Author Topic: Wisdom teeth removal. Edit: Done! The surgery went great!  (Read 17735 times)

kasperle

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Wisdom teeth removal. Edit: Done! The surgery went great!
« on: November 23, 2015, 09:41:54 AM »
I've got a wisdom teeth removal scheduled, but I'm really worried about it. I'd really appreciate getting some feedback from all of you!

The tl;dr question of this post is: should I get my wisdom teeth removed? It would cost me $1000.

The long story is:

I'm 25, and I still have three wisdom teeth (I wasn't born with a fourth). Two of the three are impacted. I understand that most adults get them removed, but I've also read and have been told that not everyone needs to get them removed, even if they're impacted.

My dentist suggested I see an oral surgeon to ask about removing my teeth. At the surgeon, I was made to watch a video about the safety of the procedure, and it confirmed what I had read that not everyone needs their impacted wisdom teeth removed. A few minutes later, I was in the surgeon's room, and he said that I should definitely get my teeth removed. I asked what it was about my teeth that required removal, and what they would need to look like for him not to suggest removal. He said everyone should get their teeth removed. I brought up the video that I was made to watch, and he said he disagreed with the video.

I figured that it's safest to just get the teeth removed, so I didn't argue, or anything. I have an appointment scheduled for December 10th. I could always cancel it, though. What do you think I should do?

Some other relevant details:

- The wisdom teeth do not cause me pain, and never have
- One of them is sideways
- The other two are "over-erupted," which means they're coming out further than they should, since there's no tooth on the other side of my mouth keeping them from erupting too far
- The total cost of the surgery is $1900, but my deductible is $1000. After this surgery, any and all medical expenses until September of next year would be covered by insurance.

Also, I read that this surgery can damage a nerve that provides feeling to your lower lip (even though it's very unlikely!) and I'm scared about the risk associated with that! Even though my surgeon said I'm low risk, it's something to consider. It can cause tingling for the rest of your life, or completely remove sensation in your lower lip! Further reading suggests that the risk only gets worse with age, as the roots of the teeth grow longer, and get closer to the nerve.

I was thinking of going to see another surgeon, but I worry that I've had too many head X-rays this year. I've had three so far, and I had one at the end of last year. I'm not sure if that's too many, but I'm worried about getting brain cancer, or something.

To summarize my concerns, they are:

1. $1000 is a lot of money that I could be investing instead
2. It is possible that some surgeon could say that I might not need the surgery, but to do that would likely require another X-ray
3. There's a small risk of damaging a nerve that could affect the rest of my time on this planet
4. Waiting many years for the surgery could increase the risk of damaging that nerve

So, fellow Mustachians, what would you do in this situation?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2015, 04:46:17 PM by kasperle »

Orvell

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 09:46:57 AM »
I am in no way a dentist or an oral surgeon, but my immediate reaction is this: Do not fuck your face up. Your teeth are important. Your health is an investment. I don't know if it's necessary, but this surgeon thinks it is. I'd get a second opinion from a different doctor if you're concerned you're being swindled, but my gut would tell me to follow their recommendations.
Curious, though, if anyone else weighs in differently.

JROH

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 09:52:10 AM »
Get it done.  It's a minor procedure that nearly everyone gets done in their teens.  They may not hurt you but they can move your teeth causing other mouth problems or appearance issues that you may want corrected.  I had mine done years ago, all 4 impacted, and it was a two to three day recovery.  My DH is getting his done on two weeks at the age of 32 because it has started to cause crowding of his front teeth.  Afterwards he may need braces to correct the damage done to the front teeth. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2015, 09:55:47 AM »
It sucks to have them removed.  I had four impacted wisdom teeth and was awake for several hours while the guy was cracking and yanking away at my mouth.  It sucks after you have them removed . . . probably will be more than a week before you're feeling very good.  Not fun at all.

However, the alternative can be much worse.

BlueMR2

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2015, 09:57:27 AM »
Sounds like it'd be worth getting a second opinion.  Some dentists default to removing wisdom teeth whenever they see them.  Others only recommend it when they see a an issue (either actual now, or potential future).

My first dentist was a watch and see guy.  I never had any issues, he didn't see any, so we just monitored them.  Eventually he retired.  My next dentist was all "zOMG you have wisdom teeth, we must remove those now!".  I went seeking another opinion and dentist #3 told me that they were no problem now, but it looks like they were starting to grow again and he anticipated I'd need to have them removed in a few years.  He was right, after a few years, they started to be so big that I was clicking them together when moving my jaw.  At that point I got them removed (40 years old).  :-)

mandy_2002

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2015, 10:05:35 AM »
You know that party game where someone tries to say they had the worst wisdom teeth experience ever? I'm the person that people point to when a person beings that up. When I had the teeth, I would get infections every few months that would stop me from eating, so I'd lose 5 lbs in 5 days  (the worst happened over Christmas one year; no holiday dinner for me).

