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Wisdom teeth - does removing them make you smarter? - update on page 2

ElinElin Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I need to know because on Tuesday I am having one pulled. It broke and the nerve is now exposed ... it's going to be a fun weekend. However, Tuesday is also the date for my first Bio exam of the semester. It's the Evolution section and since my eventual degree will read "Ecology and Evolutionary Biology" I'd like to not fail it. My professor will let me take it later in the day ... but I'll be taking it Tuesday.

I know that a single test grade won't show on my transcripts, I just want an A in the class and he doesn't really have many points available at all, small things matter in there. I've never had a tooth pulled, is there pain after? Does the pain stop when this tooth goes away? As it stands my appointment is at 7:30 am and my exam is at 10 am. After that exam I have Microbiology lab, but we're just doing stains, easy enough.

Sorry if I'm rambling, I took a few Vicodins to ease the throbbing pain in my jaw. Oh, I can't postpone the appointment for the tooth, the next available slot was 8 days from Tuesday, and since I have an abscess above that tooth as well the doctor said she needed to pull the tooth while I am on antibiotics.

Also - Vicodin, can I alternate taking that and ibuprofen?

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  • LoveIsUnityLoveIsUnity Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Your professor won't let you postpone later in the week or the next week? As a college lecturer myself, your teacher is a fucking dick if they won't let you push a test back a week for surgery that is necessary because one of your nerves is exposed and you're downing painkillers like Max Payne.

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  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The big question is whether you're just having a local anesthetic or actually getting knocked out; I had general anesthesia (there was no way I was staying awake for that), and I definitely was not in any shape to be taking a test later that day

    If it's just local, I'd say it's very dependent on you personally, with a mix of randomness of how bad your tooth is to take out... but you're definitely not going to be in a happy good mood for the next couple of days

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  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Are you going under for your extraction or will you just be getting a local? If you're going under general anesthesia, you won't be functional for many hours after the surgery. I don't just mean "Not thinking too clearly," I mean "Barely able to walk." A local just means the lower half of your face will be completely numb and you'll drool all over yourself. Neither produce conditions conducive to writing an exam.

    Explain the situation better to your professor. This is a case where you are entirely within your rights to demand a later exam date and you should absolutely go above their head to the dept. head or dean if they're being difficult.

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  • RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dude, you will be totally doped up after you get your wisdom teeth out. Even if they don't give you a general, you'll be on vicodin or codine afterwards. You'll be under the influence of some moderate narcotics and not in a good condition for taking a test.

    Alternating narcotics and ibuprofen probably isn't a good idea because they stop pain in completely different ways and narcotics are much less effective if the effect wears off between doses, meaning you end up taking more, which isn't good for obvious reasons.

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  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    Are you going under for your extraction or will you just be getting a local? If you're going under general anesthesia, you won't be functional for many hours after the surgery. I don't just mean "Not thinking too clearly," I mean "Barely able to walk." A local just means the lower half of your face will be completely numb and you'll drool all over yourself. Neither produce conditions conducive to writing an exam.

    Explain the situation better to your professor. This is a case where you are entirely within your rights to demand a later exam date and you should absolutely go above their head to the dept. head or dean if they're being difficult.

    The dentist said "Don't worry, we'll just numb the area and wiggle it right out." From that I assume it's a local. I'm terrified of the dentist, really I am.

    I talked to my professor, and he offered to let me take it later in the day, but the way he does exams is scan-tron and he grades them THAT DAY, and hands them back the next and goes over it in the class so that he can answer questions. Taking it later in the week is difficult because of that, the ease of cheating factor goes waaaayyyy up, not that I would, but the issue is there.

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  • Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Ask him to transfer the weight of this tests to other tests.

    Getting an emergency medical procedure is a pretty good excuse for missing a test. :P

    If he won't waive the test (and you feel strongly about it), you can take it up with someone higher up as well, like the dean of academics or a faculty adviser, or the registrar or something.

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  • UsagiUsagi Nah Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    About two years ago I had an impacted wisdom tooth pulled just under a local and I drove myself home. You'll be in pain, you'll be drooling all over the place and you won't be able to talk, but you shouldn't have any problems taking the test.

