Did you know that impacted wisdom teeth – the ones that grow out in a slanted position, should be removed ASAP as they may damage other teeth and even your jaw? I’ve had my third molars, three to be exact, for around a decade now (these usually come out between ages 17-25) but I only got the chance to have them removed late 2022. I used to be one of those people who would feel bad about spending over Php 10,000 for something that doesn’t hurt me in any way because “okay pa ‘yan”. However, since I’m already having my Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) treated at Variahealth, I thought I might as well give it a go after seeing an article about how wisdom teeth removal can help lessen the strain off my jaw joint. At this point, I’ll do anything to help heal my jaw.
While my main motivation for doing this is to help manage my TMD, let’s focus on the actual wisdom teeth removal. The process is the same, whether you have TMD as an adult or not.
Before anything else, let me share a piece of wisdom that I got from dentist and TMJ Specialist Dr. Darwin Ferrolino of Variahealth: Wisdom teeth are the last sets of teeth that grow at the very back of your mouth during your teenage years (but some experience this mid-20s). Some have all four pieces — one on each end of the top and bottom row, while others have none at all. In my case, I have three and two of them are impacted. While wisdom teeth that erupt in a straight position do not really pose any problems, impacted third molars may possibly damage the neighboring tooth, cause cavities to the point where you have bad breath, infection, and jaw problems. This is why dentists recommend having them removed soonest you can.
WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTION
Set an appointment with your dentist to ensure that you have everything prepared and checked before the surgery. In my case, I was asked to get a panoramic x-ray so Dr. Ferrolino can pin-point the location and position of my impacted teeth. Eat and get enough sleep before your surgery schedule so you won’t feel lightheaded during or after the procedure.
It’s also good to prepare the things that you’ll need post-surgery ahead of time, especially if you live alone. Prepare a cold compress or ice bag, freeze ice cubes, stock on ice cream and cold drinks, buy easy-to-eat room-temperature food (preferably those that won’t require you to chew such as arroz caldo and other types of porridge), and buy pain killers.
If you can, file a week-long leave to ensure that your face isn’t swollen from the surgery before coming back to work. In case your job doesn’t require face-to-face meetings, 2-3 days would be enough for the bleeding to stop. You can have all your wisdom teeth removed at once or schedule them to be removed one by one. I personally prefer having them removed in one go so I won’t go through the process over and over again.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE EXTRACTION
My upper and lower wisdom teeth were gone in only around an hour, counting my quick rest in between and the post-surgery reminders. It started with me getting into PPE (medical hairnet, foot covers, and all) and getting disinfected. In order to ensure that we disinfect the mouth both inside and out, I had to gargle a bitter-tasting liquid for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The lower part of my face was then cleansed with a brown/orange-like substance which smells like Betadine. After that, a cloth was placed on top of my face, covering all parts except the nose and mouth. This somehow helped me feel relaxed since I can’t see what’s happening.
Unlike wisdom tooth extraction videos that we see on social media where some sort of anesthesia in gas form is used, mine was injected so I wouldn’t need to worry about saying random things during my “relaxed” state. After the anesthesia was injected, I honestly did not feel any pain anymore but there was pressure on my jaw. There was a bit of discomfort because I had to keep my mouth open for over 30 minutes but that’s it. The only thing I felt was fulfillment after the teeth were removed.
Expect different types of dental tools to be used in drilling and extracting your tooth so there would be whirring and teeth grinding sounds here and there. Don’t feel shy about producing too much saliva or blood, too! Expect this surgery to be a bit messy. There’s a suction for liquid buildup and the dentist will be replacing the cotton inside your mouth from time to time anyway.
The surgery ended with Dr. Ferrolino sealing my gums with a stitch which had to be removed in a week or two. We didn’t encounter problems during the surgery and Dr. Ferrolino was even able to remove my tooth in one piece so I can keep it as a remembrance! For others, the tooth needs to be cut in half in order to be removed without damaging the neighboring tooth. He really did a good job! In Tagalog, it’s what we call “magaan ang kamay”.
HOW IT FEELS LIKE POST-SURGERY
After the surgery, my face felt numb for a few more hours so I was able to go home without any pain. The stinging started kicking in after it wore off, though! My gums bled every few hours and there was a slight pain whenever I drank water. I lost my appetite during the first night but my mouth felt way better after the first 24 hours, thanks to pain killers and ice packs. There was discomfort during the first 2-3 days since my face was swollen and I had to go on a cold and soft diet for a week! Lots of sleep helped me get over the painful moments.
Post-surgery, expect that you wouldn’t be allowed to eat hot food nor drink hot beverages since it may cause your gums to bleed. Food that helped me brave through the pain include cold yogurt, jelly/ pudding, taho, cool mashed potatoes, all kinds of soup, broth, and porridges, and ice cream. You also won’t be able to workout and carry heavy things so stay put for a few days! After all, part of your face would be swollen for around 7 days before it completely subsides.
As soon as the stitch was removed (two weeks post-surgery), my mouth immediately felt lighter. I got used to the feeling of missing something inside my mouth after a few weeks. It actually feels like my teeth and jaw position adjusted for the better after everything!
PRICE AND WHERE TO GO
Price would depend on the complexity of the surgery (e.g. neighboring tooth is already damaged, infection is present, tooth has not yet erupted fully). It starts at Php 8,000 per tooth but expect the price to be higher if your impacted tooth is almost on a horizontal angle.
For an estimate and to see what you need for your wisdom tooth surgery, reach out to Dr. Darwin Ferrolino of Variahealth in Quezon City! He gives reasonable prices. You can reach him via:
- Facebook: Variahealth
- Instagram: @variahealth / @doferrolino.dmd
- Address: Unit 2A, 61 Kamuning Rd, Brgy. Kamuning, Quezon City 1103
- Mobile: +63917 6237901
P.S. A video of my wisdom tooth extraction will be up on my YouTube channel soon! Subscribe for a peek.