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Author Topic: Wisdom Teeth
origami_jane
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(This goes here, right? I never can tell between this section and the body/soul one.)

I already had X-rays done last June that showed that all four of my wisdom teeth are impacted... and now I'm starting to feel one of them poke through the gum. It's a little sore when I chew on that side, but nothing too serious. I should probably have them taken out before college because I'm going to be an eight-hour drive from my family, and I'm on a scholarship that is going to make missing class time nigh impossible.

My problem is that I have a severe phobia of going to the dentist. As in, I have panic attacks in the waiting room, actively fight the anesthesia because I do not want procedures done, and when I was little, I actually kicked the hygenist and ran.

I guess my point is--could you guys share your experiences? Have you gotten or do you think there's a way I could get Valium or Xanax or something just to calm me down for it? Will it mean getting a prescription from my normal doctor? (I'm 18, by the way. I checked on the website, and they said neither drug was tested for people under 18.)

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Heather
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OH, I feel your pain. LIterally, I had HORRID troubles with my wisdom teeth, and had bad childhood dental experiences AND gross poverty, so getting them taken care of, I went through similar.

Until I got to the point where I had to go in as an emergency.

And to be honest, for myself, the pain of getting them removed and healing didn't compare to the pain I was feeling with them in and impacted.

You can ask for both gas AND anaesthetic. I'd have to double check, but I think using a sedative beforehand might interfere with the gas or anaesthesia, so you'd have to ask your dentist first: you don't want to wind up not being able to have gas/anaesthesia. They do WAY more than a Xanax could do.

One also helpful thing is having a walkman or iPod, IME. Having some tunes you love in your ears can be a big comfort.

Also, it sometimes helps a lot to talk to a dentist in advance, on the phone, about dental phobias. When they're aware that's up, they usually go out of their way to make the experience as chill and comfortable as possible.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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origami_jane
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They tried to give me gas before when I was supposed to have a root canal (I chipped my front tooth in half when I was hit in the face with a metal snow shovel as a kid, and they thought with the root canal they could put something in my tooth to stablize the cap), but I fought that too. It did absolutely nothing for me.

But I've had stitches in my face that I actually watched them sew in (because it was on my chin), gone a week with my arm broken in three places, and played in a football game with a broken finger. I'm no stranger to pain, it's just the dentist that freaks me out. Even writing this post, I can feel my stomach getting tight.

I guess I can try and get them taken out in May, after my AP tests. Can't miss those either. Maybe I can go to a new oral surgeon too. I don't like my dentist very much, because I have such a bad history with him. Maybe that's part of my problem.

Thanks for your help, Miz S.

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Heather
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Yeah, absolutely find a denist and surgeon you LIKE. A LOT.

In many cities, there are even denists who specialize in patients with dentist phobias. You could call around a bit to shop around for one.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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DarkChild717
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Well, since you asked for experiences, I'll share mine. And it's not a horror story. [Smile]

I had mine done last September. I had to have mine done before classes started, so they were done one week exactly before the first day of Fall quarter.

My doctor was fantastic. The office was great, and laid back. I was given perscriptions for a stronger ibuprofen, as well as hydrocodone for pain, and I was sent home with 10 mg of valium, to be taken half an hour before my appointment.

I never filled the two prescriptions.

I did take the valium, and my dad drove me. The last thing I remember was talking about the Lion King, which stemmed from the irridescent bandaid they had for after the surgery, for the IV. They numbed my arm before doing that. The whole staff was very thoughtful. The next thing I remember is my mom giving me apple sauce 12 hours later. I took a hydrocodone we had around the house, and my ibuprofen, and I went back to bed.

I took my ibuprofen as directed for a week and a half. My uppers healed in a week, and my lowers a few weeks later. Miz S had recommended peppermint oil, which helped immensely. I used it mostly after the saltwater gargle, to help with the taste.

All in all, it was smooth sailing for me. I was lucky, apparently. No complications, and they healed quickly.

So, yeah. That's my experience. I hope it helped a bit. [Smile] (I got nothing but horror stories before I went in. [Razz] )

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faifai
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Got some great links for you:

http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=24;t=000053#000000
http://www.scarleteen.com/cgi-bin/forum/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=24;t=000768#000001

Full of people's various experiences with the wisdom tooth extraction surgery!

