to remove. Since they are not bothering me, leave them alone.

  7. Rodney says:

    Does anyone still have their removed wisdom teeth? I got mine stored in a little pill container.

  8. 4G says:

    In addition to the “crunching” sound, I remember a “squeaking” sensation/sound. I assume this was due to the cutting of the gums.

    The taste of my own blood (not that I’ve tasted anyone else’s!) still nauseates me to this day.


  9. KAN says:

    Ok, here’s KAN posting under her own account! (Wish Sweetie would get his own log-in, but at least he posts.)

    Like kellyk, reading all these entries made me all nauseated.

    Like sally says, I was one of the “old”-kine extractions, did one side at a time. Until Rod & Masako talked about theirs, I had forgotten about the syringes used to “irrigate” the pukas. Ugh.

    I got the first side extracted *right before* starting my Liberty House training at Ala Moana. All I could manage to eat was saimin (painfully) and chocolate pudding. A lot of my register training was a haze because I was either hungry or sore. I’m still not crazy about chocolate pudding to this day.

    This is also how I found out I’m allergic to penicillin – my dentist prescribed it to ward off any possible infections. I got hives all over.

  10. jaydee says:

    After the implant I get to do the other dreaded MLC procedure….

    Colonoscopy! Ouch!

  11. Rodney says:

    @Sweetie – 5!?! FIVE!?! That’s like… supernumerary! 😉

  12. KAN says:

    Here goes Sweetie, again “borrowing” KAN’s account (we must stop meeting like this…)

    I’ve had several root canals, as well as wisdom-tooth removal. The “crunching” sound Rodney described stays in my mind decades later.

    It was when I had my wisdom teeth removed that I first learned a new word: “supernumerary” – exceeding the usual, stated, or prescribed number. Because I had FIVE wisdom teeth.

    But I had ’em all removed, so I is not extry-smartses no more now.

  13. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers 🙂

  14. jaydee says:

    I had my wisdom teeth pulled out (right side only) when I was around 23. The Oral Surgeon had mr sedated so I was out like a light; never felt anything. Until afterwards but the pain killer took care of that.
    Recently I had an infected tooth pulled and the dentist pulled it out. I asked about sedation and he said I would have to schedule that with an Oral Surgeon, blah, blah, blah. I told him pull it. Even after he numbed my whole left side of my mouth that was the most painful experience of my life! Now comes the implant! Yikes!

  15. Rodney says:

    @volleymom2 – Chipmunks are cute!

  16. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers! 🙂

  17. volleymom2 says:

    I dont remember having any problems getting my wisdom teeth out, but at first my dentist decided to do one (bottom). I dont know what happened but he got scared cuz he said I started to turn white so I went to an oral surgeon. I was too chicken to get one side done so I chose to go back 4 times which didnt bother me. The bottom one was impacted and I remember hearing the cracked sound. Rod- it is harder to get the bottom ones out because the roots are longer. My daughter decided to get 4 out just before prom and asked her uncle… will I be okay and not look like a chimpmunk? He said- you will have chimpmunk face, reschedule . Root canal?? never had one yet, knock on wood, but I heard its so much better now than it was when we were younger.

  18. Rodney says:

    @kellyk – “you buys botta furry uff wiff by fills!” <-- like playing Chubby Bunny! lol

  19. dihudfan says:

    wuz 14 or 15 when I broke my molar… ume seed in a musubi, so extraction wuz pretty fast, but painful… then 6 months laddahs… broke molar on the oddah side… almond roca… same mo same mo…
    also had a root canal… about 20 years ago… wuz really scared before the procedure… had many people tell me how horrible it wuz goin be… but to my surprise it went really well, no pain and not too much bleeding, in fact wuz goin jogging, but my friends advised me not too… dentist is one place I dislike goin to……. ugh…

  20. kailua girl says:

    I’ve managed to escape having my wisdom teeth removed and I only have the lower ones. I figured, at my age…if they haven’t shifted my teeth by now, it won’t. (knock on wood)

    My husband had his wisdom teeth removed by an oral surgeon and when he woke up from the anesthesia, he asked the doctor if he pulled them yet. He didn’t remember a thing! He then said, “Wow, this is just GREAT!!! This is what I need when I have to fly to N.Y. or Europe!” Geez, give me a break, he travels first class on all of his business trips!

