Ain’t That The Tooth

About an hour from now, I'll be clobbered over the head with a brick then some evil butchers are going to extract my freaky wisdom teeth with pliers. Well aparently it's a lot more gentle than that, but try telling that to the tumble-dryer nerves in my stomach. I was explaining to Witold that I had four very aggressive toothies plotting to take over my mouth in bloody revolution, and he drew an Artist's Impression of the rogue choppers. Don't you love 'em?

are you talkin' to me?

So I am scared. Anyone in a white coat and authorative manner chills me to the bone. They had to hold my hand and bribe me with jellybeans to get a tetanus shot, and I was nineteen years old. So I've always done my darndest to avoid medical procedures, aside from The Finger incident. Today's fears include:

  • Being one of of those freaks on A Current Affair with an I Woke Up During My Surgery And Couldn't Cry For Help story
  • Saying stupid things when I come out of the anaesthetic
  • Terrifying small children with my swollen chipmunk face

Which is why I am writing this a mere hour before my mouth is ransacked, so I don't have to listen to your dental horror stories and/or you telling me to stop being such a pussy πŸ™‚

i'm scared and very wimpy. hold me?

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

52 thoughts on “Ain’t That The Tooth

  1. Good luck hon. Andy has had his done and (attempts to think of something encouraging) he doesn’t have them anymore! πŸ™‚

    I’m sure you’ll be fine!

  2. Shauny!, all the best to you! I am sure Australian dentists are just fantastic and gentle and super professional.
    See you back in a few, with a few teeth less… All will be great.
    (Thank you for using the teeth for illustration.)

  3. eep! Wish I could help you there, but my fear of dentists is such that I would rather have my entire body tattooed (and having had one already, I know of what I speak) than return to one of those evil sadists ever again, and my wisdoms are well overdue for yanking!

  4. “leave a comment!
    i don’t bite. well, maybe a little nibble.”
    hmm, this does sound a bit different today…
    All will be good.

  5. Good luck Shauny! Hope it all goes well! I suppose you can always think about all the icecream you’ll HAVE to eat! Go on…force yourself!

    Silver lining in every cloud, yada yada… πŸ˜‰

  6. Good luck, Shuany …

    Here’s my wisdom teeth experience summarised: horrible to think about beforehand, pretty horrible to look back on, but surprisingly benign when it was actually happening. Maybe the anaesthetic, as well as dulling the pain, had something to do with the odd sense of academic detachment I felt, almost as if that horrible crackling-bones sound was coming from somone else’s mouth.

    Sorry, that doesn’t sound all that encouraging. Good news is, once it’s done, it’s done.

  7. Ugh! I have to have this done, too. I’ve been putting it off for over a year now because it’s not urgent. I have so many tooth-falling-out nightmares as it is….this is the last thing I need to think about! You will be fine, though, you know. Recovery time is usually pretty quick, and you get some good drugs, too…

  8. word?!
    careful with them dentists.
    like most drs i think they’re just out to make $$$.

    I had my wise teeth yanked out a few years ago–all 4, and i got stitches and all due to “dry root.” basically holes leading to other areas that they shouldn’t be leading to because, well nature put the teeth there for a reason…TO BLOCK THE HOLES!

    fell better.
    type don’t talk.

  9. i won’t go to the dentist anymore. she’s a weird little irish woman who injects me with water. i swear it’s water. because when she starts to drill, it makes no fucking difference. no difference at all.

    as for the anaesthetic fears.. well, just remember to keep your mouth zipped! you could always dribble at them instead. i’m sure that’ll go down well.

  10. “some evil butchers are going to extract my freaky wisdom teeth with pliers. Well aparently it’s a lot more gentle than that”

    Um, 4 words for you, shauny: Oh. No. It’s. Not.

    That’s exactly what they do. Trust me on this.

  11. You’ll be fine, chook. You’ll skate through the next three days in a stronger-than-God-Panadol haze, and by that time the swelling (if any – and I keep tellin’ yer that there won’t be much) will have gone. So you won’t look like the radiator-girl from Eraserhead at all!

    Trust me! I have done much research on this. I just keep hoping that my own teeth stop trying to dig their way to China via the sides of my gums and straighten up, thus removing the need I have to do the same thing. Ahem.

    You’ll be fine! There’s no evenings with Ray on your calendar, m’dear.

  12. The problem I’ve been plagued with when it comes to dentists is the whole authority thing. It’s their ability to make me feel like a worthless piece of scum, just by saying ‘hmmm’ in a way that could possibly be construed as an indication of their disapproval of something. But I don’t really have any horror stories at all about going to see dentists (which I used to do regularly, before my mental malaise half a decade ago).

    As for the fear of saying (or having said) strange/silly/embarassing/etc things when coming out of the anaesthetic, the things to remember are: those medical people are probably used to patients saying all kinds of strange things at such times, and if you do say (or have said) anything, then you probably mumbled it incomprehensibly anyway (due to the anaesthetic, and your mouth having been messed around with), so that they won’t have understood a word of it anyway.