As for mine, are you sure you want to hear it? I basically had a wisdom tooth horror story. [Smile]

First off, the stuff they used to put me under made me feel absolutely awful, both going under and coming back up. The sensation of going under was very unpleasant, like falling and being unable to stop.

Also, I have a big thing against throwing up. I hate, hate, hate it with a passion. So being on drugs that made me feel like puking every 20 seconds was not good.

My swelling and all was also bad. My face was huge for 5 days--most people don't have it that bad, though. I was physically unable to open my mouth more than an inch or two for over 2 weeks, so talking and eating were quite a challenge. I couldn't fit a tablespoon into my mouth, and I no longer enjoy eating pudding or Jello or mashed potatoes or most creamed soups because that's all I ate for so long.

The worst part of my operation was that on the lower part of my mouth, on each side, I developed a dry socket (happens when the holes don't develop clots properly). It was intense pain in my mouth and head for quite awhile, and it was so intense I was taking 6 or 7 Advil each day (far more than the recommended dose). I couldn't take my hydrocodone pills because I had to drive to class and they made me super dizzy.

After the first week of splitting pain, I went back to their office and they gave me treatment for the dry sockets--basically, they took tiny pieces of gauze soaked in clove oil (numbing agent, but makes your breath stink like whoa) and stuffed the gauze into the holes. Holes that are rapidly shrinking more and more each day resist having gauze stuffed into them. Another painful experience! But the tradeoff was worth it. After about 4 days of going to the doctor every morning, I didn't need the gauze anymore.

Basically, you can prevent all that pain by knowing what you're heading into. Ask for an alternate form of medication if you're prone to motion sickness/dizziness, do not eat anything before your surgery, be sure to keep your gauze in initially so your clots can form correctly. Don't use any straws for 3-4 weeks, and above all make sure you do it with a surgeon you know and like. The surgeon and the office will help you if you do run into any rough spots like I did.

(oh, and most people's experiences are much, much better than mine. my sister got it done the same day as me and was fully healed in 5 days. no dizziness, no jaw-unable-to-open problems, no unsightly swelling, no dry sockets. lucky her!)

[ 04-15-2006, 08:04 PM: Message edited by: faifai ]

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disconnect and let me drift/until my upside down is right side *in*

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origami_jane
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*hides from faifai's story* I swear, they should just knock me out entirely. General anesthesia, keep me under observation...... and a morphine drip would be nice too.

I had two baby teeth pulled when I was little... I think that was the "kick the hygenist" episode. I don't understand why this is so bad.

I'm supposed to get a job this summer to pay for my room and board, too. This is going to screw everything up. *le sigh*

Thanks guys. I don't mean that in a sarcastic way, even though it probably seems like that in context. Really.

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magpie
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I had my wisdom teeth out a couple summers ago. My experience was pretty good. I was really nervous about it because I have heard horror stories about people getting nerve damage and having numb lips, which is a big problem for me since I play trombone.

I went in fairly early, they showed me my room. The worst part was when they put the blood pressure cuff on me and then I had to wait for like 15 minutes for the next step. I swear that thing took my blood pressure every two minutes, and it squeezed my arm much harder than any manual blood pressure cuff ever has. The dentist came in and asked how I was doing. I told him the blood pressure cuff was uncomfortable and I was pretty hungry (I was told not to eat for 12 hours before hand, and I'm a big breakfast eater). He kind of chucked and said I wouldn't feel it in a minute.

An assitant came in and gave me an IV for the anestetic. The dentist came back in and had something in a syringe in his had. I asked him what it was and he told me. I don't really remember much from that point. I guess I was consious, but I don't remember at all. I have a vague memory of him and the assistant talking about a trip to California, and him pulling something white and bloody out of my mouth (tooth? gauze? I don't know).

The next thing I remember was the assistant helping me to a recovery area and laying around in a recliner for a while. My mouth was filled with gauze, but I was still feeling pretty trippy so I didn't really notice.

After half an hour or so, they sent my dad back to get me. He asked if I needed help getting out, but I was pretty much back to full consiousness.

The rest of the day was pretty good, except for the novocaine. I was told it should wear off by 3 or 4, and at 7 I was still completely numb. I was freaking out because I thought I had nerve damage. I decided to try to eat something, and that actually helped. By the next morning I wasn't numb at all anymore.

