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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
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    Default Wisdom Teeth (Another dental spin-off...)

    I have four wisdom teeth in the back of my mouth. Luckily for me, they've come in completely straight and have not caused any problems with my other teeth.

    However, because they are *so* far back, they're virtually impossible to floss/brush and I just found out that they have cavities. The dentist wants to remove them, rather than fill the cavities, which I agree with and understand, but I'm petrified! (Not to mention, even after insurance, it's ridiculously expensive—like $300 per tooth!)

    Otherwise, my teeth are excellent and I've never been one with a dental phobia. (My dentist once remarked how calm I was as they were drilling away during a root canal.) But, for some reason, the wisdom teeth thing really squicks me out. I have an oral surgeon consultation next month to see what the damage will be.

    Any COTHer horror stories (or advice)?



  2. #2
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    Mar. 24, 2009
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    Washington
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    Its really not so bad, and I personally hate going to the dentist! The day of all I did was sleep but I was back in the saddle the next day. I never felt the need to take any of the pain meds although I'm sure advil would have helped with the chipmunk cheeks I had for about a week.
    Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006
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    SoCal
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    Default

    This article had some good information on whether its even necessary for many people to have wisdom teeth removed. People don't think about the risks of even minor surgery. If yours came in without an issue, and just need extra attention with cleaning, I would leave them be. Or pay for sealants to help prevent cavities in the future.

    http://news.yahoo.com/parents-sue-te...143224302.html

    The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons strongly recommends that young adults have their wisdom teeth removed to "prevent future problems and to ensure optimal healing." But the science supporting prophylactic extraction is thin.

    "Third-molar surgery is a multibillion-dollar industry that generates significant income for the dental profession," Jay Friedman, a retired California dentist, wrote in the American Journal of Public Health. "It is driven by misinformation and myths that have been exposed before but that continue to be promulgated by the profession."

    American dentists and oral surgeons pull 10 million wisdom teeth each year -- an effort that costs more than $3 billion and leads to 11 million days of post-operative discomfort, according to the report.

    "At least two thirds of these extractions, associated costs, and injuries are unnecessary, constituting a silent epidemic of [physician-induced] injury that afflicts tens of thousands of people with lifelong discomfort and disability," Friedman wrote.
    I had mine out as a teen, but I had no room in my jaw for the teeth to come in. The wisdom teeth would have shoved all of my other teeth out of alignment. I slept all day after the surgery, to the point that the surgeon was alarmed when he called to check on me in the evening and found out I was still asleep. Otherwise I healed fine, although the holes were definitely painful for quite awhile.



  4. #4
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Default

    I am extremely fortunate to have never had wisdom teeth come in at all. I guess I have some good genes after all. I would agree though that you would be better off figuring out how to clean them properly than to go through a painful surgery like that.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2001
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    Here and there
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    Default

    I had mine pulled at 31. I only had three and everyone had to tell me their horror stories of dry sockets and pain and whatnot. Guess what? I had no issues at all. I followed the recommendations of my surgeon and never had a dry socket. I took the prescribed pain med for 1 day, and then decided I didn't need it. Why did I do it? Aside from cleaning issues, my uncle had just had to go through MAJOR jaw surgery to remove his wisdom teeth because the roots had wrapped around his jaw and were causing some serious problems. He didn't do it when he was younger because "it was just a racket for dentists to make money." Guess how much he wishes he had had them done at my age?

    I will say that my oral surgeon wanted to do mine in 2 surgeries and I said he'd better take them all because he was NEVER going to see me again. So he did...
    Not all who wander are lost.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
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    I had mine out when I was 18, and they were growing in sideways. I also have a small mouth, so the extra teeth were causing a crowding issue. I unfortunately experienced swelling and bruising, and the day after the surgery I fainted in the kitchen. Luckily my mom (a nurse) was there and caught me before I hit the floor. I also got dry socket in one of the bottom holes. T3's were my friend that week.
    Proud mother to Matt, a 18 year-old TB gelding.

    FOREVER



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2004
    Location
    Charlotte
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    Default

    I had mine out when I was 18, but mine were impacted somewhere near my sinuses, so they had to go! The only bad part about the surgery is that the anestesia made me really sick, but other than that, everything was fine! I don't remember too much pain, and I know I was eating normally within a day or two. Really, nothing to it. Best of luck to you!!
    "Life is too short to be a slave to the whims of others." -- RugBug, COTH



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
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    Michigan
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    Default

    Oh, I'd vastly rather have a basic extraction than surgery on impacted wisdoms! MUCH easier that way.



  9. #9
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    Feb. 18, 2001
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    Cammie, thanks for that article. I fully agree, but the dentist seems very, very reluctant to leave them in—I would be to if it was gonna make me $2,000! I do think that with extra attention and sealants, they could be just fine so maybe I'll probe a little in that direction next time I'm in.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2006
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    SoCal
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    You're welcome. It does make you wonder how many of the removals are medically necessary.

