Cheer me up with your wisdom tooth extraction horrors.

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  • Cheer me up with your wisdom tooth extraction horrors.
  • Premier Icon martinhutch

    Happy days. I have a massive cavity in my wisdom tooth and extraction is my only option.

    How much fun am I in for down at the local hospital? How long will I look like a hamster? How much weight can I lose from not being able to eat properly for the next two months while I wait for the op?


    2 out in my early 20s, one took 90 uncomfortable minutes, lots of drilling, blood (no pain).

    He then said “I’ll just have a go at the other one”…thunkfully it took about 2 minutes.

    3-4 days of looking like a chipmunk.


    I had a top one out last year, really no problem. The dentist said it was the bottom ones that are hard work and need a trip to the hospital.


    Had one removed about 8 weeks ago. Took 2 or 3 minutes to get the actual tooth out. It may not be as bad as you think!

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    Interesting. This is a top one. NHS dentist said she’d prefer not to do it, and I guess if she’d prefer not to, I’d prefer her not to do it.

    Worth a second opinion? It’s the prospect of 2 months plus waiting time in moderate pain that is bugging me.

    I may need special dispensation from the mods to be even more grumpy than usual.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito

    I had problems about 15 years ago as all 4 of mine were growing at once. Decision was made to remove the top ones under local anesthetic, by my dentist, figuring the space left should allow the bottom ones to grow with no problems.

    So, off the dentist we go. 7, yes, 7 injections before my gum went numb. Lots of wiggling and pulling with pliers and eventually my top right one came out. Had a few minutes breather, then he set about the left one.

    Another 7 injections, lots if wiggling, lots of pulling. Then he was bracing himself against the chair, then a knee on my frikkin’ chest as he pulled with all his might.

    I’ve still got the tooth in my mouth.

    I’ve never been back to that dentist again.

    Premier Icon alexonabike

    I’ve had one out, and the molar next to it too. both just crumbled due to a cavity that left me with no pain (oddly). Done in the dentists chair, not a hospital. Wisdom tooth was pretty straight forward. no pain in extraction, just serious wiggling with pliers from the dentist for 1/2 an hour. felt odd and a lot of force was needed, but thanks to the local, no pain. Lots of blood tasted though! When the pain killer wore off, it felt as expected. Like i’d been socked in the jaw. nothing that simple paracetamol didn’t fix. Spent the next week paranoid about getting a ‘dry socket’! But all was well. The hole was covered by gum in a few weeks, jaw bone re-grew under the gum in about 7 months.


    I had all 4 out under local on the same day, never looked like a hamster.

    My top ones were the tricky ones as they had curly roots.


    The top ones seem to come out no bother, evening making an amusing ‘pop’ as it was pulled out. Was put out when the bottoms ones came out, woke up to some mild pain but nothing too bad. That was 10+ years ago.


    I had a bottom one out last year, was a bit of an anticlimax, thankfully!

    Depends a lot on how straight the tooth is, is it growing under another one etc… Mine was nice and straight and came out easily. The recovery took a few days, but I don’t recall being Mr. Hamsterface at any point.


    MY little sister had all four out at the same time. After the op (under GA) she looked like someone had crowbarred her in the face.

    I had two out on one side under local in what seemed to be a very short time. No issues afterwards either.


    I was lucky to have BUPA, but it still took a couple of months and a lot of hassle with form filling etc. My NHS dentist like your’s didn’t want to do it, as it was a bottom one. I was worried about mine, scared myself reading about dry socket etc, but it was fine. They did it under a general and I think it took about an hour. Took a few days to get over the general but very little tooth pain: worse thing was a stitch in my cheek had blood build up behind it which was pretty painful until they took the stitch out to relieve the pressure. Overall it wasn’t as bad as I’d feared.