I got them taken out when I was 24. A week later, I had an infection the size of an orange on one side of my face. I had the second surgery of my life a couple days layer, and the third a week after that. I was in the hospital for a week, maxed out my medical deductible, was out of work for 3 weeks, and was almost placed on short term disability.

When having dental work done months later, I realized that novacain didn't work on that side of my jaw. That sucked.

I say all this to give you a warning. My surgeon was told of my infections, and didn't do anything to prevent infections from the surgery. Get an antibiotic when you get it done. I would get them taken out again.

Just because they don't cause you issues now doesn't mean they won't down the road, and removal is more difficult as the roots grow longer. Good luck, and try to use your medical insurance for all its worth :). Chiropractic (if covered), am insulin pump if your a diabetic who needs one, remove those planets ways you've had for a while. Hopefully you can take advantage of the 10 months with 100% coverage.

lil_miss_frugal

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2015, 10:09:26 AM »
I would definitely get them removed. I was advised by my dentist to have mine removed last year and I finally did. Leaving them in could potentially result in several health risks.

I was put to sleep while mine were yanked out, 2 had to be cut out. But it was worth it. The worst part about that whole process was not being able to eat solid foods for about 2 weeks :( 

ohana

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2015, 10:35:53 AM »
So both your dentist and your oral surgeon say have them removed?

Then have them removed.  Your video hasn't looked in your mouth.

None of mine were impacted, they had plenty of room.  However, WT are bacteria factories, since they can't be cleaned as easily as other teeth.  I finally had mine removed at the age of 45, when my dentist suggested that many of the cavities (many thousands of dollars' worth, especially if you include the root canals and crowns I've needed for them) were probably caused by the "dirty" wisdom teeth I had.  That had never occurred to me, and made sense.  Funny, no cavities since . . . .

Trust me, $1000 is pretty much free for a dental procedure.  I have one tooth worth over $10000.

AmandaS1989

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2015, 10:56:23 AM »
I'm going to consult with an oral surgeon on Wednesday about my wisdom teeth. I'm hoping to schedule my surgery in May as my insurance won't cover it until then (stupid six month waiting period). My three will probably all need to be cut out. The top right came down but very little to the point where the dentist can't grab it. And the bottom two are impacted. The one on the right is actually showing a little decay beneath the gums.

$1000 is a lot, but you need those suckers out. Wisdom teeth can really mess you up if you leave them in. My friend left his in and got a below-the gum cavity along with an infection. He was in a LOT of pain.

I know it's probably gonna suck to fork out the money and go through the recovery but you will definitely be saving yourself a headache down the road if you get them out now.

yyc-phil

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2015, 11:06:03 AM »
Sounds like it'd be worth getting a second opinion.  Some dentists default to removing wisdom teeth whenever they see them.  Others only recommend it when they see a an issue (either actual now, or potential future).


I would get a second opinion from a specialist. My dentist, who is now my former dentist for a number of reasons, recommended the extraction of all my wisdom teeth. Before agreeing, I decided to seek the advice of a specialist (Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon) who after a complete examination, recommended to leave them alone.

partgypsy

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2015, 11:15:45 AM »
I would get a 2nd opinion though I would lean towards getting it done.
Ironically the one reason they gave me for having braces, was so I could "keep" my wisdom teeth. Sure enough they all came in straight. Started going to another dentist when I was an adult who said, why do you still have your wisdom teeth? And suggested I get them out. Two main reasons, they crowded my teeth so it was very difficult to floss between them. 2nd reason is that again cavities usually start from the wisdom teeth since it is difficult to reach and keep them clean. Since I waited until I was 36 to get them removed, I did have 1 problematic tooth (one root was hooked into the jaw) so I  had to go to an oral surgeon to have it removed. If you need to get it out, sooner is better than later. The roots keep growing, and also when you get older there is a higher risk of dry socket.

KCM5

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2015, 11:20:51 AM »
Yes to second opinion.

The oral surgeon who says all wisdom teeth need to be removed wouldn't exactly fill me with confidence.

Also, you can ask for your x ray and bring it/have it sent to the surgeon giving you a second opinion so you don't need to have another x ray.

I have two of my wisdom teeth still - one because it is impacted and causing no harm. I'll get it removed if its causing an issue. The other because my mouth is weird and so I use it to chew.

I had the other two removed because they got infected occasionally. It was an excellent decision.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2015, 12:04:51 PM »
If they do not bother you, maybe you can wait for a little while. My dentist of 10 years told me every 6 months to get them removed, now my new dentist in my new city is telling me. I am 39 and have all my wisdom teeth. They only bother me once a year or less. It is not that I don't want to follow the dentist's recommendation but I am scared and usually completely forget about it until my next appointment.