    I would definitely get a second opinion, but keep in mind if you see a surgeon, odds are good they'll recommend surgery. It is what they do, after all.

    In your case, are you truly doing everything you can do to try and keep those teeth clean? Electric toothbrush, flossing, water-pik, mouthwash, etc., etc.? If you are and are still getting cavities, then that's something to consider. If you haven't been up to task, then that can be a New Year's resolution, one that has a potentially very expensive penalty to it.

    Ask about taking some x-rays, to make sure the roots on those wisdom teeth aren't going to be causing problems. There's no way to tell what may happen years from now, but you can certainly see what is going on at the moment.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2006
    Location
    CA
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    709

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    I had mine out at age 24, after my childhood dentist had told me not to worry about it. Finally they had started breaking my gums and my dentist recommended that I go see an oral surgeon, who told me they were all impacted and should come out. One tooth had to have the roots left in as they were lodged so deeply.

    My brother had a terrible experience that included dry socket. My mother told me horror stories about how anesthesia affects our family and makes us all sick. I discussed my fears with them and they ensured me they would give anti-nausea meds along with the anesthesia, which they normally did anyway.

    The day of the procedure I was horribly nervous, but it wasn't that bad. They used stitches instead of packing the sites where my teeth had been. I spent a few nonchalant days drinking ensure, eating jello, not caring about anything due to Vicodin, and watching a lot of bad television.

    It was really uneventful and once everything had healed, I noticed that a lot of the pressure in my jaw was gone (that I hadn't even noticed) that had always seemed to flare up with headaches. I felt so much better!

    I wish I'd done it sooner. It wasn't nearly as bad as all the horror stories had made out.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 21, 2009
    Location
    Apex, NC
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    Being married to a dentist, I would say have them removed. I don't know what your situation is, or what my DH would say as he isn't here right now. BUT, just think.....if you are irked by the cost of the removal, what kind of expense would it be to have one root canaled and crowned? The dentist would have a hard time getting back into the tooth to do it, as well as fitting a crown might be difficult. My DH would give you the option to do what you want to do and FWIW, removal is generally the less expensive option. The oral surgeon will more than likely be more than extractions at the dentist office. The oral surgeon can give you the good drugs though, not just the usual lidocaine. And if you do follow the care instructions afterwards, you are less likely to have the problems of the "horror stories". Good luck with it all :-)



  13. #13
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    Jul. 21, 2003
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    St Aug, Fla
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    You can not place sealants on teeth that have been restored. Sealants are for virgin teeth that have deep fissures (the grooves) to fill them in so they aren't so deep and easier to clean. They do not prevent cavities.

    If you cannot properly care for them due to their location then take them out. Even if you restore them, you will end up with recurrent decay because you still can't clean them. You should be aware it is not only decay you have to worry about. If you cannot floss properly then you will end up with gum infections and bone loss which then effects the other teeth.

    I work for a general dentist but we do very involved treatment including surgery (extractions, implants, bone grafting, etc). 99% of the time if the wisdom teeth are fully erupted they are straight forward in taking out. Location, accessibility, and root anatomy, nerve location are factors in difficulty. Personally with having four out, I would see an oral surgeon merely for personal comfort and less time in the chair.

    Dentist are in the business of SAVING teeth. ESP if he's referring you out, he's not just recommending it for money.

    If you follow instructions you will do fine. People end up with dry sockets due to not following instructions. ESP if you smoke. We take teeth out every week. Full mouth extractions. No problems.
    ~~~~~~~~~

    Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!



  14. #14
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    Jun. 7, 2005
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    Rochester, NY
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    Default

    Could be worse....I had 5. Yes, 5 wisdom teeth. A little floater was way up in my jaw. My brother did too, actually, so maybe it runs in my genes.

    I chose to be knocked out completely, which I'm really glad I did. It really wasn't that bad. The first few days after removal were a bit rough, but once the pain subsided I was glad I had them out. Mine were coming in crooked, and were really painful. About a week after I had them removed, I felt a lot better.
    <3 Vinnie <3
    1992-2010
    Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2006
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    Middle of Nowhere, take a right, FL
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    I never had mine removed. I think one or two might have been filled over the years, I don't remember. Mine are way back there too but you can keep them clean, you just have to spend extra time, may be get dental cleaning devices or something.
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
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    north of the Arctic Circle
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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Oh, I'd vastly rather have a basic extraction than surgery on impacted wisdoms! MUCH easier that way.
    This. If yours have already come in more or less straight, it's not even really surgery, just extractions. Most people who have serious pain, dry sockets, etc afterward have had impacted teeth taken out. Often those impacted teeth have to be broken into pieces before they can be extracted, so that causes additional trauma to the jaw, hence the problems with pain and dry sockets.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2008
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    458

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Ridge View Post
    I have four wisdom teeth in the back of my mouth. Luckily for me, they've come in completely straight and have not caused any problems with my other teeth.

