On Wisdom Teeth

Having one’s wisdom teeth removed is a sort of rite of passage.  It’s something that most people in our society will go through at some point.  One feature a lot of these rite (be they weddings or college graduations) is that they aren’t particularly interesting to people who haven’t gone through the process, but to those who are about to perform the rite or have performed the rite, any and all stories of the rite are engrossing.

I think there should be a website that just collects stories about people’s wisdom tooth extraction.  (There do appear to be individual stories on different blogs, but no compendium appears to exist.)

I had three of my four wisdom teeth removed a little over a year ago.  I just discovered some notes I wrote to my wife in the few hours after the operation, before I could talk with any comfort.  Alas, this text can’t quite convey the charm of the handwritten words — clearly written with both careful concentration and sloppy through the recovering fog of drugs — and penned the back of a doctor’s prescription note.

“I totally can’t feel my tongue.”

“I have teeth”

“Can you ask about the sneezing thing?”

“There’s something about how I’m supposed to sneeze.”

“I think it’s on their website.”

“So … they only took out the left ones?”

“We’ve got new prescriptions?”

“Can you ask when I should come in or the other side?”  (Yes, depite the progression toward clearer thought, I forgot the f in for.)

“When it hurts?”

“Some other time?”

This reminds me: I should make an appointment to have my last wisdom tooth removed.


5 Responses to “On Wisdom Teeth”

  1. Todd Says:

    I feel your pain. Having my wisdom teeth removed was one the most singularly painful experiences of my life. Apparently there’s some pain medication you’re supposed to pick up before the operation so that it’s immediately available at home when the novocaine wears off. I somehow managed to skip this part of the process and spent an hour of agony in the parking lot of a drug store waiting for them to fill the prescription. Even with the drugs, I felt wretched for weeks afterward. I suspect my dentist secretly enrolled me in a dark experiment designed to test the limits of human endurance.

    Here’s hoping you feel better *much* sooner, and all praise to Jamba Juice.

  2. wmdot Says:

    i’ll jump. i had all four of mine removed earlier this year, and it wasn’t really that bad for me. Not a lot of pain, just a lot of mashed potatoes and jello. i do remember, however, trying to sign things to my brother (often spelling them). i’m glad he knows me pretty well and could figure out what i wanted to convey, because i can’t imagine that i made all that much sense.

  3. wedge Says:

    I never had wisdom teeth removed. But my high school boyfriend did, and I remember going to visit him the day afterwards. He couldn’t talk much, but still wanted to kiss me, which was weird since he still had gauze in his mouth. Mmmm blood. I probably would refuse to kiss Robin if he was in the same position. (I suspect this is more a symptom of me not being a randy teenager anymore.)

  4. V Says:

    Gosh… you guys scare me. I’ve got two of them things – and now I am worried about my dentist’s appointment this week.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Had my two lower ones removed two days ago (08/06/2008). I don’t have any upper wisdom teeth—-they quite simply do not exist. I got a prescription for Vicodin but have yet to take a single one. Instead, I am just doing 800mg Ibuprofen every 7-8 hours. The pain is completely manageable. I think people make this out to be a bigger deal than it is.

    (Oh, and I had mine removed late—I am almost 30).

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