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  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    The dentist said "Don't worry, we'll just numb the area and wiggle it right out." From that I assume it's a local. I'm terrified of the dentist, really I am.

    You just may not know for sure till it's actually out. I had all 4 wisdom teeth taken out with just local (yes, i'm insane) back before Thanksgiving....they gave me a prescription for vicodin afterwards, but I got by just fine with ibuprofen. If the pain is bad enough that you're already popping vicodin, though, it could very well be different for you.
    I talked to my professor, and he offered to let me take it later in the day,

    This is a gamble. You might be in well enough shape, but on the other hand you could be loopy with painkillers and need to keep an icepack on your face.

    As has been suggested by others, I think you need to consider going over this guy's head if he's not really going to work with you. You're not exactly talking about a head cold or something here - it's a fairly urgent emergency.

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Your university shouldn't let medical issues dictate academic performance. You should be able to delay the exam until you're of clear mind and physically able to take it. If the professor won't do this because he's a prick or w/e, that is something to take over his head.

    You won't really know how you're going to react to the operation until after it happens. When I had my wisdom teeth out it was a relatively painless process (until I got a dry socket anyway), but some people bleed and have pain (and accompanying medication) for days or a week afterward.

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  • Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    There's a good chance you'll be in less pain after you get it pulled though. Exposed nerves are a bitch.

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  • LoveIsUnityLoveIsUnity Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I had all four of mine removed with local, two of which were impacted and required a saw to get loose. I passed out about three hours after the procedure and watched Blade Runner four times because I slipped in and out of consciousness. It wasn't because of pain either; it was just a weird side effect of the local and the procedure. Everyone responds differently to medical procedures. I will reiterate that your teacher is kind of being a dick.

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  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm getting my wisdom teeth out in a few weeks. The doctor pretty much told me that I WILL need someone to drive me home, and that I should try to schedule it for a thursday or friday so that I have the whole weekend to recover. There are some people like Usagi for whom it's not a big deal, but a lot of that depends on the invasiveness of the procedure, the structure of your nerves and such inside your mouth, etc. The vast majority need at least a day or two to recover.

    Reschedule your test. This is as legitimate a reason as any to get an exception from the professor, and they probably will let you. If they don't, go to their boss, the dean of the college, or the dean of students, if you have one, because that shit is utterly unacceptable.

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  • RaneadosRaneados police apologist you shouldn't have been there, obviouslyRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    talk to the department head and try to get a reschedule if the professor won't let you. The department might be able to talk to him

    i THINK professors have the word on this sort of thing but it's a total dick move to completely deny an appropriate rescheduling

    Raneados on
  • CognitiveChaosCognitiveChaos Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    While you may have no problems, it's better to plan and be prepared for them since most people, in my experience, do.

    As far as the test and your professor go, if he wont let you take the test at a later date and you don't want to go over his head, see if he's willing to let you take it the day before. It's not that much sooner, so studying shouldn't be a problem, and it solves the problem of trying to do the exam with the (possible) side effects of both general or local anesthetics.

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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    professors have a lot of leeway on a lot of things but medical issues usually aren't one of them. If you were going to be unable to take the exam for like, weeks after the original date then maybe they'd get away with giving you a no complete or something, but not for a couple days.

    I mean, this depends on your school ultimately but it seems pretty universal

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  • nukanuka What are circles? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Like the guy above me said, try to schedule the day before or something.
    When I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I was passed out on my bed for a couple of days from the percoset. My experience was pretty terrible but yeah you just never know, their could be a small earthquake and it could cause your dentist to make a very painful mistake! Always plan for the worst.

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  • GrisloGrislo Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm slightly surprised at the level of painkillers people in this thread were taking after having a wisdom tooth removed. I guess it's a cultural thing, but here (Denmark) you're not going to be taking heavy duty painkillers after unless it's an extraordinary case.

    You'll very, very likely get a local and, as others have mentioned, you'll possibly be drooling a bit after that, but you should be mentally capable of taking a test.