TrMama

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2015, 12:07:47 PM »
While I have no opinion on what you should do with your teeth, your worry about too many x-rays is a moot point. Just ask for the x-rays to be emailed to whomever you choose for your 2nd opinion. We do this all the time with my daughter's x-rays (she has an entire dental team looking after her snaggle teeth).

If you do opt to have them out, I recommend doing them in 2 appointments. Right side during one appointment then do the left side a few weeks later. This allows you to eat semi-normally by using the teeth on the good side.

AmandaS1989

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2015, 12:13:10 PM »
While I have no opinion on what you should do with your teeth, your worry about too many x-rays is a moot point. Just ask for the x-rays to be emailed to whomever you choose for your 2nd opinion. We do this all the time with my daughter's x-rays (she has an entire dental team looking after her snaggle teeth).

If you do opt to have them out, I recommend doing them in 2 appointments. Right side during one appointment then do the left side a few weeks later. This allows you to eat semi-normally by using the teeth on the good side.

Definitely second that if you decide to get them out. I only want to do one side as well so I can still chew on the good side. I don't think I could do an all-liquid diet for a few days.

davidw

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2015, 12:15:47 PM »
It was recommended that I have mine removed when I was 20 because they would cause horrible pains and this, that and the other thing.  I'm 40 and still have them.  No horrible pains, or other problems, yet.

I don't feel entirely comfortable with the fact that the people doing the recommending are the ones that stand to profit.

galliver

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2015, 12:21:42 PM »
If they're impacted (ie trapped under other teeth), and one is sideways, it sounds like if/when they DO start coming in they will cause pain and problems. You could wait, but what if for whatever reason you don't have insurance then? Or are traveling? (This is what happened to me: after like 3 weeks of godawful respiratory infections and a sore throat that wouldn't go away I realized the sore throat was actually referred from my jaw/head and the backs of my gums were really sore. I was visiting my family at the time and went to their dentist to make sure there wasn't an abscess forming or something; luckily there wasn't, but it definitely got me to hustle about getting them out as soon as I got back!) And as others have said, they are easier to get out when they're smaller/immature. I say do it while you can.

I had mine out about 2.5 years ago now, also at 24.  I did general anesthesia, which I totally recommend. Getting knocked out (via IV) was super trippy, and after no perceptible time I woke up without wisdom teeth and with a mouthful of gauze. Nurses handed me off to my bf, who came to town to take care of me for the weekend, and he took care of filling my drugs and getting me home via taxi. He then reminded me to ice at regular intervals on Day 1 and eat on Day 2.

Lessons learned:
-Ice! I forget the recommended intervals but they tell you to ice a lot the first day. This is key because whatever they pump you full of is still wearing off so you don't feel the full extent of the pain! I don't think I did it enough and was really swollen on Day 2.
-Don't use a straw (suction can pull out the blood clot and cause "dry socket" which is apparently beyond awful). Most oral surgeons tell you this but bears reiterating!
-Not all surgeons seem to recommend NOT having milk products (milk, ice cream, yogurt, etc) for the first day or two while the scab heals over; the ones that do say it increases risk of infection. Better safe than sorry, IMO.  My favorite liquid "food" was Bolthouse Farms smoothies with and without protein (I had zero desire to put in the effort preparing smoothies, etc. myself). Mashed potatoes and tomato soup also went well. As a carnivore, 4-5 days out I was seriously craving meat, so I got hamburger helper (it's soft and slimy, making it easy to swallow with minimum chewing). I could basically eat normally after a week. I went to a pig roast the next Saturday. Having only 3 teeth definitely helped this though.
-The acetominophen/hydrocodone the doc prescribed didn't seem to work much better than regular acetominophen and it made me paranoid for side effects, so I didn't really use it. But I found (on awful, awful day 2) that the best painkiller method (for me) was alternating acetominophen and ibuprofen. One was better at keeping down swelling, the other at managing pain. I think I alternated half-doses (or maybe full doses...) about 2 hrs apart. I'm not a doctor and I may have screwed up my liver and/or kidneys with this maneuver, but I could SLEEP.

