The whole truth about removing wisdom teeth in London!

Let me begin from when I booked the appointment. I actually went to two different hospitals as every practice does not offer this service. After having experienced wisdom teeth extraction in Estonia, I do think that this procedure should be done by a specialist with enough power as this strength is going to be well spent!

It was clear from the beginning that one wisdom tooth was a little too close to a nerve, which meant that I may feel pain, and in case the removal damages the nerve, I could be left with feeling uncomfortable until the rest of my life. Quite promising, if I my add.

On the first visit to the hospital, I was offered to either have a local or a general anaesthetic. They did not have to offer me the latter twice! As my fast life tempo would not give me a chance to have two different surgeries (and I wouldn’t want it either), I queried if they could remove two of them in one surgery so that I could get it over with and wouldn’t have to spend a whole month slurring soup. The dentist agreed, as these teeth were positioned diagonally from each other.

The week leading up to the extraction I was feeling really nervous, had nightmares and experienced loss of appetite. Evening before I did some groceries to get a couple of kilos of yoghurt to survive the weekend.

I had to be at the hospital at 7.45am, I was told not to eat anything from the midnight before and no drinking after 6am. So before the midnight I ransacked my kitchen and chucked down a couple of bananas as if I could never eat again.
I woke up at 5am to drink a litre of water – mentally I was already exhausted.
My other half came to the hospital with me for support. The drive there took about an hour and we didn’t talk much. What’s there to talk about if I could feel a litre of water going around in my stomach.

Got to the hospital, took a lift to the correct department and then I felt like crying. It was just one big space/corridor filled with around 12 beds, which were only separated by what looked like a thin curtain. I didn’t know where to run as there was no privacy at all!
Then I was given a set of those ugly surgery clothes. I pulled the curtain around the bed for that tiny bit of privacy I could get and put on the gown which was quite simple (same ones as used during giving birth). It was a completely different story with the knee-highs. I couldn’t get these on at all no matter how much I tried and it took me a while only to understand that these disrupted my blood flow from the knee down which left me with numb legs. To which they got me a size bigger which was a completely different story.
A nurse came around to measure the blood pressure – I only wanted to lie down but of course they asked me to sit up. Even the nurse laughed a little saying that it looks like I have never been to a hospital. I had to agree that not in this way indeed.

Then they checked my details and put bracelets on me which stated my name and my date of birth. I still had enough spice left in me so I dropped a joke that at least they will know who to send my remains to if any of the interns accidentally removes a leg or an arm.

And after I had said my goodbyes with my lovely partner who promised to pick me up after work, it was time for the extraction.

The operation room was small, not like in the movies. Far from it.
I hopped on the operating table and then had two people meddling with things around me. One of them tried to get a cannula into a vein on my arm and that was the moment when I literally shouted ‘SHEEP!’ over the room (the doctors did say that it’s a room where you can freely swear). Why did I decide to go for a ‘Sheep’? It’s one of the agreements with the children that we do not swear, but if you do hit your toe, you can say ‘Sheep’ instead. Of course I felt that the cannula was not inserted properly but they did not listen to me.
Then I kept chatting to one of the doctors and asked if I was already getting anaesthesia, maybe they could also wipe off the wrinkles and touch up on my butt and breasts. Just to use my money as a taxpayer to the maximum of course. They did not seem to get my humour as the dentist had previously worked in a private cosmetic and plastic surgery clinic, saying that I should not let a dentist do anything more than approved in their papers as otherwise the results will be horrendous.
Then I remembered another little thing, ‘Please keep my teeth, I really want to have these for the teeth fairy.’ You see, I had promised the children that we would see if we get more money for bigger teeth.
They said I will not be able to have these (and no one had actually asked for this before), but on this occasion they were not able to grant this little wish of mine due to hygienic reasons. They did promise to put it in a plastic bag so I could take a picture for the children after the operation.
Then I felt the anaesthesia kick in.

When I woke up, I was being taken back to the ward/corridor where I had been previously. They said everything went well, only that there was a little incision to my cheek which they had to stitch up. I didn’t really understand this part while I was drowsy (only later at home I understood that they did not only stitch the part that was left open from the extraction but they had made an actual incision to the inner cheek as well). I didn’t feel any pain and asked if they were sure that they removed my wisdom teeth? And there was the plastic cup with my teeth.

I asked for lunch immediately as well which I received soon enough. Only thing that I had to keep in mind was that I was not supposed to eat anything hot, and so I waited for the food to cool down. Half of my face was completely numb and I could feel nothing. When I finally started eating, I mashed everything together as if feeding a little child. My lunch took around 45 minutes and in-between the nurse dropped a couple of comments about me really enjoying my lunch – which of course I did as I was not in a hurry! Then they also gave me a bag with antibiotics for the next five days and a whole box of pain killers. I asked whether I should take the painkillers if I’m not in any pain which surprised Mrs. Nurse, and she said that if I do not feel any pain, then I can leave it.

The only thing that was painful was the cannula in my arm! But that was not removed before I was released from the hospital just so if anything happened, they would not have to insert it again.

I spent the whole day in bed, but I was still not able to get used to the chaos around me with no privacy. There were signs everywhere forbidding mobile phones, but you could still hear constant ringing over the room and everyone had heaps of visitors throughout the day – far from everything I had previously imagined!

To kill some time, I had taken my knitting with me (Mrs. Nurse dropped by once in a while to check if I would be able to finish the sweater by the evening), but the room itself was quite stuffy. No windows could be opened and there were numerous signs saying it was due to squirrels who seemed to love dropping by.

Amidst all of this, I had received numerous messages to ask whether I look like a hamster, or how the soup and yoghurt taste like. I enjoyed this humour. What a shame though, as I had to send back pictures of me nibbling on the better stuff.
By the time I was to be released, they removed the cannula in my arm and it was clear that it was inserted incorrectly as my whole arm was blue and blood splashed everywhere, literally. They taped my hand with a huge ugly plaster which I couldn’t get off later!

In the evening everything was peachy and I had some yoghurt only because I had already stocked up on it.

A couple of days later it was clear that I had to take out the stitching thread from the inside of my cheek, as it kept pulling during the night and was so painful! That was the only time when I took a couple of painkilles (on my fourth night back home).
How did I remove this? That was an acrobatic exercise on its own, trying to get the knot out with tweezers. It was very unpleasant and it took quite a number of tries in between of which I slept an hour or two. After my little nap the knot seemed to have given in and I could pull the thread out.

At the end of all of this, I can say that if they offer you a general anaesthetic, then I would advise to use it. It’s less stressful and you will not have to feel like they are trying to pull out your eyeballs with the extraction.

If you do need to do this procedure, then enjoy the hospital experience to the fullest!

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