    GF had both her lower (I think) ones out on the NHS, plus some bizarre extra 9th tooth buried deep on one side and was out of hospital the same day. She had a general as well and swears that as she came round she heard the nurses casually say “oh look her heart’s stopped….. oh it’s started again, that’s good”. She came out of hossy the same day and was a bit tired, sore and woozy for a few days but recovered pretty well.

    Most people I know have been fine and found it nowhere near as bad as feared, and a relief to be rid of the pain. You may have a choice between the discomfort / stress of a local anaesthetic, and the trauma-free general with a few days or more to fully recover from that. Good luck!


    4 out at once, very painful for about a week, done under GA.


    After the op (under GA) she looked like someone had crowbarred her in the face.

    The first consultant I saw wanted to do the op under GA but I went to another who would do it with just a local. I think they have to treat you a bit more gently if you’re still awake 🙂

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    You may have a choice between the discomfort / stress of a local anaesthetic, and the trauma-free general with a few days or more to fully recover from that.

    Nah, will definitely be a local. I’ve had a molar removed that way, so I know I can cope with that if it’s just a pliers job.

    Just interested in whether I can go private and get it over and done with quickly. Don’t want to be on painkillers for two months.


    I had 3 out, not too bad and not too much bruising or swelling but watch out for dry socket (google it). I got it and it is the single most painful thing I have ever felt, even after taking tramadol and nurofen together, I was curled up on the bathroom floor until the wife forced me to go to A&E.

    Premier Icon Doh1Nut

    All four under general.
    Woke up as they were wheeling me out of theatre
    not feeling good -the look on my dads face told me I looked as bad as I felt. They then kept me waiting for a good half an hour for a missing part of the prescription I had to take home. It was only when my dad asked what was missing they said it was asprin FFS! we can get that anywhere – give us the good stuff now.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Both right ones out under general – quack said it went ok, but had to lean on my chest at one point.
    Wondered why it ached. 😐

    Was on the piles, vasectomy and wisdom tooth ward. Make sure they know which you’re in for. 🙂

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    😀 @ Rusty

    Ah, the joys of the NHS. Just made a private appointment in the next few days for second opinion. Phoned up my NHS practice, could I have a copy of the full-jaw x-ray they had to take to reveal the cavity? Yes sir, we’d need something in writing, then we send them to London to be copied, takes in excess of two weeks, costs £50.

    Looks like another unnecessary dose of x-rays for my bonce.

    EDIT: Thanks everyone for the help and advice. Very disappointed not to have more tales of massive blood loss, indescribable pain and dodgy dentists:


    Had all four of mine out in one go under GA. First time being under and I came around like a rocket, scared the life out of the nurse. Bloody loved it, live being drunk without hangover!!!

    Must have been fine as I had no pain and was eating sausage in batter and chips that evening…..think the lack of food before the op gave me bit of a graving for “dirty” food.


    Top one out a couple of years ago – no issues, back to work straight afterwards and the actual extraction took about 2 mins.

    About 15 years ago I had an impacted lower one removed 😯 90 mins in the chair at dental hospital. They split it in two to remove, then had to grind away at the jaw bone to get a decent hold on the second piece. The smell of burning bone was quite nauseating! Local wore off about 3 hrs later – yow!! About a week of eating carefully and it was fine though.


    NHS dentist said she’d prefer not to do it,

    Perhaps the root is too close to the sinus, my dentist said she was happy to do it as long as the x-ray showed it was not too close to the sinus.

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    About 15 years ago I had an impacted lower one removed 90 mins in the chair at dental hospital. They split it in two to remove, then had to grind away at the jaw bone to get a decent hold on the second piece. The smell of burning bone was quite nauseating!

    That’s more like it!


    For some stupid reason I decided to be a guinea pig for a post operative pain relief trial at the Eastman Dental Institute, London.