    So…if any of you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, I suggest being knocked out completely vs. having the traumatic memories of the doctor drilling, hammering and yanking!!!

    I for one, HATE the dentist and am gripping the side rails when I have a filling done. Curse all that candy and crack seed I ate growing up. Who flossed when they were a kid, or brushed for three minutes? I most certainly do NOW!!! If only my kids would listen to me!

  21. Mark'75 says:

    @kellyk: “…looked like jay leno.” 😆 😆 😆

  22. kellyk says:

    ugh, reading about the experiences makes me nauseous. mainly because my own experience was horrible. I had all 4 of my wisdoms taken out at the same time. the dentist said that although my wisdom teeth hadn’t poked out of my gums yet, he could see in the xrays they were close. and since I was about to turn 18, my parent’s insurance wasn’t going to cover me after my birthday so he suggested I get them out asap. I was numb for the whole thing so I felt nothing, but I did hear all the creepy noises exactly like you described, Rodney. he had to get way down in there to be able to grab onto those teeth, digging around and yanking….ugh makes me want to throw up thinking about it. after it was over he gave me a scrip for pain meds and I went promptly to longs. while I was waiting for them to call my name, the anesthetic started to wear off. I felt pain like I’ve never felt before in my life – and I was hit by a car when i was 12. I went to the counter near tears and told the clerk, “you guys gotta hurry up with my pills!” except with the gauze in my mouth and the pain that came with moving it, it came out more like “you buys botta furry uff wiff by fills!” she understood well enough and took pity on me and put me next in line. I dry swallowed as many as I was allowed as soon as she handed me the bottle. it hurt to eat so I didn’t eat. I only drank milkshakes and took my pills as often as the scrip allowed, sometimes more 🙂 a week later I went back to the surgeon to get the stitches out and he said, “wow, you’re infected”. so that explains why my jaw was swollen and I looked like jay leno. he gave me antibiotics and not long after, i was back to normal.

    cut to the present. my dentist grudgingly said i needed a root canal. i told him, “yah go ahead, i can handle.”

  23. LINDA KATO says:

    Good morning MLCers ❗ Happy Monday ❗ 😀

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

    I chose to have my wisdom teeth removed one side at a time so I could chew on the other side. No problems with both oral surgeries.

    My children chose to do 4 at a time while under our dental insurance. They all took sally’s advice and let their parent’s pay! Smart move ❗ 😀

  24. lowtone123 says:

    Remember it all too well. Had three of the four pulled in one crack. My dentist warned me in advanced that the first one would come out witgh little problem since it was coming out anyway. The other two, well, was the part I remember why I hate going to the dentist and I tell my kids to take care of their teeth. First came the local anesthetic which came in the form of several shots from a rather intimidating looking needle. Once it took effect (I punched myself in the jaw several times to confirm this), he proceeded to use A LOT of force to remove the teeth. The crunch sound of thre teeth being ripped away from my gums is what I’ll never forget. Followed by wads and wads of gauze to stop the bleeding. Like you, I had to keep wads of gauze in my mouth followed by rinsing my mouth with water to flush the area and keep food from getting stuck in the puka where the teeth were. Don’t remember if stitches were involved but I wished my dentist had laughing gas and just knocked me out so I didn’t had to face that whole ordeal. He was old school kine.

  25. sally says:

    Root Canal Treatment is duck soup. It’s the pain from the infection that causes the pain, not the procedure. The procedure cleans out the infection that relieves the pain. I’ve had 5 done already, all from “natural death” of the nerve, as opposed to from decay that entered the nerve chamber.