    I do think you should be allowed to reschedule the test, though, and it will be a bit annoying - especially as you'd probably want an ice pack of some kind going - but it's certainly very possible to take a test after having a wisdom tooth pulled.

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  • rfaliasrfalias Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I had all 4 taken out under twilight anesthesia. I couldn't function that day, but soon after I was able to move around, but it's still very difficult. You will be very cloudy headed even with local, very drooly and uncomfortable.

    Pain killers are just a comfort thing. Very very comfortable...
    I don't pass out from pain meds but if they are doing local they will prolly send you packing with Ibuprofen.

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  • RaneadosRaneados police apologist you shouldn't have been there, obviouslyRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    it's possible yes but it COMPLETELY depends on how his operation goes

    mine came out a treat and there wasn't a lot of pain but it was VERY distracting for a few days

    enough to hurt a test? I'd say yes

    Raneados on
  • FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'm probably unique in this regard, because I had the exact same situation as the OP with one of my wisdom tooth's nerves exposed, and I had to have it removed rather quickly with local anesthetic.

    Then, I returned a month later to have the other three taken out while doped up entirely. I was conscious, but the entire procedure seemed to last a few minutes in my head and I laughed out loud when I saw my blood splatter on the guy's glasses as he ripped a tooth out of my mouth. Nice.

    So, I experienced wisdom tooth extraction both under local and completely doped.

    Anyway, for this first extraction, it was relatively painless and I was out of there and going about my day. I had to modify my eating/drinking habits, of course, but otherwise I was perfectly fine. Some people have different reactions to medication though, so your mileage may vary, but if I were you I'd just accept a time later in the day instead of pushing for a full-on extension.

    That being said, the fact that the guy uses scantron makes things much easier, as he can just scramble the questions for you to take the next day before your class.

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  • President RexPresident Rex Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I think the painkiller situations partially depends on how many teeth you're having removed and how far they've developed. Generally a painkiller prescription will be for less than a week (after two days the pain is supposed to have substantially subsided (...and alliteration begins instead)). The 'heaviness' of painkillers also depends on dosage.

    Mine weren't too bad (the biggest concern was that whole 'dry socket' dealie). I was essentially provided a bottle of 15mg oxycodone tablets (which I believe is also the smallest dosage for a single pill). I found that bottle in the cabinet a few years later with more than half of the pills still in it. Painkillers are relatively cheap and it tends to be better to have them if you'll need them.


    Whether or not you'll be functional depends on personal pain thresholds and coping mechanisms and the amount of drugs in your system...and your reaction to those drugs.

    It would be incredibly difficult to know beforehand if you'd be fit to take your test (if you know the material exceptionally well or if the professor generally has easier tests, then it'd be easier to work with). I took a test with what was essentially a broken arm once (...to be fair I didn't know I had cracked it yet...I just couldn't turn it or bend it). I got an A there, but I also wasn't doped up on painkillers (unless you count the ones produced by your body).

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  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    How well you fare after a wisdom tooth extraction varies hugely from person to person. I had general anesthesia, never took anything stronger than ibuprofen for the pain, and was completely fine the next day (meaning that I was able to function just fine, albeit with a swollen face and painful mouth). I had all four of my teeth cut out, because none of them had broken yet, but they were already pushing my other teeth. But I've known people who were vomiting and incoherent from the anesthesia, and sick for days.

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  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I do know the material very well, it's Darwin and natural selection. I am in CC right now, but my Bio Prof is a Phd, in fact, he wrote the Bio curriculum for my school, including all the labs so he's very effective at teaching it. He has all his power points online and the test is really drawn from those power points. I could probably pass the test half asleep, I just don't know about in pain. Ever since I had sciatica my mind responds to pain by turning me into a space cadet. I can't focus and I go light headed. I had to actually walk out of Bio lab yesterday because I couldn't do it. If this is a simple pull and the pain goes away because that nerve is gone I'll most likely be fine. I've just never had anything pulled from my mouth before so I'm nervous.

