My Nasty and Enjoyable Wisdom Tooth Extraction and Surgery Experiences at National Dental Centre in Singapore
So on my annual dental check up last year, the dentist had an X-ray done to check my teeth, and it turns out that I was advised to have wisdom tooth extraction and surgery done on all four of my wisdom teeth.
My upper left and right wisdom teeth grew out nicely, but my bottom left and right wisdom teeth were impacted, which means they were growing out in a direction that would collide with neighboring teeth.
For normal wisdom teeth, you can have them extracted normally by the dentist with pliers.
But for impacted wisdom teeth, you have to undergo wisdom tooth surgery which involves the dentist drilling the wisdom tooth down the center before using force to break the tooth into parts and removing the parts one by one (sounds scary, but it should be painless).
Apparently wisdom teeth have no real purpose and leaving them there your mouth just makes brushing and flossing difficult, and occasionally your biting and chewing motions would cause ulcerations on your gums due to how far back the teeth are in your mouth.
I did this dental checkup at a private dental clinic near my house, but the cost of the wisdom tooth extraction and surgery offered there was too high in my opinion.
So what I did was make an appointment to have another dental checkup at Bedok Singhealth Polyclinic, and there I was given a referral letter and also an appointment date to have my wisdom teeth checked out at National Dental Centre (located at Singapore General Hospital - nearest MRT is Outram Park, about 10 mins walking distance).
The reason why I went to the Polyclinic is because if you have a referral letter from them, you can get a government subsidy on wisdom tooth extraction and surgery at National Dental Centre, and the savings are significant.
I used my Medisave to fully pay for the procedures - no cash was needed - it cost around S$600+ for one upper wisdom tooth extraction and one bottom wisdom tooth surgery. So in total, all four wisdom teeth cost me around only S$1300, as compared to much higher costs at private dental clinics.
I ended up getting my upper two wisdom teeth extracted and the bottom two impacted wisdom teeth surgically-removed at National Dental Centre.
I did this on two occasions: the first time on 17th Nov 2016, I underwent wisdom teeth extraction and surgery on the two wisdom teeth on the right side of my mouth.
The second time on 6th Jan 2017, I underwent wisdom teeth extraction and surgery on the two wisdom teeth on the left side of my mouth.
I chose to split it up to two occasions so that I could have one side of my mouth still available to chew food while the other side was recovering from surgery. This strategy worked out well.
During the first time on 17th Nov 2016, because the dentist called Dr Rahul didn't inject enough local anesthesia into my gums, I actually felt the pain when the dentist drilled my bottom right wisdom tooth.
It didn't help that that wisdom tooth was located near a nerve, so the pain was amplified! MAJOR OUCH!
The needle used for injecting the anesthesia is HUGE by the way. The injections (I remember it being around four times) is actually the most painful part of the surgery.
After the injections, the dentist left me there on the chair to rest and wait to let the medicine take effect.
The numbness is quite an annoying feeling because you end up not being able to talk properly for a few hours and your tongue and lips feel swollen and weird.
The upper right wisdom tooth was removed very swiftly with no pain experienced at all.
I was then prescribed some medicine to collect at the Pharmacy downstairs: Two different types of painkiller pills with differing strengths, antibiotic pills (must finish all), a pill that creates a barrier to protect the stomach lining from the negative effects of the medicines, and a medicinal mouthwash ("President" brand - made in Italy).
I have one regret after the surgery that I want to share about. I didn't take the prescribed painkiller called Arcoxia early enough!
After the surgery, my wife Amilee and I went to visit our friends who just had a baby at Singapore General Hospital.
I was cocky and said that my mouth felt nothing (because the local anesthesia had not worn off yet).
But as we were leaving the Ward after seeing the adorable newborn baby girl, the sharpest, nasty and raw pain hit me in the right side of my mouth, and it was constantly there, never going away!
I realized that the anesthesia had worn off and that I had to quickly take the painkillers to numb the pain.