Negative side effects: I read about the numb lip risk but don't know anyone who has experienced it. However, after my sockets healed I had some really bad sensitivity gradually appear on the backs of my gums. Antisensitivity toothpaste helped it, though. And it definitely wasn't as bad as the ache from the teeth trying to come in...

catccc

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2015, 12:26:54 PM »
I think you should get them removed, but that's because I made the mistake of leaving 2 of 4 in.  I was planning to have them all removed, planned to get 2 out at a time in my twenties, but only ever got one appointment in.  Just laziness on my part.  Fast forward 12 years, the one that was never removed created a problem with my useful tooth right next door to it.  So last year, I ended up needing the problem wisdom tooth removed, and the useful tooth right next to it had to be pulled.  (The useful tooth had it's own problems, but the wisdom tooth exacerbated them.) The implant that is going to replace it has cost at least $1,500 so far, and I haven't even gotten the crown on it yet, which will probably be another grand.  I still have one left, and the oral surgeon has told me that if I were in my twenties, he'd pull it out, but at my age (36), it might be a better route to let it go until a problem arises.  I guess just because even though I'm only in my 30s, I'm not exactly a bounce-back kid anymore?

I will say that I saved about $400 by going with only local anesthetics instead of them knocking me out, general anesthesia or whatever it is technically called.  It was a piece of cake, both the surgery and recovery.  More importantly for me and my family, I was able to drive home myself and not disrupt the family routine with having DH taxi me there and back and monitor me after the procedure, and putting the kids who knows where.  My oral surgeon was excellent and it couldn't not have been a more pleasant tooth extraction.  I know that sounds nuts, but it's true.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 01:01:59 PM by catccc »

Tyler

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2015, 12:33:23 PM »
I ignored the advice from my dentist to have my wisdom teeth removed for about two years.  They weren't bothering me, so why go through it?

Then one day I found myself with excruciating pain desperately searching for a surgeon who could remove them asap.  Recovering from the procedure felt great in comparison.

So my vote is to proactively seek closure, either by getting it over with or by getting a second opinion.  Doing nothing isn't as care-free as it sounds. 

teen persuasion

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2015, 12:43:59 PM »
Not every wisdom tooth extraction is horrific.  I took the watch and wait approach, until my dentist noted that the wisdom teeth were shifting my other teeth, undoing my years of braces.  That got me to agree to have them removed.  Mine were simple extractions under novacain only, and I don't recall days of recovery time, just hours. 

I will say that younger people recover faster from dental procedures, especially those involving bone regrowth, so if I felt they needed to be removed eventually I'd do it now rather than 10 or more years down the line.

GizmoTX

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2015, 12:59:16 PM »
The older you are, the greater the risk of nerve damage from the procedure. This is why so many have it done while teens, before the tooth root has completely formed. I have a friend who is permanently numb in part of her face.

You absolutely need someone to help you during the first 2 days of recovery. My DH had fully erupted WT but were so full of cavities that they had to come out. The oral surgeon used IV sedation, which I highly recommend, but after we got home, DH went into the bathroom & passed out cold. Fortunately he missed everything when he fell. Have someone help you.

Mine were completely impacted, so they came out about a year later. My face turned purple & yellow for 5 days, but otherwise it was a tolerable procedure. DS also had completely impacted WT, growing sideways, & they came out when he was 17. The surgeon prescribed 1 vicodin, which is a very good idea. After that, alternate ibuprofen & tylenol every 4 hours.

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2015, 01:00:25 PM »
It comes down to whether you want to deal with the risks of leaving them in. My dad is almost 50 and never had his 4 pulled. I was in such pain at 23 that I couldn't see and had to have somebody else drive me to get mine pulled, and I only ever had 2 of them.
The only good advice I CAN give you is do not DO NOT get dry socket. It prolonged my healing process by about three weeks and I still have problems in that part of my jaw.

lbmustache

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2015, 01:00:34 PM »
For a long time, I chalked up wisdom teeth removal to some sort of western "I've got too much money on my hands" procedure (for the majority of people, there are some who do genuinely need them removed).

My mom had wisdom teeth removed in her 40s. They started shifting around and causing her a lot of pain. Getting them removed when you're older is riskier because the teeth get bigger and closer/deeper to certain nerves and these would be the nerves that cause the horror stories of permanent numbness, etc. post wisdom-teeth removal if they get damaged.



I had two partially erupted wisdom teeth that were pushing against my top teeth. I already spent money on braces so they were basically ruining my teeth again. The bottom teeth had no issue but they were impacted and I was kind of paranoid they were gonna cause problems later. If I'm already going under anesthesia I might as well get everything done in one go.

I was also worried that I may not have dental insurance and/or the money to get them removed later down the road (if they started causing more issues), so I got all of them removed about 2 years ago for about $1000. I was under general anesthesia - this is more expensive but preferable option, I would not have wanted to be awake during this procedure!!

I did have the minor complication of a small infection but antibiotics cleared it up. No issues 2 years later and now I never have to worry about them again.

mtn

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2015, 01:11:09 PM »
Safe bet: Get them removed.

