Hello all and thank you for this site.
I will attempt to keep a journal of my current dental surgery situation in the hope that somebody will benefit from my experience. That is not to say that all people will experience the exact same story but it will, I hope, give you a rough idea.
Surgery Date : May 20th 2011
Days leading up to the surgery / background:
Throughout the week leading up to the surgery I was anxious "on and off". Some days I would be worrying about it. Other days I would be saying to myself : "It's about time I did something about it and I am glad I am". Having paid the dental surgeon "up front" a considerable amount of money (non refundable) I knew that I could not cancel or change my mind. Perhaps this fact psychologically prepared me. One week previously the surgeon had examined my teeth and had given me a print out of the work required. Being a full upper denture with all upper teeth extracted, as you can guess, it was a fairly long list.
Several complications I had considered seemed not to be a concern to the dental surgeon. I had previously been an alcoholic (started drinking at university through to around 5 months ago so a total of 10 years). My last drink was on December 20th at which point I checked in to a rehabilitation clinic/home). This heavy drinking can complicate bleeding problems and easy bruising but as I mentioned : the dental surgeon seemed not to be worried. I think partially because of my age (30). I had two crowns done whilst at university on the upper jaw. I will be the first to admit that I had neglected my teeth severely. I don't eat chocolate or sweet foods, I don't take sugar in my coffee and I dislike cola or any sugary drinks, but neglecting to brush my teeth had lead to decay. The reason I had created for not brushing my teeth was as a result of a sporting accident at the age of 17. I had collided with another player during a rugby match at it chipped my front two teeth. I was scared to brush them after surgery to repair the damage, worrying that I would dislodge the repair, that was my dental downfall. If I had have carried on brushing and the repair did fall out, I could have just gone back to the dentist for a simple repair instead of waiting all this time resulting in a full replacement.
Day 1: (first 20 hours) - Back 3 upper left molars removed.
After waiting in the lounge I made my way nervously to the operating room. At first I was intensely nervous. The surgeon injected me 4 times (starting at the back, moving to the front) with a standard injection of Novocaine. The injections were probably the most painful part of the procedure, my anxiety made it even worse than it actually was. After waiting 5 minuets or so for the Novocaine to take effect he then asked me if I felt numb, at that point my face felt like it was half hanging off so I just nodded. He proceeded to pull my teeth. The first two came out very quickly with no pain at all. It just felt as if my head was being pulled around. The third took a little longer as it broke when he tried pulling it using the normal instrument. Still no pain. After completing this, I was given instructions on the do's and dont's and a surgical dressing was placed in my mouth for me to bite down on in the effected area. They also gave me another 5 dressings to replace the original one with.
Arriving back home I had a good read of the instructions and followed them closely. I am a heavy smoker (40 a day) but I avoided smoking all together. I applied a cold pack to the side of my face for 20 minuets on 20 minuets off and took, in advance of pain, Co-codamol (8mg Codeine / 500mg acetaminophen). The pain did not set in for around 4 hours post surgery. The pain was not as bad as I have had in the past and ,I feel, significantly reduced by the pain killers. I have Tramadol on hand if needed but I have not had to use any. I went to sleep early and woke up at around 2am. The pain felt intense at this time but after standing up and taking a drink of water (on the side of my mouth not affected) with another dose of co-codamol, the pain again subsided and I was able to sleep through until 7am. The bleeding was intense for the first 4 or 5 hours post surgery. I changed the dressing 4 times after which I removed it all together in order to allow air to get to the affected area. The amount of blood was concerning but ,I believe, looked enhanced by saliva and water.
That brings me to this morning. I am feeling no pain at all at the moment (8:50am). I have taken another dose of Co-Codamol. I am still sticking to cold water only as my drink of choice until 12:30pm today. If there is any bleeding it is in no way comparable to just post surgery. After 12:30pm it will be 24 hours post. I will then begin my routine of Salt water wash. I also have TCP and Chlorhexadine at hand. The leaflet given to me by the dentist suggests 2 tea spoons of salt in a glass of hot water (as hot as your mouth can handle) every 4 hours, when spitting the water out do not use force. I will stick to this guideline thoroughly. I will update this page tomorrow.
Thanks and forgive me for the lengthy post.