    First three were done by my then boss’ friend (an endodontist). The last two was done by my boss. We always tell patients to expect some level of pain in the post op, but when we call them in the evening and the next day, I have never had a patient who had to take more than an Advil.

    Doesn’t mean it could never be sore, just that being sore is a whole lot rarer an event than the cartoon toothache picture.

  26. sally says:

    My GP extracted my two lower wisdom teeth when I was 18. One was partial bony impaction and the other was complete bony impaction, and the only logical way to get them out is to section and lift. It was done under simple local anesthesia and post op was non-eventful. My uppers never did form, thank you Mother Nature.

    These days, most patients will elect to extract all four at one time. The theory used to be one side at a time so you can eat on the other. It rarely works out that way. Patients would much rather get it over with.

    My advice to young ‘uns is to get it done while you’re young and still under your parents’ insurance and they pay the bill *hee hee* PLUS it’s easier to manipulate while the bone is “younger”.

  27. Masako says:

    Root canal! Another fun topic! LOL I have four root canals. Three were done by my dentist and the last one was done at an Endodontist. Any future ones(hopefully none) will be done at the Endodontist.

    The best way to describe a root canal is like a three hour cavity. Not only do you bear the pain of the novacaine injection and the drilling, but my jaws were so sore. I have a small mouth so the dentist has a hard time working on me, so I think a root canal is a real challenge for him. Basically they are killing the nerve than taking all the tissue and decay. Then they fill it with something than have to take impressions to make a temporary and permanent crown. The process just seems to take forever.

    For some reason, the last one he sent me to a specialist. The novacaine shots still hurt but the rest of it seemed to be much faster and less pain than when the dentist did it. I commented that to the Endodontist and he told me “well i;m a specialist”. So if I have to do another one i’ll tell my dentist that I rather go to the Endodontist.

  28. Masako says:

    Good morning! Wisdom teeth……I was in high school and had just gotten my braces off. My Orthodonist recommended that I remove my wisdom teeth before they erupted so it wouldn’t ruin the job he just did straightening out my teeth. My mom set up a consultation with the oral surgeon that my dentist recommended.

    My dentist knew me well and he called the oral surgeon to warn him about me because the first thing the surgeon said is that we were going to pull out all four at once, because if he did only two I wouldn’t return back to finish the job.

    I was scared ____less but I didn’t have a choice in the matter. I went in, got numbed up and he started cutting. He and his assistant were so nice and calm, explained what they were doing and he kept apologizing for the pain he was causing me. He had to drill a little but I think they came out easily. He stitched it up and did it on the other three teeth. In the end it wasn’t so bad as I thought. He told me that since the teeth haven’t had time to grow and get impacted, it was a pretty easy extraction. I think it bled for about a day and I had to use that shringe thingy that Rod talked about after I ate. It was a pain in the butt.

    Im just glad that Its something I only have to do once, no more wisdom teeth anymore. My daughter got hers out when she was 17 or 18. My son better hurry up and do his before they get impacted.

  29. M says:

    Hello MCLers!
    I still have all 4 of my wisdom teeth and it doesn’t have to come out.

  30. Mark'75 says:

    @Rodney: My experience was like yours. The oral surgeon I was sent to had forearms like Popeye and a vise grip handshake. I thought, ‘uh oh, I’m in trouble.’ He took out the bottoms first and later the tops.

    The prying, wrenching, and crunching happened, but oddly, only the bottoms were stitched. He left the top holes open and just told me to swish out whatever food stuffs get into the holes until they close up. It was suprising how much food comes out of those holes! Tylenol with codeine…great stuff!

    One tooth gave him problems prying out. When he held up the bloodied tooth, I saw the roots were crooked and twisted. It looked unusual, so I asked him for it.

    About a month later, the back of one of my top molars broke off. It probably cracked while the wisdom tooth was being wrenched out.

  31. Masako says:


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