    My impacted tooth was removed under local anaesthetic, they popped a wedge into my gob to keep it open, then proceeded to split the tooth into two by drilling and then pulling it out. This took quite a lot of physical effort from the dentist who was pulling my head around. The smell of the burning tooth was not nice, bits of tooth sprayed over my face, smoke came out of my mouth along with quite a lot of blood that I could see being sunctioned away in the clear suction tubing. Eventually it came out and I got to play lab rat with my pain. They disturbed the nerve and I now have diminished sensation on the left side of my tounge, this was considerable initially but over the next year or so gradually got a little better.

    Incredibly I went back and had the second one done there too!

    I think the key thing here is, is your tooth impacted?


    Had the exact same thing done last week for the exact same reason! You’ll be fine. Bit uncomfortable, but have some ibuprofen on hand.


    Three impacted, all taken out under GA. I didn’t want to know what happened during the operation. I’d already had four eye teeth out to make room for them. Plenty of bone was removed.

    We use third molar extraction as a pain model to test new analgesics. Time to rescue paracetamol is the endpoint. Yes, they are placebo controlled 😈 .


    I don’t have any horror story – I had mine done under local at an NHS hospital.

    The dentist who did it, however, commented afterwards that she’d done 3 others that day and they had all fainted – paused a beat “All men, of course.”

    Two of my colleagues had wisdom teeth out at about the same time, and both went private. They were both off work for quite some time with infections… (I got given antibiotics as a matter of course before the extraction.)


    had all four out at once after my dentist referred my to the local hospital for an impacted tooth he couldn’t deal with – the consultant at the hospital decided it did need to come out, and so did the others as they looked dodgy. booked the day off work as advised and they all came out while I was under a general.

    when I came round the senior dental surgeon came to see me and said if he had seen me at the consultation phase, he’d still have taken four out but wouldn’t have done them all at once, he would have had me in for a stay and done more than one removal. As it was my chest was bruised down to my solar plexus and my face looked like a football. I was off work for three weeks and unable to eat solids for most of that


    Had 3 taken out 20 years ago at hospital. Lower 2 were impacted and only had one top one on its way out. 3 days in hospital with GA, lots of morphine and in the end it wasn’t touching the pain. Para’s took it off straight away.

    They pack the back of your throat out to stop bits of bone and tooth going into your lungs. Lots of stitches and plenty of dried blood in the mouth afterwards. My cheeks looked like a Dulux colour chart after.

    They’d only let me go home after i’d proved i could eat. Cornflakes the following morning were a nightmare. Trying not to prod the stitches with your tongue to get the bits out was both hard not to do and painful when you did!!


    Had all 4 our under GA. Large part of my low jaw bone was removed to get out the impacted ones.
    Lots a swelling and stitches holding my gums together. I Could not eat solid food for nearly 10 days and just sat dribbling into a bowl for a few days. Lost sensation in one side of my face for 6 months due the fact the roots ran very close to facial nerves and were damaged in the process.

    So all in all not much fun


    Not a wisdom, but had a cavitied molar out a couple of years ago

    first thing I’ll never forget was the smell of the infected bit when she drilled into it to see if it was possible to save the tooth – really got you in the back of the throat, sort of like a rotten mould smell…

    She couldn’t save it so took to removing it, after about fifteen minutes pulling and pushing, where the side of the tooth crumbled leaving her without much to grip on to, she gave up and had to call in the bloke dentist in the next room, who looked more like a loosehead prop by trade, who then got a big shiny thing that looked like a blunt screwdriver, rammed it into the side of the tooth and seemingly twisted my head upside down while he snapped the bugger in two down the middle with a loud crack that sounded like my jaw was breaking , before pulling the remainders out easily

    I then went back to work drooling from the side of my mouth 😀


    Sorry to have disappointed you Martin, here’s some more of what happened with my GF:

    Prior to the removal of her wisdom teeth, one of them got infected in the gap between the wisdom and her freaky extra tooth deep in her jaw which we didn’t know existed at the time. Went round for the evening to find her sitting there wimpering, with a huge fever and the side of her face swelled up and looking like Meg Griffin. Call to dentist said to come in the next day. Over the course of the evening the swelling increased and started spreading down her neck, again dentist says its ok as long as she can breath.