Before you decide not to, get a second opinion. It is potentially a big deal if you don't get them removed. As in years of infections and oral pain big deal. And I don't know about you, but every canker sore I get is a big deal for me.


marty998

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2015, 01:37:32 PM »
Had all 4 of mine removed at 24 (all were impacted). I had no pain, but when I saw the x-ray of them all sideways I knew the best thing to do was to get them out.

Was put under general anaesthetic. Surgery was at 3pm on a Saturday, no issues, woke up in the evening groggy but in no pain. The anaesthetic wore off eventually around noon the next day.

Used ice most of Sunday and went back to work on the Monday. They gave me one of these syringe type devices to use that injects water to clear out the 'holes' after every meal to ensure food doesn't get trapped in there (you can't really brush the area).

Some people have the worst experience ever, some people like me it was a bit of a non-event. I didn't understand what all the fuss was about when everyone said how horrible their experience was. Mine was the opposite.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2015, 01:39:15 PM »
For a long time, I chalked up wisdom teeth removal to some sort of western "I've got too much money on my hands" procedure (for the majority of people, there are some who do genuinely need them removed).

Really, it's western "I've got too many teeth in my mouth!"

If we didn't have modern dentistry, we'd all have lost a few teeth along the way, and wisdom teeth would be a welcome addition for chewing our food! But since we have all our teeth, there's no room for them (or, possibly, they are vestiges of a time when our ancestors had larger jaws).

I had mine out when I was 16. Not impacted. The dentist suggested they "might cause problems" in the future.

As with marty998, it was a non-event. It went very smoothly. I dropped my painkillers after two days because they were making me feel sick (and the pain wasn't enough that I needed them). I was tired of the liquid diet by day 3 and started carefully eating solids.

I ended up getting adult braces due to over-crowding. So my dentist's "might cause problems" turned into "definitely would have caused problems."

enigmaT120

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2015, 02:01:27 PM »
I still have two on the bottom and a mini-one on one side on the top.  Like the OP there's not one on the other side of the top.  Mine aren't impacted and don't bug me so I'm not going to worry about them.  I'm 52, they're all out as far as they want to grow.  My lower teeth are crooked in front but work fine and I'm not wasting money on braces.  Only my dentist and hygienists ever see them anyway.


BlueHouse

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2015, 02:03:03 PM »
My first dentist that I had until I was out of college was the "if they're not bothering you, then you can leave them alone" type.  So I left them in.  When I moved away, my next dentist told me to take them out.  When I explained the theory of leaving them alone unless and until they cause a problem, the dentist explained that by the time they cause any problem, it can turn a simple extraction into a scenario where the tooth shatters, which then would mean drilling down and cutting into the jaw to get the remains of the tooth out.  That was enough for me! 

I had "twilight" for the anesthetic.  Not sure what it was, but they explained it as "you'll be completely out of it, but if we ask you to move your head, you'll do it and won't remember a thing".  I Loved it.  I was also afraid of the anesthesia and asked for other options.  Again, a reasonable explanation:  If you're out of it, we can put chock-blocks in your mouth, get in and get out quicker, and that reduces the swelling and recovery time. 

For that reason, I absolutely disagree with getting two done at a time unless it's just too traumatic for your mouth to have all 4 done.  2 surgeries are much more traumatic than one and your recovery will be easier.  I was allowed to eat anything soft. That included eggs, even muffins and donuts.  I just couldn't eat things like pretzels or nuts or seeds.  But scrambled eggs were my go-to for a few days. 

p.s.  Ask your surgeon to save your teeth.  They are positively prehistoric looking and you will want to see them.  Bring your own jar - otherwise they are required to place the teeth in medical waste bags and once in, they won't get it back out. 

pachnik

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2015, 02:18:17 PM »
I only had 2 wisdom teeth in all.  My old dentist who I trusted 100% said I needed to get them while I was in my late teens.  Well, I put it off for about 2 years because I was scared to get it done.  By the time I was in my early 20's, my wisdom teeth were giving me a bit of trouble - kind of going up and down.  So i finally decided to get it done and my dentist sent me to a specialist.  It was done with a local and I was in and out of the special dentist's office in 25 minutes.  No problems at all.  And of course, I wished I had done it sooner!  :) 

If you are having your doubts, do get a second opinion like other posters have suggested.

Expatriate

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2015, 02:34:19 PM »

I don't feel entirely comfortable with the fact that the people doing the recommending are the ones that stand to profit.

That's why a fully private healthcare system is a very bad idea... oh wait, wrong country ;)

mtn

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2015, 02:49:55 PM »
It was recommended that I have mine removed when I was 20 because they would cause horrible pains and this, that and the other thing.  I'm 40 and still have them.  No horrible pains, or other problems, yet.

I don't feel entirely comfortable with the fact that the people doing the recommending are the ones that stand to profit.

