Wisdom Teeth Saga: The Surgery Itself (Take One)

Alternate Title: When Things Get Gross


After feeling fairly certain that the first oral surgeon I consulted would kill me and hide my body in the break room mini-fridge, the next surgeon I saw was actually a bigwig at a local military hospital who works out of the dentist’s office in my work building one or two evenings a week. He inspired much more confidence. The office itself? Less so.

Mistake Number Two: Good surgeon does not equate competent office.

October of 2013. I decided to have my surgery on the Thursday before Columbus Day weekend so I’d use one less day of PTO. Sadly, my birthday was Columbus Day.

The dentist’s office quoted me a price for the surgery, I got it scheduled, and away we went.

On the day of the surgery, my mom and aunt drove down, and my mom would stay with me for a day or two. Because even though I was turning 27, I was still a giant baby.


They stuck those little heart monitor doodads on me, and I tried to relax, otherwise the machine would start beeping frantically, which would only remind me that I’m basically a skin bag of internal organs that I cannot consciously control.

The first attempt to put in the IV resulted in a burst vein in my hand. Let me tell you, it hurt like a BITCH. Then they poked around my veins up and down my hands and arms for a while, till eventually, the needle stuck.

Once they injected the drugs, I should be out, right? All clear? Oh my friend, so naïve.

I was out… for most of the first tooth. As the surgeon was finishing up and preparing to move to Tooth Numero Dos, I came to. The drugs kept me calm, but I was most certainly awake. I remember my thoughts:

Oh no. I’m thinking right now. I can see out the window. It’s dark. How far into the surgery am I? I wish I knew which tooth he started with. Maybe we’re almost done. No. Nope. He’s doing something on the other side of my mouth now. This is awful. This is a horrible thing that’s happening to me.

When he moved to the third tooth, on the lower right, something… happened. He cut away the bone and whatever else, and yanked. And I felt something. “Ohw,” I tried to communicate through all the stuff in my mouth. “Urts. Nuh. Urts.”

The roots of the tooth were wrapped around the nerve.

Through some hacking and drilling, he got pieces of the tooth out. And then decided, This surgery needs to stop. It needs to be Not Happening anymore. (My appointment was also running very long. I could hear them talking about how the next appointment had arrived and was waiting.)

After he stitched me up and they shoved some gauze in my face, the surgeon explained that he had dinged my nerve. Like it was the door of a car that had parked too close. He also told me that they had left my last wisdom tooth in, and I’d have to come back for another surgery.

And then the vomiting started.


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