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Not doing well after tooth extractions



Well-known member
Jul 8, 2021
I had my two lower right molars (30 and 31) removed last Wednesday afternoon, so I am at exactly one week. My concern over things is growing. The gum area on the cheek side next to the extraction sites does not look right. It doesn't look infected. It just looks gone. I have had six adult teeth out before this (in addition to my wisdom teeth), including four molars (one on each side on top and both lower left molars). This hasn't looked similar to those when they were healing at all. The sockets are finally looking better, but it looks like something just grazed the side of my jaw/gums there really hard and took off the gum tissue. It doesn't look like it's changing at all while the sockets and gum tissue on top is changing each day. I can see small blood vessels right at the surface and it looks like an onion-skin thin layer of gum tissue over the bone. I don't see how I could ever put a partial denture on it, which is what I need to do.

Added to that, I still have altered sensation in my face, like the anesthetic has worn off 85-90%, but stopped at that point, and things are still more swollen than I would have expected at a week. The swelling doesn't look like it's changed in the last 72 hours. I'm a nervous wreck. I called the oral surgeon's office yesterday and the woman that answered said that I should come in and the oral surgeon will map the area of altered sensation. As much as that scares me, I am really scared about this gum situation. It's my understanding that gum tissue doesn't just regenerate if it's gone. I've heard of people needing gum grafts. I don't know how I could ever tolerate that physically, much less mentally. If things aren't healing well this time, how in the world would they heal from a gum graft. I see him in two days and I am terrified at what he is going to say about both issues.

I have used this oral surgeon four times before this over the last 13 years. He was not the same this time at all. He spoke so fast - like really, really fast. It actually kind of worried me while I was there, but I chalked that up to my anxiety. He has always gone through the post-op instructions with me and shows me the teeth and tells me about them and lets me ask questions. He teaches part-time at the dental college at the university once a week, so he is very teacher-like when it's all done. He didn't do that this time. He stopped back in after the assistant did the post-op instructions and let me ask a question or two, but nothing like his normal. He just seemed like a whole other person and very nervous. I didn't get to see the teeth, and now I wish I had. I'm wondering just how difficult the whole procedure was and if it made a mess. He also left the room while she did post-op and I could hear metal banging loudly from a nearby room. If I were to guess, it sounded like metal instruments being thrown into a metal sink, but repeatedly. I have always trusted him because I had no reason not to. He actually has five stars in his reviews, and I would have given him five stars before this. Now I'm struggling to figure out what happened. I can't go through a gum graft. How are we supposed to make decent decisions about dental care when four consistent previous experiences with the same dental professional don't mean anything when it comes to the fifth time? I really, really wish I had gone somewhere else now.
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@Anne2021Wow, I am sorry you are having to go through this, and I see why you would feel concerned here, I would too, if this were my situation I would maybe call my regular dentist, post anything I could on the ask a dentist forum here, and I would most likely see a telehealth dentist where I could have a video call with them, or at least messaging with photos, Denteractive or The Teledentists are what I use. Then it would be possible to get a professional opinion and a conversation with a dentist on the gum situation and how the area looks, and maybe the altered sensation too, without having to post pictures on a public forum, and without having to wait. I think it is good and the right thing to do that you called the oral surgeon and are going back in. I'm sorry you have to wait two days. I would say try not to worry too much about possible gum grafts if you can without getting more information first, I know that can be hard to do though. The oral surgeon acting very differently sounds very weird and scary. I have had similar experiences, my dentist is moody sometimes, and since I have seen him like 15 times, he is mostly in a good mood and friendly, but has been in a bad or weird mood a few times, and one of the times he was like that, he ended up not doing the best job with a procedure, though it basically worked out ok, and I had a consultation with an orthodontist who got upset and emotional too, and I feel like it might have ruined his judgement and wasted my time. It's impossible to tell why someone is acting weird or in a weird mood if they don't say why, it's possible maybe your procedure was difficult, but maybe he was having a personal issue or some other problem that would be nothing to do with the procedure, hopefully it was nothing to do with your procedure and he just had a headache or an argument with his wife or something. If this were me I would really try and make the oral surgeon answer my questions, even if he seems rushed or something, maybe bring in a list of all the questions, and ask him if the procedure was unusual in any way, and whatever other question I had. Just put yourself first and get any questions answered. I have heard that loud banging and repeated crashing with metallic jangling in my dentists office too, I don't know what that is either, I thought it was maybe a cleaning machine for tools? But tools have to be thrown in, in batches? Loud enough to make me jump and kind of repeated. I'm really sorry you are having to deal with this, and know what you mean, it just a huge issue that these people can get moody and act strange during really important times like procedures, and there is no way for patients to avoid that, except moving on. I don't know the answer to that either. One time my dentist said he was sorry to me about some stuff that had happened when he was being weird and distracted, and fixed my treatment plan, which had been messed up. There is no way you could have known he would be like that though. Again I am so sorry you are having to deal with this, and I hope things start go get better very soon.