aka My Teeth Chronicles
I was planning to include this in one of my quarantine diaries because I thought it will be a one-time dental appointment. It didn’t turn out as I expected. I scheduled my appointment on Sept 28th, I filed for a leave a few days before my scheduled appointment so I can take a rest that day. I went in thinking I’d just go for oral prophylaxis, a simple extraction to remove the rest of my broken tooth, possibly a filling or another extraction for one of my molars.
I am very ashamed to say that I have not been to a dentist in years. I have been trying to schedule that freaking appointment, but I will always not end up doing it. The years just went by so fast. So when I got to the dental clinic, I ended up getting a deep cleaning and I was informed that I need to get 4 of my teeth extracted. They weren’t simple extractions either, the doctor needed to cut through the bones to get her instrument in there and extract the rest of my tooth. Since this has been such a journey, I decided to write about everything, including all of the expenses. I contemplated if I wanted to include the expenses or not, but I’ve had some friends reach out to me about their own experiences and also asked about how much it was. So I thought, this might be helpful to other people who are looking to have their wisdom teeth removed as well, especially if you have an impacted wisdom tooth like me. I do have a dental card from my employer, but the coverage is just the basic stuff and not the services I went through.
Visit # 1 (Sept 28th)
The doctor inspected my teeth and I was informed that she will be extracting 4 teeth, but we need to get an x-ray first. Also, I cannot just do a simple oral prophylaxis, a deep cleaning is necessary because I haven’t done it in years. So we did the panoramic xray first of my whole mouth (my first time to do that!) and while waiting for the results, we did the deep cleaning. Then, she suggested polishing, and just said yes, anyway, it wasn’t that expensive and I felt like it was smoother after that.
The doctor then explained what we can do about my bad teeth. So I have 4 in total, 2 of them are wisdom teeth on the lower part. Luckily, I didn’t grow any wisdom teeth on my upper teeth. The first one that for me was the most urgent one is the broken premolar on my upper teeth on the right side. The one on my left side has been extracted maybe 5 years ago – I don’t know why I have lost both of them now.. It’s literally the same tooth on each side. LOL. I found it urgent because I felt my gums swelling the previous week, so I thought I needed to get that taken care of asap. The others – I don’t really feel anything. The doctor said, we can have that extracted plus the wisdom tooth on my left side that day, and then the impacted wisdom tooth on the right plus the molar next to it on another day. Sadly, the molar next to my impacted wisdom tooth has gone bad, too. I’m really surprised to hear that because I don’t feel anything. Since I only see it from the front, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I decided to just do the right premolar that day because the easier wisdom tooth is on the left side. If I do different sides in one day, I don’t think I’ll be able to eat at all.
I think I can actually do two extractions in one day – I’ve done that before – but only if they are on the same side. Right when I was about to do the extraction, I was still contemplating if I want to do the other one, but in the end, I decided to do just one. Sure, I will probably save my PHP800 but it’s also important not to speed up the process and risk not being able to eat at all.
They say that the most painful part of it all is the application of the anesthesia because the doctor will, of course, inject it to your gums. The doctor was so apologetic about it and she has definitely guided me throughout the process, warning me of what might happen, what I might hear, what I can expect, etc. But it was not so bad, to me, it’s really just a pinch, like when you get blood extraction. During the extraction, I didn’t really feel anything. Half of my face was numb – as it should be. But of course, I can hear the cracking, I can hear when she was slicing through my bone. But it was actually quite fast! The doctor was suddenly ushering me up, telling me to gargle and showing me the rest of my bad premolar.
And of course, the worst part was the aftermath, but the doctor has recommended medications for the pain, antibiotics, and gargle.
PPE (for the dentist) – PHP800
Panoramic xray – PHP1500
Oral prophylaxis (deep cleaning) – PHP700
Polishing – PHP300
Surgical extraction – PHP3000
Visit # 2 (Oct 12th)
This was a quick visit. I was not nervous and the whole process took maybe around 20 minutes. My left wisdom tooth on my lower teeth is partly broken, that’s why it had to be removed. I’ve had the molar next to it removed around 5 years ago, so there was an easy access to it. This was probably the easiest out of the three extractions.
I definitely felt something during the extraction, the removal was on the left side, but I could feel it on the right side as well. As if there was a battle in my jaw, LOL. I had one time out because it was a bit painful. That tooth was huge, despite it being broken already. I was so shocked.
When I got home, I was very sore and my mouth was so bloody when I got home. I just kept spitting blood, but I was fine. I even built the shelves that arrived that day and fixed my room a little bit. I could barely open my mouth, though, so I took a pain reliever and went to sleep, so even if I was hungry, I wouldn’t be awake to endure it. LOL. Surprisingly, when I woke up, I felt fine. I was already eating rice and vegetables on the right side and I didn’t feel much while chewing. This was so unproblematic that I didn’t even have to do soft food diet this time. I only had to take another pain reliever maybe on Day 3 post extraction because I had some neck pains on the left side. I don’t know if that is related to the extraction or not though, it could be just of how I slept.
I also no longer bought medicines because I still had some left from the previous prescription. Also, I didn’t think I’d need them because I felt fine. Just needed to buy more providone iodine gargle and solcoseryl for my cold sores. Why didn’t I know about this before?! It’s so effective! It’s expensive (PHP600+), but you can use it for any kind of wound for fast healing, not just cold sores / mouth ulcers. I usually get cold sores on the insides of my lower lip because I think I bite them when I sleep. My dentist told me that maybe I teeth grind, but I don’t know if I do – nobody has told me before. She said I could get a mouth guard, but since I plan on getting braces then that should resolve my issue for now. (I do believe I will get cold sores from these braces as well, but at least I now have solcoseryl for this.)