    Honestly, he does a grade replacement as well, he replaces your lowest test grade with your next lowest. I just don't want to blow my load on the easiest test of the semester. That's probably why he's not so concerned about changing the date anyway, because he figures it'll just get replaced if I bomb it.

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  • DHS OdiumDHS Odium Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Can you talk him in to taking the test before your operation? Like do it on Monday. I had all four wisdom teeth removed at once. I wasn't functional for a few days after.

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  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Echoing a few things already said:

    - After the procedure, you might be feeling spry as can be and ready to take the test. You might down a half-bottle of happy pills and put yourself into a drug-induced coma of sleeping and soup for a week. There's no way of knowing which it's going to be for you.

    - Talk to your professor again about changing it. If he's being a dick, go to the department. If they're being a dick, go to your dean. There are a few situations in which being obnoxiously pushy towards your college administration is the way to go, and this is one of them.

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  • DecomposeyDecomposey Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    You'll probably be fine to take the test, as you're not having impacted wisdom teeth removed, just having a broken tooth yanked. I had a wisdom tooth removed for similar reasons, and the whole process left my face numb and drooling (little bit of blood in the drool, but nothing major), but otherwise fine. If you're just given a local and the professor won't let you rescedule, then you should be good to take the test. Bring some tissues to sop up your drool, or if you want to make the professor feel really bad, leave big globs of bloody drool on the desk.

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  • adytumadytum The Inevitable Rise And FallRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I have not had wisdom teeth out, but I have had 8 fully-rooted baby teeth yanked to make room for braces, all of them under local anesthesia.

    It stings but you'll be fully coherent (though in pain) and if you know the material well it shouldn't be a problem.

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  • iglidanteiglidante Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Decomposey wrote: »
    You'll probably be fine to take the test, as you're not having impacted wisdom teeth removed, just having a broken tooth yanked. I had a wisdom tooth removed for similar reasons, and the whole process left my face numb and drooling (little bit of blood in the drool, but nothing major), but otherwise fine. If you're just given a local and the professor won't let you rescedule, then you should be good to take the test. Bring some tissues to sop up your drool, or if you want to make the professor feel really bad, leave big globs of bloody drool on the desk.

    I thought he meant that the tooth had "broken" through the gum - but maybe I just misread.

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  • ShadowrunnerShadowrunner Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Even if you're awake and semi-functional after getting your teeth pulled, you still might not thinking clearly enough to take the exam. I'd second the advice to talk to your department head. If that doesn't work, talk to the dean of students.

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  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    iglidante wrote: »
    Decomposey wrote: »
    You'll probably be fine to take the test, as you're not having impacted wisdom teeth removed, just having a broken tooth yanked. I had a wisdom tooth removed for similar reasons, and the whole process left my face numb and drooling (little bit of blood in the drool, but nothing major), but otherwise fine. If you're just given a local and the professor won't let you rescedule, then you should be good to take the test. Bring some tissues to sop up your drool, or if you want to make the professor feel really bad, leave big globs of bloody drool on the desk.

    I thought he meant that the tooth had "broken" through the gum - but maybe I just misread.

    Nah, my wisdom tooth was fully erupted, or whatever you call it. Then half the tooth broke off. I can feel the tooth pulp with my tongue, it's weird. I'll let you all know how it goes on Tuesday, and my grade on Wednesday. I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope for the best, I'd really rather take it at 10, head to Micro at 12 and then go home and pass out than take the Bio test later in the day. As it is I have classes all next week and no way I can really miss anything. I can maybe skip microbio lecture on Weds, but I have 2 labs in Micro, 2 labs in Bio, and I have no clue what I'm doing in Statistics, so missing that class would be out as well. My husband's most likely going to be massively over protective for a while anyhow, so at least I'll get some help with the non in class stuff.

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  • SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    My fiancee had all 4 wisdom teeth out at once and she was not in any condition to do anything for days afterward. Not sure how it'd have been with only one, though. I'm glad I'll never have to go through that crap.

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  • Smug DucklingSmug Duckling Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    In my experience, I felt *amazing* right after the procedure (probably from the narcotics) but then completely crashed that evening.