I got a perscription for some pain medication, but I got by just fine by taking a regular dose of ibprofin. I felt a little tired, but no other problems. In fact, I moved all my belongings into my apartment three days after the surgery.

So, not everyone has bad experiences. I understand having bad experinces, though. I've been lucky enough to have good dental care my whole life, but my mom had really bad experiences as a kid. My dad had to literally drag her to the dentist for the first 10 year of their marriage. I hope you find a good dentist who is able to address your concerns.

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Saint_Sithney
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My ex-boyfriend had a lot of work done on his teeth under full anesthesia. He has Aspberger's Syndrome, so he's already kind of funny about being touched, and both laughing gas and three other kinds of localized anesthesia's opened a whole Pandora's Box of symptoms (the laughing gas had him fighting his way out of the dentist chair to show how high he could do a tae kwon do kick). Eventually, his teeth got really bad, since they couldn't work on them without him going out of control (he has no memory of any of it- he only knew about it because his parents and the dentist told him it happened)
He ended up going to the hospital and having all kinds of work done on his teeth. He was a little antsy when they were putting him under and wouldn't let anyone touch him for as long as he was conscious, but he came out of it just fine. No pain, and no dancing on the table. He was slurring and claiming that he could run faster and kick higher than any nurse in the hospital, but he was still high as a kite when they sent him home.

But all in all, sedation dentistry seems to work pretty well. I need to get my bottom two wisdom teeth out this year (the dentist has decided my top ones are never coming in- Hallelujiah!) and I'm thinking about going the sedation dentristy route. There are plenty of clinics that specialize in it.

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'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'
-T.S. Eliot The Waste Land

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dailicious
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Sain_Sithney, sorry to burts your "hurrah" bubble- but the bottom ones are the teeth that actually are the most problematic to get out. [Razz] They're the ones that cause more of the swelling, take longer to heal, and hurt a lot more. (I have a friend who only has her top ones, if she ever has to get them out, and another friend who never had any wisdom teeth at all, not fair!)

Being knocked out to get your wisdom teeth out is fairly common now adays, though they can give you the option of being awake, as well (when I had my teeth out, my boyfriend told me I should stay awake when I had it done. I laughed at him).

I had my wisdom teeth out two days after Christmas the year before last, and wasn't very happy about losing my holiday break to recovery. I'm really phobic about needles being inserted in my body, so it was really amusing (to the nurse) when she inserted the IV, because when she put it in, the heart monitors were already all on my body, and as she was doing it the machine basically went: "Beep.... beep... beep.. beep.beepbeepbeepbeepbeep" and it was incredibly weird that I closed my eyes and the next time I opened them they were done.

I didn't have a lot of problems with recovery, either, except that I couldn't drink properly with the guaze in and the first time I tried I ended up choking and spitting bloody water all over my mom's car. But that got easier, I was only really swollen the first couple days, and that had more to do with the gauze in my mouth, and everyone thought I was really cute being drugged up on vicodin.

The biggest problem I had with recovering is that I took a lot longer than most people do being able to eat solid food again. I was just hypersensitive to the feeling and pain of chewing solid foods, so it took me about a month to start eating normally again. (I was still eating well, just a lot of soup and mashed potatoes and cheese and yogurt and things like that, I just wasn't eating sandwiches, harder breads, etc.)

And yeah, you hear absolute horror stgories about dry sockets, but they're actually fairly easily avoided as long as you follow all the instructions they give you.

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Jean
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origami_jane
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Yeah, I think I'm going to go the sedation dentistry route too. It really isn't worth the hassle of doping me up on so much Valium that I can barely walk, let alone physically assault a doctor. (I was such an insane, absolutely terrified nine-year-old.)

The only thing that I don't want to happen when I'm coming out of the whole drug haze is to let any major secrets slip. Specifically of the sexual orientation variety that could lose me my lovely bedroom and free food. It's a thought that has been haunting me for ages. "'Eyyy... mum.... guess what? I'mmma sleep with chicks from now on.... it'll be excellent...." And then she'd probably slam on the brakes and I'd probably snap my collarbone from the impact and that would mean even more hospital time.

I'm going to look into those clinics, though. Philly should have some, and if not, New York.

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Saint_Sithney
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Hey, if the bottom ones had to make an appearance, at least I only have to get two out. And I have a large mouth, which the dentist always compliments as easy to work on.

