Stories revolving around tooth extractions prove painful and amusing

Emily Battaglia, Writer

The late teenage years bring a set of molars: wisdom teeth, named after the time of development when a person is supposedly “wiser.” In order to ensure that they will not move the other teeth and cause medical complications, wisdom teeth have to be removed in most cases. But instead of becoming more intelligent, people who have had their wisdom teeth removed are left with swelling, loopiness and occasionally an entertaining tale to go along with their experience.

“When I first started having pain in my mouth, my parents made me a dental appointment, and I found out that all my wisdom teeth had come in,” senior Ray Kromer said. “Two weeks later, I got my wisdom teeth out. It was painful, but I was glad that I got them removed.”

On the other hand, some people do not need to have their wisdom teeth removed. Others only need a few removed.

“Most people that don’t have them (wisdom teeth) removed is because they have room for them,” Michigan Smiles Office Manager Sherry Stoutenburg said. “Sometimes the reason for only having a few removed is because they don’t always come in, meaning that some people don’t develop wisdoms at all or they only have a few that come in. Also, pain plays a large part. Sometimes only one wisdom tooth bothers them and they have that one removed to eliminate the pain.”

For those who do need them removed, experiencing nervousness is not a rarity. Fortunately, the patient is usually given a local anesthetic along with nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas.

“When I first found out I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled I was a little nervous because I had heard a lot of stories about people who had gotten them removed,” junior Kayla Csapo said. “When they gave me the laughing gas I felt relaxed and I didn’t remember a thing when it was over.”

Laughing gas not only allows the patient to become more comfortable and experience less pain, but this helpful sedation also causes many people to say and do strange things after the procedure is finished.

“I thought the pulse reader on my finger was a crocodile and I kept on growling at people with it,” sophomore Brennen Henson said. “I also kept yelling the nurse’s name who I had never met before.”

Days after the procedure, side effects start. One of these being swelling that usually disappears after about two weeks; but sometimes it lasts longer.

“I had my wisdom teeth pulled a month and a half before sophomore year started,” junior Hannah Kirshman said. “I got an infection four times and the swelling was still there for my school picture.”

The strange wisdom teeth stories out there make many wish they were a part of the lucky few who never will experience any problems with their wisdom teeth. However, even though there are many downsides to having your wisdom teeth pulled, there are a number of benefits such as a lower risk of gum disease and cavities.

“Some of the benefits are less crowding if there isn’t room for them,” Stoutenburg said. “Removing them also reduces the risk of pain and TMJ (pain that restricts jaw movement).”