Surgical extraction – PHP5000
Visit # 3 (Oct 26th)
This was the most difficult out of all the three and I expected that, that’s why we saved it for last. On this day, we removed two teeth – the impacted wisdom tooth on the right side and the molar next to it. Unfortunately, that molar has been affected by the impacted wisdom tooth and had to be removed as well. Looking at the x-ray, the impacted wisdom tooth is blocking the molar so the impacted had to be removed first before the molar. Which can prove to be difficult since the impacted wisdom tooth is horizontal, with my gums blocking most of it.
Before starting, they took my blood pressure and my numbers were normal. Then, the doctor injected anesthesia and I don’t know why, but I felt nervous after that. The doctor wanted to make sure I’m fine to continue so we took my blood pressure and it’s just the same rate.
I didn’t expect that this will take 2 hours, I forgot my phone at home because I was in a rush that morning so I didn’t have a concept of time. I read that for some, it can actually take 3-4 hours. I just asked the doctor afterward how long it took. Imagine being in that chair with your mouth open for almost 2 hours. But there were definitely a lot of breaks and pauses. Of course, my mouth got tired and the doctors, too. The doctor also had to do two more injections of anesthesia – 3 in the beginning plus 2 during the course of my surgery.
The doctor also got another male doctor to help because removing my molar proved to be difficult. Turns out, I have really strong teeth. LOL. There were three people around me and at some point, my doctor had to hold my head while the male doctor was removing my molar. So I guess the process was, they broke the head of my impacted wisdom tooth first into two parts, then the molar – and this is where they took a really long time. Then, once that was removed, they removed the root of my impacted tooth. After the whole surgery was over, they did another xray just from that side to make sure that nothing was left.
After I left the clinic, I just went to the pharmacy to buy my meds – stronger than the previous times and more expensive, too. My total for my meds this time was over PHP1,000. I only spent around PHP200 the first time. The antiobiotics were more expensive this time and I needed to complete a week of that, so the total came to PHP700 just for antibiotics alone. I usually go to the grocery after my dentist visits, but not this time. It took longer than expected and I left my phone at home. I had a part-time job that I needed to do before 3pm so I had to rush home. Also, I felt a bit tired.
I got home and saw that this how my mouth looked like. I was so surprised because I know that I had my mouth open for almost 2 hours, but didn’t know it was this sore since my face was numb from anesthesia. LOL. I guess the left side of my face was like that due to the suction tube (what do you call that?), and of course, the right side was sore because that’s where they worked on. The doctor had to put petroleum jelly on my lips after the surgery and I didn’t know what the was before until I saw how I looked like at home.
12 hours post surgery, it felt a bit better. My mouth didn’t look like that anymore, but I could feel that the right side of my face is still fat and sore. I tried eating rice in the morning, maybe around the 17-hour mark, and I can chew but I can’t open my mouth fully yet. 36 hours post surgery, I am already eating rice and chicken. I can still feel though that a part of my right jaw is still sore. I am also worried that food bits are going into the socket. I’m just worried that it will close and capture the rice bits inside.
This is the last extraction though, I have no more teeth to give to the tooth fairy.
Surgical extraction: PHP15000 (price for two teeth: impacted wisdom tooth + second molar)
This was super expensive. The quotation to me during my first visit was PHP12,000-15,000 for both molars, but I was charged the maximum, because it turned it to be very difficult. Imagine extracting teeth for almost 2 hours. I totally understand why it was more expensive than usual. It is still within my budget though, because I was expecting PHP10,000 for each wisdom tooth. Of course, it will be different per clinic and your specific situation, I have checked online and I think this pretty much within the range. I have seen posts online where they were like, that’s too cheap, that’s too expensive, etc. I say, go have a consultation, get an x-ray, and a quotation from the doctor. That’s what I did. I knew all the price range of each extraction right on the first visit. I have had a good experience with this clinic so I wanted to continue with my nice female dentist. This clinic is also inside a mall so I expected that their rates would be on the pricey side. I also don’t want to risk going somewhere cheaper because impacted wisdom teeth are serious stuff. My brother’s girlfriend is also a dentist so I did have other options, but I just wanted to do all the extractions in one place since they already know of my case. I will do my braces journey with my brother’s girlfriend’s clinic instead. I just hope they don’t break up before I need to remove them. I’m kidding!
Crazy I have spent over PHP26,000 for my teeth in just a month. That’s a lot of money! And I will spend more because I need to get braces. I just think of it as a birthday present to myself. I will not spend anything for a birthday trip this year, so might as well spend that money to fix my teeth. It’s been a long time coming and now that I have time to do it, might as well do everything that needs to be done. For braces, you only pay a lot for the down payment, but you pay the whole thing by installment each time you visit the clinic for tightening or something. I don’t know much yet and I will also write about this in another post.
Overall, I think the two wisdom teeth extractions are difficult only within the first 24 to 48 hours, very sore and lots of bleeding. But since they’re at the corners of your mouth, as long as you can chew on the other side then it should be fine, I guess. I would say, the healing took longer for the premolar that I got extracted on the first day. That took me a full week, I would say.
I’m going to the clinic again today to get my stitches removed and check if I need to get some fillings done before getting braces. I will make another post about this in a few weeks.