These past 2 weeks for Josh and I have been pretty laid back. It all started when Josh got the flu and had to postpone his wisdom teeth surgery. When he recovered well enough to get the two wisdom teeth removed I had come down with the same flu myself. So there was about a week and a half’s time spent pretty much in misery trying to recover.
GETTING WISDOM TEETH TAKEN OUT IN KOREA
Since most medical procedures are much cheaper to get done here in Korea than in the States Josh decided to get his wisdom teeth removed here. Luckily for us we had a Korean friend who was able to setup an appointment and do all the communication between us and the doctor. I thought in this post I would compare Josh’s experience getting his wisdom teeth removed versus my own experience from when I had them removed in the States.
To start off with it seems the removal of wisdom teeth has differing philosophies, from what I experienced in my own family (my brother and I) in the States you are likely to have your wisdom teeth removed as they begin to form. Our dentist explained to my parents that when the teeth first form it is better to remove them immediately before they have the chance to grow roots (making their removal much more invasive) and before they start to push back on the main teeth (and wasting the thousands our parents spent on braces). In Korea however it seems that they will not remove the teeth unless they are presenting an issue. So even though Josh wanted to have all four of his wisdom teeth removed, the dentist will only remove the 3 that are currently pushing against other teeth. Another interesting difference here in Korea is the lack of anesthesia for wisdom teeth removal. When in the States I was put under for the removal of my 4 wisdom teeth, my brother only had 2 wisdom teeth that formed so the oral surgeon gave my parents the option of whether or not to put him under. And, if you know the story of my experience with anesthesia then you will know it was an easy decision for my parents to decline putting my brother under. Now, even though Josh’s surgery was MUCH more invasive (because his wisdom teeth are fully formed and have roots) there was NO option to be put under and as a result, the dentists here will only remove 2 teeth at a time.
Since I was completely out during the removal of my wisdom teeth I have nothing to compare to Josh’s horrifying experience of sitting there for 45 minutes while someone yanks out your teeth. He did receive local anesthesia so he didn’t feel any pain during the procedure itself but apparently 1 of his teeth had very curved, long roots that were quite a process to get out. According to him, the first tooth took about 5 minutes to get yanked out while the second tooth required quite a bit of drilling and yanking and took about 40 minutes to be fully removed.
I’m not sure if this is particular to Korea or you can also get this done in the States but Josh was given the option to have blood drawn prior to his surgery and then later injected into the surgery site to speed up the healing process. I’m pretty sure no such option was given to my parents for my surgery. Josh did choose to have this option done to one of his teeth but we don’t know whether or not it helped with the healing process.
Another difference I found in the procedure was the after care of the surgery. After my surgery the surgeon gave me a curved tip plastic needle to spray water into the holes leftover from the teeth being removed. For Josh’s recovery no such cleaning device was given, and when we asked the doctor he said they do not do that. So…who knows how this will affect healing, but Josh’s mouth seems to be healing well…so far.
Overall I think no matter where you get your wisdom teeth removed it is going to be a painful ordeal, I’m just appreciative of being completely out while mine were removed. However Josh’s surgery cost him $15/tooth, $100 for the blood procedure and $3/all the pills to keep from getting infected and to handle the pain. I’m not sure how much my parents paid for my surgery back in the States but I’m sure it was quite a bit more than the $133 Josh paid.