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The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

Students share trials and tribulations of wisdom teeth removal

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Graphic by Sophia Puzon
Many students have their wisdom teeth removed during high school to prevent dental problems down the road.

Much like getting a driver’s license or graduating high school, getting wisdom teeth removed is a common rite of passage for teenagers and young adults. But horror stories about the medical procedure, from waking up during the surgery to revealing your darkest secrets after anesthesia can cause dread for those who walk into the operating room. 

Often, the preparation for wisdom teeth removal can bring about nervousness and an expectation of what to anticipate. Junior Billy Song, who hadn’t had surgery previously, was just desperate to get the procedure over with. Luckily, her brother had his wisdom teeth removed the day before her surgery, so she knew what to expect.

“For me, it felt like a task. I was just like ‘I need to get my teeth out and I’ll be done,’” Song said.

For senior Kaya Tunca, who got all four of his wisdom teeth removed at once, the task felt all the more daunting — especially managing the pain often associated with post wisdom teeth removal. 

“I was definitely nervous going into it,” Tunca said. “But I was getting all four of them out so I was like ‘okay, this is the only time I’ll ever have to do it in my entire life.’” 

Before the procedure, people commonly resort to drinking copious amounts of pineapple juice to reduce the amount of swelling post-procedure. 

Most people who get their wisdom teeth removed go under anesthesia to alleviate any pain during the procedure. Junior Hailey Miller, who got her wisdom teeth removed in July, described the fast-setting effects of the anesthesia. 

“I remember talking about school and sports, and the next thing I knew I was awake and it was finished. It felt like one second had passed,” Miller said. 

Although most people resort to general anesthesia, Song underwent the surgery under local anesthesia and was fully conscious going into the procedure. 

“Right after they numbed me I started crying,” Song said. “I cried throughout the whole surgery and I was thinking about how they were cutting into my gums and [ripping] out my tooth.” 

Anesthesia can make people loopy right after the procedure, causing them to do or say uncharacteristic things. While Tunca didn’t have this experience, junior Reiter Madden, discovered that he filmed videos of himself after his procedure and before the anesthesia wore off. 

“I remember singing ‘Heaven Is a Place on Earth’ by Belinda Carlisle because during the car ride there my mom was playing it,” Madden said. “I thought I was Santa Claus — I was just really, really confused.” 

Those who have undergone the wisdom teeth removal procedure can attest that the removal itself is the easy part — it’s the post-removal process that causes the most affliction and inconvenience. 

Drinking pineapple juice proved effective for Song, though her meals were reduced to soft foods for the first few days. The day after her wisdom teeth removal, Song was left out during a dinner date with her friends. 

“I had to watch them eat all this delicious Korean food while I was drinking soup,” Song said. 

Some people weren’t as successful with the pineapple juice. Miller anticipated that the recovery process would take three to four days, but much to her chagrin, it ended up lasting seven days. 

“My face looked like a square, my cheeks were really puffy. I looked like a chipmunk. And I couldn’t leave the house because my face was too swollen,” Miller said. “I was like, ‘Why is my face still puffy? It’s day five. I want to leave my house.’ I was just upset.” 

Tunca’s procedure went smoothly, and he wasn’t even loopy as he was being wheeled out and driven home. But the recovery process wasn’t quite as easy

“For the next week I couldn’t do anything. My mouth hurt so bad, and I lost ten pounds. I was just in bed the whole week,” Tunca said. “But at least it’s out of the way now.” 

When asked what advice they would give to those who might get their wisdom teeth removed, the general consensus is to prepare ahead of time, especially by chugging as much pineapple juice as possible, and more importantly, to not be afraid of the procedure. 

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Sophia Puzon, Senior Reporter
Sophia Puzon is a junior at Burlingame High School and a second-year journalism student. She's thrilled to return this year as a seasoned senior reporter. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, playing video games, and most of all sleeping.
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