Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Extraction day that is.

I know having a tooth pulled is not an experience unique to me. Even still. I'm going to share. If you've never had a tooth pulled out before then here are...

7 Things I wish I'd known about getting a tooth pulled out:

1. You may miss your tooth and wish you'd gotten that root canal.

2. No matter how small the tooth looks out of the mouth, the gap in the mouth is big.

3. The first few days are sore. Bad tooth gone ≠ pain is gone.

4. It will heal. Give it time.

5. The salt water gargle recommended by your dentist is spot on. Better than pain relief in pill form I reckon.

6. It is recommended you rest, meaning SITTING DOWN, for a few hours immediately after. I was given the ok to walk home (20 minutes, including uphill) because it was necessary and not too strenuous. But warned that I shouldn't be running after children or bending down to them all afternoon.

In that case, since I must,  I'll read a book during kindy/nap time.

And then have my gorgeous friend Johanna come over and run my household for me. Laundry folding, dish washing, child entertaining, delicious-salmon-dinner making Johanna. What a gal.

7. Oh and the actual extraction doesn't actually hurt. Neither do the numbing injections. It really was just a pinch. Or "pressure". And then a strange pushing, then pulling, loud crack and a pop. The worst part for me was feeling my jawbone on the opposite side being yanked to and fro opposing the dentist's pulls. That was WEIRD.


I only got one opinion on whether or not you'd like to see photos of a blood filled socket. So if you're in the "no" category, don't click to enlarge.

Day 1
(note: pool of blood (dentist's terminology), swollen face and mouth parts, BIG gap)

Day 10
(note: no blood, barely visible clot, shrunken socket, wisdom tooth noticeably moved forward already)


Day 1. I was sure I'd made the right decision. What you can't see in that picture of my tooth is the large hole that goes right from the top to the bottom of the tooth, hollowing out everything in it's path. Also the black cloud visible from the outside of the tooth that proves decay was all that tooth had left to offer.

Days 2-4. I wasn't so sure I'd made the right decision as I heard of others having great experiences with root canals. The gap in my mouth was huge. I just wanted to chew properly. I kept painfully knocking my lonesome wisdom tooth on my top jaw. It wasn't healing. I missed my tooth.

Day 5. Nat tells me to be patient. After all it was after 2 weeks that the dentist said I should expect the socket to be covered with tissue, deep healing to follow over the next 4 weeks after that. I remembered I was supposed to be doing a salt rinse after every meal. Despite some bleeding, things got better.

Day 10. Not painful. Visible progress in healing and movement of wisdom tooth. I am "at peace" with the decision.


Even still. If there's a next time I think I'll get the root canal. Turns out I really like having my teeth. And I have no more spares.

(Disclaimer: Mine was a straightforward, single rooted, conical shaped root at that extraction. Please don't be angry at me if your complicated, double rooted, twisted in either direction and needs to be broken in pieces extraction is less than rosy. Make sure you trust your dentist.)


  1. I had a root canal done at the Dental School = about a third of the cost a "real" dentist would charge you apparently (that is from what I've gleaned from talking to friends). My thoughts on the experience are pretty much that they pump you full of all manner of drugs to numb the pain but it's still excruciating sorry - because it's a NERVE - and they have to clean all that nerve out before they can do anything else. PAINFUL!! And they use these teeny tiny metal things that look like a cross between a needle and a pin to clean out the nerve cos that's what can fit in there.
    Also another friend went through all the trouble of multiple dental visits to have a root canal (also at the dental school) only to have the tooth split and have to be pulled out in the end - BUMMER. And EXPENSIVE!!

  2. Haha - I've had about three teeth out, and never had a problem either... oh, plus wisdom teeth (gees, that makes it 7 - who knew we had that many 'spare' teeth to get rid of)!!!!

  3. I've had a root canal done TWICE, and I've pledged never again! In spite of serious medication, it's still really bad. The second tooth broke off on(in?) a Mintie eventually. Removing the root canal contents with those little reamers gets the nerve out but also destroys the blood supply. The tooth is then dead and becomes increasingly brittle over time as it dries out. You made the right choice, I think.