Besides, I've already gone through a periodontal horror when I broke a baby molar and half of it remained lodged in a nerve for six months. The dentist didn't want to pull it for some reason, and by the time she finally did, my cheek looked like I flossed with a cheese grater. I played the flute at the time too- suck in those cheeks! Blech. Eating soup through a straw for a week can't be that bad.

As for sedation dentristy, I know of at least 4 clinics in the greater D.C. area, so they'll almost definitely have them in Philidelphia.

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'My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.
'Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
'What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
'I never know what you are thinking. Think.'
-T.S. Eliot The Waste Land

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kitka
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Jane -
NYU has a dental clinic on 14th St and 1st Avenue - I was first seen there before I had maxillofacial surgery on both jaws.

Because all four of your teeth are impacted, you're probably looking at oral surgery rather than a dentist, in which case they would give you general anasthesia.

You may not have to have your teeth removed immediately, depending on your dentist's opinion, and especially if all your teeth are impacted. If the bone protrudes through your gums, you can ask your dentist to rasp the sharp edges of your teeth so that they don't cause you pain. He will file them down but that doesn't hurt. It will rack your nerves, though. All of my wisdom teeth are impacted and my dentist has only ever rasped them, since I would have to have surgery to get them removed.

Having all your teeth out at once will likely put you out of commission for at least a week and the pain will be intense. (My brother had all of his wisdom teeth yanked by a plain dentist before he went to Iraq.)

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September
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PS: Really, I haven't heard any horror stories of that caliber from any of my friends or family. I have gotten three wisdom teeth extracted by now (two in one sitting and then another one just a few months ago, in the middle of finals) and I never had any troubles with it. I stuck with local anasthesia both times because I was on my own and needed to get myself back to my place afterwards. I was conscious for the procedure and even able to talk to the dentist throughout. When it was over, I went home and spent the next two days with an icepack on my cheek. I got prescriptions for pain killers both times but never filled them because I use pain meds only as a last resort. It wasn't fun, but it was managable.

Honestly? If there is a doctor I don't like (and I spend a lot of time with a lot of doctors, being chronically ill) that's got to be the dentist, so I am never relaxed when I am in a dentist's office. But my dentists both time were great about it, they informed me thoroughly about the procedure and made sure I felt comfortable, so it was alright.

Good luck!

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Johanna
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-Firefly-
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Hey,

just thought I'd share my wisdom teeth story too. And it's not horrific! lol

Anyways, 2 summers ago I got all four removed in one shot. The surgeon was a big scary man, but he was really friendly. He did a really good job and I got hardly any swelling at all. Got a tiny bit of bruising, but that's probably because I bruise extremely easily.

They put me under for the procedure. That went pretty well too. I remember one part towards the end where I kinda woke up a bit and realized I had the hiccups. It was pretty funny, and random. lol.

Only problem I had was shaking off whatever they gave me to put me under. I kept wanting to go back to sleep, put they wouldn't let me. I also got really dizzy and they put an oxygen mask on, but that's all of it.

A week later I started a new job and everything was good.

Just one bit of advice: If you get tired of eating mushy or liquidy food, don't go for a Pilsburry Toaster Strudel. I had a crazy time trying to chew that without getting anything flaky where the teeth used to be... [Razz] lol

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Vero
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Natasha89
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Hey
I dont have a scarey wisdom tooth story
But i have some good pain advice!
I know that this gel is available in the uk but unsure if anywhere else, anyways i had the dentist last month, an told her my bottom wisdoms are hurting, an she took a look and said that its just the gum rubbing as its breaking through,
I also told her i have a cold everytime they start to break through, well she told me to use :

Bonjela

and gave me on prescription

Corsodyl

It tastes foul but it takes away the pain, inflammatry and the infection if there is one.
I totally recommend it!

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Behind every great man is a great woman

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summergoddess
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I had all 4 taken out when I was 18, so that was in '02.

I believe they put me under. Went successfully. I remember it was done on a Friday, so I had the weekend to recover. I was back to normal by the Monday. No bruising or anything.

Jules

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~Jules

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likewhoa19
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I had 5 removed when I was 18 (yes, I am genetically a freak). The procedure went fine, but afterwards I came down with an infection that hurt like heck -but after antibiotics I was all fine in 2 weeks. It could have been worse -like mono. Talk about mono if you want to talk about really bad early-adult experiences.
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catalinacisne
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I had mine out the middle of last July, before heading off for college. It was a mediocre experience, I would say, but in my mind it always seems a lot worse because I'm a wuss and a drama queen with a needle phobia.