Usually the person recommending that you have them removed is your dentist. It is pretty rare that they're the ones who would remove it; that is an oral surgeon, someone who is usually a DDS (or similar) AND an MD. And there is something else in there as well--I think it is called OMS.

So your statement really isn't true; the one recommending it is not profiting from it.

rubybeth

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2015, 02:58:26 PM »
I would get them out, $1,000 is worth it, and you're young, so healing will be easier/faster.

I had four fully erupted wisdom teeth in my late teens. They weren't overly crooked or problematic in any way. But my mom was a dental assistant for 40 years and the dentist she worked for would pull them for free (gas/novocain only--no oral surgery required). I had two out at age 20 (left side, so I could chew on my right), but got a dry socket (seriously: no straws for a few days after you have the surgery! suction = bad). It was also kind of traumatic because I hate blood, so I avoided getting the next two out... I knew I had to do it eventually, because wisdom teeth are difficult to care for. I actually had tiny cavities in mine pretty soon after they were erupted, but I avoided getting the other two out... for 10 years. I got the second two out at age 30, also at the dental office. Easy peasy. I healed quickly, no issues. But I would definitely plan to take a week off work and just take it easy (moving around a lot can cause the loss of a clot, which means a dry socket--easy enough to care for, but kind of a bummer).

kasperle

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2015, 03:12:06 PM »
Thanks for the advice, everyone! I feel more confident that just sticking with the plan and getting them removed is the best way forward, so I plan to do that.

In preparation, I just purchased some "Soylent" to eat for after the surgery. haha. I never thought I'd find any use for that product. I'm happy though, because I'd rather get everything done in 1 go. I also read that Soylent is pretty tasty, if not a little weird.

For what it's worth, my dentist didn't say that I needed them out. Rather, he suggested I see an oral surgeon who would be more qualified on the matter. That oral surgeon didn't seem to think that wisdom teeth have any nuance to them, though, so that's that. So, in my particular case it was the one profiting who made the call. But so it goes. I agree with y'all: it probably is the safest route.

Here's to hoping my nerves don't get poked too much during the surgery! I'll check back in here when it's over :)

sunshine

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2015, 05:25:31 PM »
I've got a wisdom teeth removal scheduled, but I'm really worried about it. I'd really appreciate getting some feedback from all of you!

The tl;dr question of this post is: should I get my wisdom teeth removed? It would cost me $1000.

The long story is:

I'm 25, and I still have three wisdom teeth (I wasn't born with a fourth). Two of the three are impacted. I understand that most adults get them removed, but I've also read and have been told that not everyone needs to get them removed, even if they're impacted.

My dentist suggested I see an oral surgeon to ask about removing my teeth. At the surgeon, I was made to watch a video about the safety of the procedure, and it confirmed what I had read that not everyone needs their impacted wisdom teeth removed. A few minutes later, I was in the surgeon's room, and he said that I should definitely get my teeth removed. I asked what it was about my teeth that required removal, and what they would need to look like for him not to suggest removal. He said everyone should get their teeth removed. I brought up the video that I was made to watch, and he said he disagreed with the video.

I figured that it's safest to just get the teeth removed, so I didn't argue, or anything. I have an appointment scheduled for December 10th. I could always cancel it, though. What do you think I should do?

Some other relevant details:

- The wisdom teeth do not cause me pain, and never have
- One of them is sideways
- The other two are "over-erupted," which means they're coming out further than they should, since there's no tooth on the other side of my mouth keeping them from erupting too far
- The total cost of the surgery is $1900, but my deductible is $1000. After this surgery, any and all medical expenses until September of next year would be covered by insurance.

Also, I read that this surgery can damage a nerve that provides feeling to your lower lip (even though it's very unlikely!) and I'm scared about the risk associated with that! Even though my surgeon said I'm low risk, it's something to consider. It can cause tingling for the rest of your life, or completely remove sensation in your lower lip! Further reading suggests that the risk only gets worse with age, as the roots of the teeth grow longer, and get closer to the nerve.

I was thinking of going to see another surgeon, but I worry that I've had too many head X-rays this year. I've had three so far, and I had one at the end of last year. I'm not sure if that's too many, but I'm worried about getting brain cancer, or something.

To summarize my concerns, they are:

1. $1000 is a lot of money that I could be investing instead
2. It is possible that some surgeon could say that I might not need the surgery, but to do that would likely require another X-ray
3. There's a small risk of damaging a nerve that could affect the rest of my time on this planet
4. Waiting many years for the surgery could increase the risk of damaging that nerve

So, fellow Mustachians, what would you do in this situation?

Go get it done. My oldest refused to get his done at 18 after the consultation. He waited 2 years until I cost even more when they got infected. I was one mad mom that it cost me even more because he waited. He is lucky he was a full-time student.