    She wakes me up at 3:30am saying “the swelling’s pressing on my windpipe now”: hmm, quick drive to A&E ensues. They keep her waiting for 4 hours in severe pain until the docs come in at 8am, on the basis that she can still breathe okish despite massive pain.

    Doc eventually sees her and says he can’t drain the huge accumulation of pus in her face and neck as if he lances it the pus will inevitably lead to infection and nasty scarring around the wound. And they can’t take the tooth out while it’s infected and swollen around it. So he prescribes massive antibiotics, painkillers, and hot saltwater mouthwash. So we get her home and dosed up, and the mouthwash opens up some kind of escape channel for the pus, with the result that she spends the next few days spitting out mouthfuls of foul tasting/smelling gunk.

    Dodgy dentists? The one she saw for the pre-op consultation said “should be no trouble to get the teeth out as you have a massive mouth/jaw for a woman”: did not go down well.

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    Keep ’em coming, starting to feel a bit sick now. 🙂

    Premier Icon tomhoward

    Had 4 molars out last friday, local anaesthetic, took 30 mins total appt time, still aches a bit but nothing over the counter painkillers cant handle. had to have the rest of the day off work though, what with it being a friday 😉


    had all 4 out under GA when I was about 20.
    They were all impacted/curly rooted so had to be sawn into 4 pieces to get them out – thankfully I knew nothing about it.
    They did leave a big hole though – about a week later I got a piece of rice stuck down the hole, which needed to be removed with tweezers while I looked in the mirror.
    I could see white bone at the bottom of the hole.

    Having them taken out did change my life, because at that point i’d been in constant pain for about 4 months.

    Oh – my Mum had a horror with hers – Dentist cocked up the extraction and had to transfer her to hospital via ambulance half way through as he couldn’t stop the bleeding.
    about 10 years ago she had an abscess under a rear molar – she now has a 2″ scar under her jaw where the surgeon had to go in from underneath/outside to sort it out!


    I wish I’d had mine removed because as they came up, slowly and painfully, they crowded my teeth, which went from being nice and straight to being horribly jumbled. I mentioned it to my son’s dentist last week and he said: “We don’t take out wisdom teeth any more because it’s too dangerous”.


    had 2 out – one was a 2 min job with a few jabs of local for the pain.

    Second one was impacted and roots were entwined in the nerves in my jaw. 4 infections later they decided it had to come out and I got sent to a specialist surgeon that did it under sedation.

    I was in a LOT of pain after the sedation wore off but it was nothing compared to what was to come. Have a little google for ‘dry socket’ it’s the most painful thing i’ve ever experienced by a long shot. I was supposed to have the other side out, I had to politely tell the dentist to **** off 😀


    Not a great experience, 4 out at once under GA in Newcastle. Took 10 days before I could open my mouth wide enough to get anything other than a pringle crisp in. I then got the worst case of tonsillitus that I’ve ever had.
    All in all it was a rapid weight loss experience.
    It also has left me with intermittent numbness in my lower jaw when I open my mouth too wide or swim front crawl for more than 30 mins.
    Apparently my wisdom teeth were way too big to come through the gaps available and I was getting facial pain from them.

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    Well, that was surprisingly easy. Two minutes of ominous cracking sounds with a satisfying pop to finish it off.

    Now wondering why the NHS dentist thought it suitable for a full referral to hospital (and was unable to x-ray it without a full jaw scan).

    £85 lighter, though. Worth it to avoid a two month wait, I guess.

    Now waiting for the anaesthetic to wear off and the horrifying pain to start.


    Congrats, sounds pretty similar to what happened to me – lots of nerves beforehand, and the reality was nothing like as bad as I’d feared.

    I don’t recall any particularly massive pain the day after, the hole + blood was a bit icky, but not a major problem.

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