Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Ruby gets her wisdom teeth out - all four!

I was experiencing some pain with the left side of my jaw, so I decided to go see a dentist. I assumed it was my wisdom teeth. But long before this, I noticed that one of my left upper molars has been "pushed" out of alignment, and I immediately assumed it was my wisdom teeth doing the damage. Plus the shifting in my teeth has unfortunately become visible. So much for almost 2 years-worth of braces. And when was the last time I saw my retainer...?

So I got the x-rays done, and yup...the teeth had to go. That was January 2002.

Since I was in school and had crappy insurance, the operation would have cost around $1600...so I just delayed it, and lived with the on and off pain.

Couple years later...

Brian and I get married! whoohoo! Along with all the joys of being married to Brian, I could join his healthcare insurance and finally get those pesky teeth out. My two upper ones had already broken through, while the bottom two remained completely cushioned in my gums.

Tuesday, August 17th
Well, the procedure itself didn't take THAT long. I just had local anesthesia, so lucky me, I could hear everything, down to the crushing of my teeth. I guess the worst part about it was the yanking, especially for the two lower teeth that were pretty stubborn in coming out, which therefore required the drilling. Actually, scratch that. The worst part was getting the anesthesia. The needle was humungous! and getting pricked with it oh, at least four times really did hurt. At least that pain was relatively brief. After the procedure, I asked if I could keep some souvenirs, and although they didn't allow it for hygiene purposes, they gave me 3 of the 4 teeth. It was pretty disturbing seeing the teeth, because I had no idea how long they would be. And here you can get an idea:

Now for the "fun" part.

For those who may not know, it is recommended to get your wisdom teeth out as early as possible, because the older you get, the longer the healing process took. Boy, did I wish I got mine out years ago. Not only did it stink not being able to eat, but when I thought I was ready, I chose probably the worst thing for me - yogurt. It wasn't my fault. It was recommended to have cold dairy foods, but eating it with nothing else in your stomach for over a day, and being lactose intolerant, well, you can imagine what happened. So that was unfortunate.

So the couch, and only the couch became my temporary living space for several days. I couldn't do anything for the rest of the week, having no energy to move, popping pills, and dealing with the pain, let alone wrapping ice packs around my face to keep the swelling down. Even when the pain subsided and the appropriate amount of time passed so the holes would heal, I did have to deal with the swelling that lasted for more than a week. The swelling was decreasing by this point:

When I could manage to leave the apt for the first time, still being rather conscious of the puffiness, Brian did discover some bruising on both sides of my face when we stopped in a Baskin and Robbins for a treat. Oh great! The day I go out is when the bruising appears.

Oh well.

Thank goodness I got this done during a break in our busy schedule and that everything's pretty much back to normal.

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