Tris Prior

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2015, 06:14:52 PM »
Boyfriend just had his out not quite 2 weeks ago, and I had mine out about 2 1/2 years ago - we both waited until we were in our 40s and the teeth were causing each of us a lot of issues and pain.

I blew off getting mine out after a dentist told me, "They don't seem to be causing you any problems but you should get them out anyway." That sounded ridiculous to me. A few years after that, one of my lower wisdom teeth literally broke apart in chunks. Worst pain I've ever felt.

Meanwhile, Boyfriend's were growing in sideways, and one day he came home from work in excruciating pain. Turns out that one of the sideways teeth was pressing into the adjacent tooth so hard, it made a hole that then got infected. So that tooth had to get pulled too, which of course cost extra.

So basically, it was both of our experiences that the teeth were fine until they suddenly weren't, and didn't cause us any problems until suddenly they did. I do not want to feel that kind of pain ever again. The pain before getting them removed was way worse than the pain of recovery, for me.

I vote for getting it done... BUT, if you celebrate Christmas and you don't want to have any food restrictions fo the holidays, maybe consider moving it until after the holidays? I had a hard time getting regular food down for a while because my jaw was very stiff for several weeks (not painful, it just wouldn't work right. Very disconcerting.) And our oral surgeon (we both went to the same guy) told us that you're not supposed to have anything hard or crunchy for like a month afterward.

aspiringnomad

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2015, 06:33:30 PM »
I'll agree with the group to at a minimum get a second opinion. I was told that I had to have mine removed by my dentist, who had no skin in the game because she didn't perform the procedure and I didn't ask for a referral.

I paid just $400 to have all four of mine out but it was done by dental students in training under the supervision of a dentist. Something you might want to look into, even though you seem to have a pretty good deal going already.

astvilla

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2015, 07:04:57 PM »
No dentist mustachians want to chime in?  Or do they make too much to be in MMM?

Anyways mine got removed when I was in high school/college.  Now I wonder how come I wasn't as scared back then when I should've been.  Realizing it's surgery and it's in the mouth, sounds painful right?

I remember being offered NO or go to sleep.  I went w/go to sleep.  I did not want to be awake while a guy was doing stuff to my mouth. No regrets on that choice. I don't remember a single thing about surgery, my mom said it looked pretty bad watching it on me so thank god I wasn't awake.

All I remember was the dentist sticking the needle in my arm and thinking to myself, "Hmm I wonder if I can resist the effects of the...." snore. Out just like that. Wake up, huh? We're done? Oh wow!

JPinDC

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2015, 07:09:28 PM »
As with marty998, it was a non-event. It went very smoothly. I dropped my painkillers after two days because they were making me feel sick (and the pain wasn't enough that I needed them). I was tired of the liquid diet by day 3 and started carefully eating solids.

This was my experience too. They offered the option to do local anesthetic and be awake for the procedure, or pay more and get knocked out. Got knocked out, would pay to do that for sure.

Meowmalade

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2015, 07:32:41 PM »
Regarding the local vs general anesthesia, I was warned by a friend that her uncle did local and was conscious when they smashed his wisdom teeth into pieces to remove them.  He was really traumatized.

I had my wisdom teeth out under general and it was like blinking and then it was done.  Best way to do it!

Tom Bri

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2015, 07:51:47 PM »
A few questions.
Do you suffer from frequent headaches? If so, removing wisdom teeth may help. Helped my daughter a lot.

Are your teeth moving around in your mouth? Wisdom teeth will slowly push your teeth out of alignment which is not good. This happened to one daughter. The other daughter was in intense pain for a week before we got her to a surgeon and had them out. You can wait, but don't wait that long.

By the way, I still have all 4, at 54 years of age. My dentist refused to extract them, said they were fine...

galliver

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2015, 08:38:21 PM »
I remember being offered NO or go to sleep.  I went w/go to sleep.  I did not want to be awake while a guy was doing stuff to my mouth. No regrets on that choice. I don't remember a single thing about surgery, my mom said it looked pretty bad watching it on me so thank god I wasn't awake.

All I remember was the dentist sticking the needle in my arm and thinking to myself, "Hmm I wonder if I can resist the effects of the...." snore. Out just like that. Wake up, huh? We're done? Oh wow!