    However, because they are *so* far back, they're virtually impossible to floss/brush and I just found out that they have cavities. The dentist wants to remove them, rather than fill the cavities, which I agree with and understand, but I'm petrified! (Not to mention, even after insurance, it's ridiculously expensive—like $300 per tooth!)

    Otherwise, my teeth are excellent and I've never been one with a dental phobia. (My dentist once remarked how calm I was as they were drilling away during a root canal.) But, for some reason, the wisdom teeth thing really squicks me out. I have an oral surgeon consultation next month to see what the damage will be.

    Any COTHer horror stories (or advice)?
    My situation was the same as yours. I just had mine taken out a few weeks ago and it went easy as pie! I too was nervous and heard horror stories. I was a little freaked because I never had a tooth pulled. It did not go under or go loopy - I had Novocaine only. They did all four at one (which I recommend) and the bottom ones were a little harder to pull than the tops ones. I didn't even realize they pulled the top ones!! My bottom left had split roots so they had to break the tooth (it ended up with stitches). That was more uncomfortable to pull but it did not hurt.

    The only thing that really freaked me out was my numb tongue due to the numbing gel/Novocaine. At first it worried me but I had to rationally think that I was not going to swallow my tongue and that the dentist had it under control.

    I had no virtually no problems during healing. Right after leaving and while I was filling my Rx, talking was impossible because of the numbness. It took 6 hours before the numbness went away! Before the surgery I stocked up on my homemade chicken broth and soft foods (yogurt, pudding, jello, mashed tators). My husband came up with a great protein shake for wisdom teeth extractions - 1 scoop vanilla ice cream flavored protein powder, no sugar added chocolate ice cream, and smart balance milk (with extra protein and omega-3s).

    The first night, sleep in a recliner or in a position that elevates your head. I was so worried that I wasn't clotting properly because I was using a lot of cotton pads. I slept in the recliner that night and the clots formed while I was sleeping. Elevating the head helps with clotting.

    The three holes that did not need stitches healed quickly (not healed, but clotted I guess. It can take up to a couple months for the hole to fully close). The one with stitches took more and was more irritating.

    Sorry for the book.. but hopefully I've helped!

    BTW - $300/tooth is pricey! Mine was $650 for all 4. Don't feel bad about checking around for prices, but make sure it is a dentist you can trust



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2003
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    itty bitty town, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatPS View Post
    This. If yours have already come in more or less straight, it's not even really surgery, just extractions. Most people who have serious pain, dry sockets, etc afterward have had impacted teeth taken out. Often those impacted teeth have to be broken into pieces before they can be extracted, so that causes additional trauma to the jaw, hence the problems with pain and dry sockets.
    Mine were not impacted and all four came in straight, but they were developing quite a few cavities so after long and serious thought, because of my terror, I had them removed all at once. They totally knocked me out and I woke up looking like a chipmunk. Pain was not bad...until I developed dry socket in three of them. Having them medicinally packed before I went to work in the mornings is not something I would ever want to repeat. That being said, there is now strong evidence that women on birth control can more easily develop dry sockets. I don't know if that is what caused mine but I was on birth control at the time.
    Susan N.

    Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.



  19. #19
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    New England
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    All 4 of mine came up straight with plenty of room. My dentist marvels at them, and the hygenists always say "MY! You have so many teeth!" No one else in my family has such straight ones, they all had em out.

    My dentist tried to talk me into getting them pulled. Why? He wanted my money basically. I have had one cavity, but up front on the side between 2 teeth. I'm 31. Don't F*** with my mouth unless you need to!
    mykidshavefourlegs.blogspot.com



  20. #20
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    Apr. 4, 2010
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    yonder a bit, GA
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    I had all 4 removed when I was 18 under general anesthesia. I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and woke up sick and TERRIFIED and paranoid as all get out... but that passed after 30 minutes or so. Thank goodness!!

    First two days I needed the meds, and I *knew* when my next dose was due because it started to hurt. In total I had 4 days of ice packs, jello, and general feeling icky with feeling the stitches in my mouth. That was truthfully more gross than painful per se. I just felt really tired, and puffy, and BLAH.
    I would call my mom from the basement when the ice packs were too melted (SO lucky to have mama babying me, lol!!!), switch sides that were being iced at the mid-point of every HGTV/TLC makeover show, tip jello to the back of my throat... and my dad would come check on his 'little chipmunk' every now and then, lol.

    It was Winter Break and I felt like I was missing SO much of it, so that wasn't helping

    Day 5 post-op, however I woke up feeling AWESOME. Perfectly back to normal, showered and went to the mall



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