    But talking of dental horror stories, my mouth has itself become a living horror story of what can happen if one doesn’t see the dentist when problems first become apparent. I dread to think what the dentist will say when I go in two weeks time.

    Anyway, I hope it all goes well / is going well / has gone well! πŸ™‚

  13. I had my wisdom removed long ago, which explains why I am now such a foolish but happy girl. Har.
    When I had mine out (yes, all four), I was very afraid, but the anasthetic did its job so well that I had no idea they’d been breaking the teeth apart in my head in order to remove them. When I awoke, I was swollen and packed with cotton, but I was feeling very very happy, thanks to the aftereffect of the drugs.
    Afterward, I had no serious troubles except for the chipmunk-cheeks (I had photographs taken and people who look at them now are surprised when I say, “oh, and that’s when my face was swollen from dental surgery….” That should tell you something about how observant people–and little children–are).
    Just be sure to use that odd little syringe-thing they give you (do they still do that?)

    You need no luck. You’ll be dandy!

  14. Bleugh! Having all four wisdom teeth out – under a general anaesthetic, no less – was totally yukky. The blood and the confusion, the thirst and the inability to drink. Not my recommendation for a cool Saturday night.

    Hope your experience is better than mine, Shauny!

  15. I had the same experience as Carolee, many years ago I had my teethies pulled out and the gas was very cool. The doctor asked me to count backwards from 100 as the gas started, then I said 99 and woke up! I am a cyber friend of Witold, he is so talented! Good luck with your teeth!

  16. Oh dear Shauna, I am having a bad tooth time as well. Dentists scare me to the point where I am willing to suffer for a considerable amount of time before I go and visit one. The last visit (just before Christmas) was hideous and the worst thing is, I discovered on the weekend that they hadn’t filled my toof properly when I nearly sent myself into orbit when I accidentally poked it with my fingernail. At least you will be too out of it to notice the hideous-ness. I have one bit of advice for you (probly too late) – BUY A STRAW!!! It will be your invaluable companion. (I know this from my experience of fillings…for wisdom teeth? You may have to buy two straws.)

  17. If anyone needs an update, I just phoned the divine Miss S, and she’s ok. Stoned, but ok. Puffy, but ok.

    Send her email and tell her you love her! gwarn!

  18. Much sympathy. Had all of my wisdom teeth out under general anaesthetic. That part was actually fine – not too much pain, no swelling. The real problem was I had a reaction to the anaesthetic and spent several hours throwing up everything, even water, until my mum got sick of it and took me back to casualty to have an anti-nausea injection in my ass. Not fun, not dignified. Good luck!

  19. Somehow in the scheme of things I dare say that out of all those points your raised, your DEFINITELY going to say something stupid.

    But, you know I’m (we) are thinking of you.

    Nurses are the good guys! Wish I was there to look after you πŸ™‚

  20. Hey Shauny, hope you enjoy all the post surgery icecream and yoghurt.

    I’ll bet you said all the stupid things before the surgery, just after the pre-op meds. Best drugs ever!

  21. My wisdom teeth were removed five years ago, and the only advice I can give to you is: One, do not under any circumstances allow them to give you Tylenol with codeine if you are in fact horribly allergic to codeine, and Two, do not repeat not attempt to eat red Jell-O while your lower lip is still numbed. Not unless you’re a fan of disastrous hilarity ensuing.

  22. RE: “Saying stupid things when I come out of the anaesthetic”

    Don’t do what I did after having knee surgery, no actually it was when I had my wisdom teeth taken out… I said “Phaaawww, you should have seen the nurses!!” to my girlfriend who was kind enough to be there for me in recovery. I did go on to tell her about the nurses having three eyes, but that didn’t help much after the shock of the initial exclimation.

  23. I had all four out last year, and to be honest, it was far more trouble free than I could ever have hoped for. Granted, I chose to have it done under general anaesthetic… but still, they only caused me problems for a day or two after. And they’re better out, trust me. Hope it went OK and the anaesthetic wears off soonish.

  24. It is not always all that bad. I delayed for ten years having mine taken out, because I stupidly told people what I was going to do and they heaped horror stories upon me (which I will not share).

    In reality, I was groggy after the surgery and had a bit of pain and bleeding. No swelling, no weapons of mass destruction, nothing. I was pretty embarrassed for having waited so long. The day off from work was rather cool, too.

    So Shauny, how did you fare?

  25. You’ll be fine, Shauny! Just don’t overdose on the Tylenol 3 when you get home like I did. I threw up everywhere, but, on the up side, I didn’t feel a thing.

  26. I clicked the trackback for curiosity’s sake…and someone mentioned “not that she could have more than four wisdom teeth” and well, I know a lady who had five…so I suppose that it could be worse…

  27. i had my wisdom teeth out in october. i had to be knocked out as i can always feel them doing stuff when i have local anesthetic. i was so out that they removed the scrub shirt they’d kindly loaned me, put my sweatshirt back on, and walked/pushed me down the hall into the recovery room before i came to. wow. gotta get me some of that stuff.

    i think the worst was the couple of days following the surgery – i was loopy and light-headed and couldn’t eat and sooo hungry – and the vicodin made me feel like i was drunk. made for an exciting work week.