Haha, almost my exact experience. Nurse put it in and was like "ok, you ready? we're turning it on now." And I was like, "Hmm, I'm getting very slee---" and then I woke up.

lizzzi

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #41 on: November 23, 2015, 09:23:01 PM »
Had two out age 30 and the other two out at age 31. They were sideways and had cavities...dentist recommended I get them out, and sent me to the oral surgeon. I don't remember what it cost, but we had dental insurance to cover it. I was put to sleep both times...out like a light immediately...woke up when it was over and it was like nothing happened...slick as a whistle. Went home both times and rested and took pain meds for a day or two...followed instructions re: what to eat and drink, no straws, etc. as others have posted above. Just kind of went with the flow, and never had any problems afterwords. Regarding your situation, get a second opinion if you have doubts...my tendency would be to tell you to get 'er done.

Sean Og

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #42 on: November 23, 2015, 09:29:20 PM »
Had two removed last year at 28, it is less typical to remove them at home in Ireland unless necessary so I had all four.

All were erupted and not impacted but the lowers had little gum flaps that didn't recede and needless to say difficult to brush properly, and when eating nuts etc bits used to get trapped in there which was a complete pita.

Anyway after suffering from a flare up of Pericoronitis I had both WT on one side removed and fully plan to remove the lefties in the coming year to prevent similar.

Had them out via local which was no big deal, dentist cracked them in half using some little tool and yanked them out with some persuasion due to my longer than normal roots.

Baby food, mashed potato, bolthouse farms drinks as someone mentioned above and milkshakes were my diet for about two weeks.

EDIT: To add, my dentist charged $256 per tooth for a surgical extraction of an erupted tooth and I paid considerably less than that when insurance coverage is factored in.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 09:33:44 PM by Sean Og »

JimLahey

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #43 on: November 23, 2015, 09:36:16 PM »
I finally got my wisdom teeth removed earlier this year. I had gotten chicken stuck under the flap over one of them. It got irritated so bad I could barely open my mouth. I had three and one was impacted. I had a cavity in the molar next to my upper left wisdom tooth. I had to get my wisdom teeth removed in order for my dentist to be able to fill the cavity. It had gotten bad enough that they recommended a root canal. Half way into the root canal my dentist told me they couldn't save the tooth and I would have to get it pulled. So I had to get the molar pulled as well. So I would go ahead and get them pulled. They may not be painful but could cause other issues like the cavity I had. The procedure was not that bad. I only got local anesthetic. If you're squeamish at all you should probably get sedated. There was some crunching noises when they pulled them. The worst part were the shots in my soft palate. I was eating solid food the next day. Expect to get food stuck in the holes for a few weeks. Well worth the slight discomfort IMO.

AmandaS1989

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #44 on: November 24, 2015, 05:56:57 AM »
I'm seriously debating whether I want to be awake or knocked out for when I get mine removed. My grandmother had a bad reaction (her heart stopped) under general anesthesia so I'm leaning towards being awake. BUT I'm afraid of feeling any pain or hearing crunching noises if they have to break the teeth.

For those of you that were knocked out, did you have any strange reactions to it? Any talking about strange things or spilling any secrets you were supposed to keep? My friend said she felt like she had a hangover for the rest of the day and I'd rather avoid feeling like that. I also wouldn't want to spill the beans about my cousin's big news she wants to reveal at Thanksgiving. If I blabbed it under the influence she would never forgive me.

GuitarStv

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2015, 07:03:35 AM »
I was awake for the whole procedure.  You won't feel pain during.  If you do, just tell the dentist and he'll give you more freezing.  The weird noises and achey jaw from keeping it open for so long are all that you really feel during the operation.

partgypsy

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2015, 08:25:04 AM »
I had the laughing gas and the local shots in the gum. They actually gave me too much laughing gas which is uncomfortable (heart rate sped up). It is a little trippy because they are yanking pretty hard and you can feel that pressure, and you can also hear when they are breaking teeth to get them out, but also at the same time, the sense of time is kind of sped up so it seems more like a cartoon and you feel humorously disconnected from it all. I've never been completely put under so preferred the least amount of anesthesia.

Sibley

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2015, 09:01:10 AM »
Soft foods are good. Mashed potatoes, jello, ice cream. I lived on instant mashed potatoes after I had mine removed. Hope all goes well!

AgentCooper

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2015, 09:09:26 AM »
Have you looked in to having it done at a dental college?  Some great feedback on my question about that method is here:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/anyone-used-dental-college-for-major-dental/msg869607/#msg869607

JPinDC

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Re: Wisdom teeth removal. Worth it or no?
« Reply #49 on: November 24, 2015, 09:16:33 AM »
In preparation, I just purchased some "Soylent" to eat for after the surgery. haha. I never thought I'd find any use for that product. I'm happy though, because I'd rather get everything done in 1 go. I also read that Soylent is pretty tasty, if not a little weird.

I'm not sure if someone else mentioned this, but I remember from my removal that I wasn't supposed to use a straw afterwards! The sucking can dislodge your clots and slow down the healing time, so you'll have to drink this without one. Good luck!