    For the record, I had to get 4 fully-impacted wisdom teeth out.

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  • DecomposeyDecomposey Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I've noticed that most people, upon hearing anything about wisdom tooth removal, assume that you're talking about impacted wisdom teeth. Yes, in the case of impacted teeth, kiss your family goodbye and enjoy your drug induced coma. They're in most cases chipping away parts of your jaw bone to get those suckers out, and you are going to be in pain.

    But for those of us blessed with primative jaws where the teeth grow in just fine, having a wisdom tooth removed for non-impacted reasons is actually quicker, easier, and less painful then having a cavity filled.

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  • Mom2KatMom2Kat Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I just recently had 10 teeth pulled from my upper jaw in prep for a full upper plate denture. I did this with the regular local anesthetic and nitrous oxide. I would say that it really was not an issue for me. I went in at 7:30 am and was done by 9:30. I went home and after spitting out the guaze from my mouth fell asleep for a few hours, was fine by evening.

    When I had my wisdom pulled with just local, again it was not bad. Mine were half impacted and the end that had made it above the gum line had broken off just above the gumline. Local and a small slice to get a grip on it and I was fine. One of my top teeth Wisdoms took all of 10 min to get out and that was waiting for the local to get up to full effect.

    I would strongly suggest that you take the test on the next day or so if your Prof will let you. You don't know how you will respond. I have been told I am a freak of nature for being able to get those 10 yanked with only local and nitrous and for falling asleep during root cannals.

    Any other questions on Dental work I think I have had most of the major work done at one time or another.

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  • mspencermspencer PAX [ENFORCER] Council Bluffs, IARegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    From the last time I had dental work done: I'm pretty sure you can take ibuprofen and Vicodin simultaneously. DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. I AM NOT A PHARMACIST. Polypharmacy can KILL. Get expert advice. But if you are in need of additional painkiller my statement should motivate you to go ask an expert, because you know what the answer will probably be.

    Considering the type of work you need to have done, you have every right to demand . . . something. Professors have a lot of options though.

    On one hand, the professor could write a separate exam for you. Professors generally don't like doing this for a number of reasons: it's a little bit of extra work (but easier than you think), and the professor exposes himself to risk that you'll do badly on the test and then complain to higher powers that your test was harder than everyone else's test. The professor will be more likely to agree to do this if you're doing well in the class.

    On the other hand, the professor could go so far as to give you an incomplete for the class and require you to enroll again (and pay tuition for the class again.)

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  • ZephosZephos Climbin in yo ski lifts, snatchin your people up. MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    mspencer wrote: »
    From the last time I had dental work done: I'm pretty sure you can take ibuprofen and Vicodin simultaneously. DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. I AM NOT A PHARMACIST. Polypharmacy can KILL.


    Just to reply to this, my girlfriend is getting all four of her wisdom teeth out in a couple days and I sat in on the consult, Her dentists advice for these 2 drugs was to take them alternating, a motrin, then in a couple hours a vicodin, and so on and so forth.

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  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I still have my wisdom teeth and am not looking forward to the day I get them removed. Maybe I'll hold onto them for as long as possible.

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  • ZephosZephos Climbin in yo ski lifts, snatchin your people up. MichiganRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    some people dont need them removed.

    I had mine out... I didnt get knocked out and they did 2 at a time a few weeks apart.... i dont suggest that, but i'm better off for it now i suppose.

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  • EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited January 2010
    Slider wrote: »
    I still have my wisdom teeth and am not looking forward to the day I get them removed. Maybe I'll hold onto them for as long as possible.

    The last time I went to the dentist he said "oh, we don't really pull wisdom teeth out any longer unless really needed."

    My upper wisdom teeth erupted and gave me some pain and a mild inflammation that made me go to the dentist to check it out, but they're all perfectly straight and not pushing on other teeth so I got to keep them.

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  • Mom2KatMom2Kat Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I am 30 and with all the other work I have had to have done on my mouth the 2 impacted lower wisdoms are here to stay. They are not gausing any trouble.

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