  28. Suck, baby. I am sorry to hear this. My dentist boggles everytime he sees my teeth because my wisdom teeth are so cooperative.

    I think they call them “wisdom teeth” because once you get them yanked out you are probably a little older and wiser.

    Wise to get medical prcedures done before skipping the country, I think. Get about a year’s supply of the pill before you go, too. πŸ˜‰

  29. I just wanted to say G’luck. You will be ok. I had mine all out a few months ago. Best diet i’ve EVER been on (didnt eat or get out of bed for 8 days!), but its really not all that terrible. You get lots of pain killers and you should just keep drugged up for a few days afterwards.

    Try the ‘frozen bag of peas’ on the face for a few days (alternate bags of course!), and youshould be ok.

    Are you in Australia?
    Love your page too…very…doable!

  30. I just wanted to say G’luck. You will be ok. I had mine all out a few months ago. Best diet i’ve EVER been on (didnt eat or get out of bed for 8 days!), but its really not all that terrible. You get lots of pain killers and you should just keep drugged up for a few days afterwards.

    Try the ‘frozen bag of peas’ on the face for a few days (alternate bags of course!), and youshould be ok.

    Are you in Australia?
    Love your page too…very…doable!

  31. I can heartily second any suggestion to get anything medical done before you go to the UK. I had terrible trouble trying to get into doctors and stuff under the NHS; I ended up relying on the “hmmm – which products on the shelves at Boots will help me?” (answer: Syndol!) style of care more often than not…

  32. Hey dude – hope it all went well and you are recovering quickly. I bet you are watching the soaps or trashy (but oh so entertaining) daytime tv right now! Pete πŸ™‚

  33. l hope it hurt, well not in a nasty way, now look after your teeth and always fear the dentist as he/she is a rich bastard who likes spreading pain throughout the galaxy[not unlike Darth Vader]..think before you bite! that goes for all you vampires toooo..


    My wife works at dentist’s office and it is very important not to suck through a straw for a few days… Just tryin to help!!

  35. Hope it went well for you. I had no pain or swelling. I didn’t know she was going to take them out until I was sitting in the chair, and I’m sure that helped.

    And now I have gaps I can stick my tongue in. Yay.

  36. oh shauny, i guess you’re in recovery now.

    i’m hoping you’ll agree that it isn’t nearly anywhere as bad as anyone tells you. i was relieved after i had mine out. and apparently as the anaesthetic kicked in and i was drifting off to lalaland, i burst out laughing hysterically … so long as i didn’t curse at the surgeon and call anyone a mofo moffing mofo, i am totally fine with that turn of events.

  37. What a coincidence. I finally today went to a dentist for the first time here in Edinburgh (two tardy years after my last spate of filling fun in Melbourne), and it’s surprisingly inexpensive. Initial exam, scale and polish, and replacing an old filling will come to less than seventy quid. As for the NHS, it’s not as hard to get doctors’ appointments in Edinburgh as it is down south. When you’re settled in somewhere, find your nearest and get on their books.

    As for wisdom teeth, youse guys are all a bunch of wimps. In the chair, baby, in the chair. The top right came out easily enough with one quick lever of the pliers, but the bottom right… well, let’s just say that the anaesthetic did its job, but the tooth didn’t want to come out, causing much levering and see-sawing of the jaw-bone, which was hilariously unpleasant on the side that HADN’T had any local. (Kids! Try it for yourself. Open your mouth as wide as you can, grab your right lower jaw, and start wiggling! Wheee!)

  38. d00d, I’m getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth out tomorrow….I’m wei afraid. They’re removing them while I’m young- so @ the age of 15 I am having my 1st surgery performed. I’ve heard many horror stories about the whole experience (on the contrary, I’ve also heard not so bad things). I’m really nervous… but I hope your surgery went well.

  39. I had my wisdom teeth taken out a little over a year ago. I was scared shitless beforehand because of all the horror stories I had heard. Your face swells up and you look like the Michelin Man. You bleed for days and can only eat baby food. They pull too hard and your brain dribbles through the hole. OK, that last one I made up, but I was so scared I’d believe anything!

    During the procedure, I also felt REALLY happy and more talkative than normal. That wasn’t so bad since the aid was really cute.

    Afterwards, my face never swelled up, I only bled for a couple days and my brain stayed in my skull. I was back to eating soft food in just a few days! So all of this rambling to say it’s not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I can think of a ton more pleasant things, but getting your wisdom teeth removed isn’t so bad.

  40. Do we love tooth hackers or what? Not only do they knife away our gums and partsthereof; but the bastards extract every red dime we own. My very own doctor-of-sorts is billing us in the thousands and she tells me of more work that needs to be done. Who is the stupid one, here? I don’t know about you guys, but, every time I’ve been there, I have been in the fricking chair 4 to 5 hrs. My Tooth Empress removed my back wisdom tooth, without realizing I needed a root canal on the lucky closest tooth. Childbirth was easier. What recource to we have? I’m thinking malpractice here…

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