By the time the painkiller effect had kicked in, I was so spent and tired from enduring the unbelievable pain in my mouth.
I was able to eat lukewarm porridge that day for dinner using the teeth on the left side of my mouth to chew.
The bleeding from the wounds had stopped rather quickly on the same day.
The photo on Instagram that I posted shows some snapshots from my first surgery experience.
The caption says that I experienced completely no pain, but that was because I posted this before the pain kicked in haha!
Here is a photo of a list of the useful post-surgery instructions that was given to me by National Dental Centre.
Over the next few days, the sites of the wisdom tooth extraction and surgery on the right side of my mouth healed quickly.
I religiously took my medicines on time and rinsed my mouth with the prescribed President mouthwash after every meal and before bed to keep the surgery site clean.
Two days after the day of my surgery, we went out to have dinner with my parents at a Chinese restaurant and I was already able to eat all kinds of food, whether hard or soft, hot or cold.
One week after the surgery, I went back for my followup appointment at National Dental Centre and the dentist said that that the wisdom teeth surgery sites were healing well, and she helped to remove the stitches from the bottom right wisdom tooth surgery site.
She then gave me a syringe with an angular needle and told me to use it after every meal to target and flush out the food particles that gets stuck in the bottom right wisdom tooth surgery site (as it's a concave open wound that's recovering).
I read a reply on a forum online by a dentist (or so he claims) that it's safe to follow a 333 rule after removing wisdom teeth:
Eat really soft food for 3 days, keep the wisdom tooth extraction site very clean for 3 weeks, and the wound should heal and close up completely in 3 months.
So far, that piece of advice has proven true and useful in my experience.
I cleaned the wisdom tooth surgery site (aka the 'hole') religiously after every meal and even brought the syringe with me every time we went out.
Strangely, it was a satisfying feeling to see the food particles gushing out whenever I pumped a jet stream of water out of the syringe into the 'hole'.
I guess it's because my mouth feels very clean after doing that.
Now after 2 months from the day of surgery, according to the dentist who checked the 'hole' on the day of my second wisdom tooth extraction and surgery, the 'hole' is healing well and almost closed up already.
The second occasion of wisdom tooth extraction and surgery on 6th Jan 2017 was much smoother.
Because I knew from experience that the local anesthesia administered during my first surgery wasn't enough to fully numb the pain from the drilling, I told the dentist performing my second surgery called Dr William Lim about the pain I experienced during my first surgery.
He then told me that he would top up the anesthesia right before beginning the surgery so as to fully numb the pain.
Thank God it worked perfectly! I didn't feel any pain throughout the whole surgery and extraction of both my upper and bottom left wisdom teeth.
It was TOTALLY PAINLESS! I am very happy with Dr William Lim's skill and my second surgery experience!
I was the prescribed the same medicines.
This time round, I was smarter. As I was unaccompanied for my second surgery, I took a cab home immediately after the surgery.
The moment I reached home, I popped the painkillers. That was probably about an hour plus after the surgery.
The result? I didn't feel any discomfort at all. After the annoying anesthesia numbness and swollen feeling subsided, the painkiller effect was already there to numb the pain. SUCCESS!
The day after the surgery, we went out for dinner with my parents again and I was already able to eat everything except prawns (which apparently cause itchiness at the surgery site so I avoided eating it), including crispy fritters, pork knuckle, and some medium-to-hard foods.
Praise Jesus! I'm sure it is because of the Lord's help that the recovery of my wound is so supernaturally fast.
As I am writing this post now, it is Day 5 after my second surgery, and the swelling on the left side of my face is almost gone, and there's only a tiny bit of bruising remaining.
Overall, I am very satisfied with my wisdom tooth extraction and surgery experience at National Dental Centre in Singapore and would highly recommend anyone who needs to get their wisdom teeth removed to do what I did at National Dental Centre.
You'll save lots of money and hopefully have a great surgery experience too!
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