Dental & TMJ surgery

Wisdom tooth extraction

During a checkup with Dr Gina Vega, I was told my wisdom teeth didn’t have much space to grow and that I would encounter problems with them. Having had multiple TMJ surgeries in the past four years, we thought it would be best to re-visit my oral maxillofacial surgeon, Mr Luke Cascarini to discuss removing them.

During my appointment he initially suggested removing two of the wisdom teeth under general anaesthetic at the same time as carrying out a TMJ arthroscopy with platelet rich fibrinogen and removing the remaining two a little bit later.

I was adamant that I didn’t want to have two separate surgeries, so was willing to be in a little (or a lot!) more pain, but have all four third molar teeth extracted along with the arthroscopy so as not to waste any time.

Bright and early on July 21st, my surgery took place in The Platinum Medical Centre, after the usual pre-operative assessment and meeting the anaesthetist, I changed into my gown and was waiting to be taken to theatre. I’d been warned by both Mr Cascarini and the anaesthetist that I would be in a lot of pain and that if I wanted to change my mind and only have two removed I could (I held my ground and stuck to my guns!). Before I knew it, it was time to head upstairs and the anaesthetic process took approximately fifteen minutes. Some blood samples had to be taken for the platelet rich fibrinogen to be obtained, my nasal passage needed to be numbed to minimise bleeding with breathing tubes and then I was put to sleep.

Here is what I looked like ten minutes before my surgery:

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The surgery took about an hour and a half and sutures were required on the lower molars. When I was waking up from the surgery I didn’t expect my mouth to be so numb- I couldn’t move my tongue to speak (and I chewed the inside of my mouth raw- rookie mistake!) but it helped immensely with the pain. Eventually I felt well enough to go back down to the ward, looking ever so stylish with an ice hat (it sounds ridiculous, but it became my best friend).

The swelling set in early on, this photo was taken ten minutes after being back on the ward (please excuse blood stains on my chin)

 

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After a few hours and copious amounts of ice-cream, I was discharged. My jaw felt quite sore, but the inside of my mouth was still numb enough to not feel any discomfort. My biggest concerns were the swelling and the lack of mobility in my tongue, making communicating somewhat challenging.

I didn’t need to take a single pain killer throughout my recovery. I don’t usually like to take painkillers anyway and will always wait until I’m in agony before taking a single paracetamol, but I honestly didn’t find the surgery painful enough to warrant it.

The ice hat was a godsend, it helped with the swelling and eased the pain…Despite the confused looks I was getting when I refused to take it off for three days and would drive with it on.

The surgery took place on a Thursday and by the Saturday I felt right as rain and as if nothing had happened. I was even more glad that I didn’t choose to have two separate surgeries!

I had a follow-up appointment with Mr Cascarini on August 11th to discuss how the surgery went. The wisdom teeth wounds had healed nicely and my sutures were removed  (they were dissolvable, but still long enough for me tug on them occasionally). My jaw has shown no signs of improvement as of yet, but sometimes symptoms could get worse before they get better, so we’re hoping this is the case!

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