There is nothing worse than a visit to the dentist. Correction, there is nothing worse than a visit to the dentist to get your wisdom teeth removed. This Researcher's experience and top advice is chronicled here...
I needed the tooth removed as it was growing at right angles into my other teeth. This resulted in my teeth being pushed forward and caused the development of a hole in which, delightfully, food would get stuck. The amount of pain was considerable - reaching from the crown of my head down to my chin, as well as pain behind the eye and ear on that side of my head. If you are in a similar situation, I'm afraid I definitely recommend extraction.
I decided on local anaesthetic as I am an asthmatic, and I was nervous of complications which may result from a general. Also, I never thought it would be that bad. A couple of friends with experience said that with a local it meant I would not be too mangled, while the rest of my friends told me scare stories about locals. I was cool about the operation, as I was looking forward to getting rid of the pain. Once the injections started, however, it was a different story. They were very painful, and as they did not start to work right away, I needed three lots. This included some into the bottom of my mouth, which were the most painful. I was quite panicky at this point and finding it impossible to relax - the surgeon suggested stopping and continuing another day, when I could be given a general anaesthetic. Take this advice if you are given it, I didn't, and I wish I had.
Once it started it wasn't too bad - the tooth was still under the skin, which was a bit gruesome. The 'sucker' which collects any fluid, broke down. This meant I had to do some serious swallowing whilst numb!
Once the way to the tooth was clear, there was some serious pulling, which was quite scary and hurt my eye socket. Then the drill started. At this point concentrate on two things; keep your tongue out of the way, and keep opening your mouth more, as it will naturally start to close. I was in a semi-trance at this point, by chanting 'It's okay' in my mind and using a rose quartz crystal to focus on.
This is the point where the anaesthetic started to wear off. I did try to communicate this, but they didn't believe me. I said I could feel it, but you can feel everything anyway. So I tried to say that it was hurting, again they did not listen. If this happens to you, be more persuasive, get their attention. If it happens near the end, maybe you can cope with it, it was bearable in hindsight.
The stitches hurt, but not too badly. I then had to bite down for 20 minutes, which hurt a lot.
The nurses noticed the most amazing rash on my body, I have never seen one like it before. I would call it a fear rash, I think it indicated that I had pushed my body too far.
When it is finished, go home, don't go anywhere that you do not need to. For a while the pain will get worse. I recommend codeine, Neurofen, Neurofen Plus or paracetamol, but not all at once - find the one that works for you.
Sort out your food before you go in. The day of the procedure I could not eat at all, and talking was also difficult. Walking and talking made the pain worse, so don't even bother. The second day I couldn't chew, which meant that I had to rely on my blender. The pain was so much better, I did not have to take any pain killers, it was just very swollen.
Some people would not find this experience a problem, but if you have to face it, carefully weigh up the options, especially the anaesthetic. Get a lot of advice and be honest about what you think you can handle.