Although I'm fine with going to the dentist for check-ups/cleanings etc., I have a MAJOR phobia of oral surgery/teeth pulling. Probably because over an 8 month period in second and third grade I had a total of 12 teeth removed. The main thing that really gets me is the shots in the gums (needles and I do not get along. seriously. when my girlfriend donated blood, I passed out. I have an emotional breakdown when I need a booster shot).

So I told the dentist, hellz no I don't want local anasthetic, general ALL the way. Which he agreed to. He then offered to provide me with some Valium to take the night before and morning of the surgery so the IV didn't freak me out either. I gratefully accepted.

I had to take off work early the night before so I could take the Valium on time (I was a ride operator at an amusement park, which is the epitome of operating heavy machinery which has the potential to endanger peoples' lives), and I definitely felt really relaxed and floaty after I took it.

However the next morning, the two more I was supposed to take did absolutely nothing. I suspect placebos. I was totally freaked out on the car ride down, cried for a good ten minutes in the parking lot and got my mother's blouse all snotty, and then when I got inside, to make things even better, because I had turned 18 between our consultation and the actual procedure, I had to go and check off on a no-liability form, reading and initialling next to every negative side effect that could happen. Let me tell you, forcing someone who is crying already because she is scared of the surgery she is about to have, to fill out a waiver making her promise not to sue if the doctor breaks her jaw, is not the best nor most comforting idea.

I went into the room and lay down in the chair... things get kind of blurry. Someone puts a mask over my nose. The dentist and the nurse chat about some boyscout jamboree his son went to. I think 'they're deliberatly trying to put me at ease with their casual banter. Yeah, uh, not working.'

The dentist then says, "Okay, you're going to fill a little sting" and HELLZ NO that was no sting, that was a huge f'ing needle being jabbed into my elbow (aka it hurt like a bitch), and I started hyperventilating because it hurt and I felt trapped in the mask, and THEN they decided it would be a good idea to turn on the anasthesia. Thanks guys, thanks.

Next thing I remember is my mommy being next to me, and them trying to get me to stand up, and the doctor telling me to lock my knees. I have memory lapses here... next thing I remember is standing (really wobbly) next to my mom's car while she reclines the seat for me. Driving back home ten minutes later, I get a craving to listen to the Chocolat soundtrack (really soothing music), so I say something along the lines of "shoookla" and my mom says "shoo-kla?" and I say "No, shookOla" and then she figured it out. Next thing I remember I'm sitting at home in the family room in the comfy arm chair, being spoon-fed chocolate pudding.

My healing process was bipolar. The tops healed no problem, but the bottom two were impacted and had HUGE holes left, that I had to rinse out with a syringe after every meal so food wouldn't get stuck in there and get infected. That took awhile to heal... I got them out in the middle of July, I was definitly still having to rinse them out at the end of august when I left for college... I'd say it took about two, two-and-a-half-months to fully heal.

And if my experience sounds horrible, it's really not. I just got really upset because that was my first time undergoing any sort of surgery, so I was scared and had no idea how to react, and I have a phobia of needles. But origame_jane, since you have had stitches, and were able to watch them being done, I doubt you would have the same issues as me.

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amawesome - (adj.) a combination of 'amazing' and 'awesome,' usually by someone who has tied on a few too many. Ex: No, dude, listen! I like, luv ya man! I mean, you're like, amawesome!

Posts: 65 | From: Colorado Springs, CO | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kitka
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... that brings back memories of my oral surgery experience! (I won't go into detail for the sake of the faint-of-blood.)

When the anasthesia wore off, I woke up yelling like a bat out of. After I realized I couldn't open my mouth because they had wired my mouth shut through my braces, I went nuts. I saw a few blue blurry forms... with my glasses I probably would have had better aim. I punched a couple of small Filipino nurses, from a halfway-prone position on the recovery gurney. I yelled for my doctor too, by name, but nobody thought to get him. They had to strap me down to keep me from hitting anybody who came near me. Then I woke up again, about 6 hours later, saw my parents, and started BAWLING.

The pain was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. Not eating solid food or dairy products for 2 months was a drag.

Posts: 455 | From: New York, NY | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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