Teeth, who needs em?

HUNTER WIECKOWSKI, Staff Writer

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The time of the caveman has long since passed. Our medicine and practices have advanced to a point where they can not be compared to what they once were. We no longer attempt to cure people with leeches, mercury, or heroin. It should be clear to everyone why this is such a great thing: fewer diseases, longer lives.

 If you ask me, it has been a pretty good time. But one of the least fun effects of our medicinal revolution are removal of the obsolete body parts that come with. Specifically in my case, wisdom teeth.

When it comes to body parts, wisdom teeth are not the most useless. That honor belongs to the appendix. Unless, that is, nobody is telling me about some other more useless part of my body. Unlike the appendix, which no longer serves a purpose, wisdom teeth are like the adult teeth to your adult teeth.

Humans are like sharks. We get a few extra teeth in case we lose some along the way. But you don’t see that many humans swimming through the ocean tearing up fish with nothing except their mouth. We also brush our teeth. Even though we aren’t as cool,  we get to keep our teeth intact and in our head.

Not to sound cliché, but everyone is different. Some people get them out in their teens, like me, some people have them extracted in their twenties or thirties, and some never have to get them out.

This is usually because either the teeth never grew in, the teeth  fit into their mouth fine, or they’ve lost some other chompers.

If you have ever used the internet, and since this is an online paper I will assume you have (unless someone printed this out for you, which while it is a little strange, I won’t judge). The point is just like cats and pimple popping, videos of people with their wisdom teeth removed are everywhere. For good reason too; they are very funny. I made quite a fool of myself when I awoke from surgery high on anesthesia.

But there’s more to the experience than waking up loopy and barely able to speak. As far as surgeries go, getting your wisdom removed is pretty minor. The procedure is relatively short and safe. My operation lasted somewhere between one and two hours and had no unforeseen complications. I was unconscious for the entire extraction process. In fact the only thing I had to do was let them put a needle in my arm. For some people that is not a big deal, but I suffer from trypanophobia which, if you couldn’t guess, is the fear of needles and injections.

In fact, the operation itself was the easiest part of the experience for me. Post procedure is unarguably the least enjoyable part, but somewhere in the middle was pre-procedure, at least for me. As with most surgeries, you are supposed to go in with nothing in your stomach. No food or drinks six hours prior to going under.

The no drinks part proved to be especially challenging for me. My procedure was at 9:30 in the morning and I woke up at 8:00 that day. If you ever see me, I will probably be carrying around a water bottle or some other beverage. My mouth gets very dry very fast, so I tend to go a little insane without a constant source of hydration. Luckily for me my operation was early, but if it hadn’t been I don’t know how I would have made it.

But now we get to talk about the least fun and longest part of the experience- post surgery. As you can expect, the recovery from having four teeth extracted is not an enjoyable process. The pain, believe it or not, was not the worst part. Between the anesthesia and pain medication, my gums were never in that much pain. What provided me with infinitely more discomfort was the blood and saliva constantly pooling up in my mouth.

Arguably the best part about being sick or injured is how other people treat you. I was babied the days following my procedure. It helped that I was drooling all over myself and was incapable of eating solid foods.

On the topic of food and more specifically food that is solid, you really learn to miss it when all you can eat is pudding and ice cream. Now I know that sounds like a child’s paradise, no fruits or vegetables, just sweet sweet ice-cream and pudding. But believe me, it gets old fast. There is a limit to how many bowls of Jell-o and milkshakes you can slurp down before you start to feel sick. This limit comes before you stop feeling hungry.

So while getting my wisdom teeth out was by no means an enjoyable process, it also wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was like a mini vacation since I didn’t have to do anything under the pretense of getting my wisdom teeth out. But this is one experience that I’m glad I won’t have to go through again.

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