Potential complications of tooth extraction include postoperative infection, temporary numbness from nerve irritation, jaw fracture, and jaw joint pain. An additional complication is called dry socket. When a blood clot does not properly form in the empty tooth socket, the bone beneath the socket is painfully exposed to air and food, and the extraction site heals more slowly.
As I stated here, I get my wisdom teeth out on the 23rd. That's Friday for those of you not keeping track. I said before I'd begin freaking out around the 22nd, but it's started early. I've been doing searches on extractions off and on all day. Am I crazy or does "jaw fracture" sound a bit intimidating? In other sites it says that paralysis, like of the jaw, tongue, and/or face can occur. Does that not sound super scary? When my tonsils were out my tongue was numb for ages. That's one thing, but jaw or face numbness? Anyway, I guess I shouldn't worry, it's supposed to be a simple extraction - all four wisdom teeth have broken the surface, so hopefully no serious digging.
I also looked up nitrous oxide because I opted for that instead of being knocked out (I'm currently questioning that decision). Wikipedia tells me that it is a colourless non-flammable gas, with a pleasant, slightly-sweet odor. It is used in surgery and dentistry for its anaesthetic and analgesic effects, where it is commonly known as laughing gas due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it. Ok, so yay euphoria! But there's more: Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a dissociative that can cause analgesia, euphoria, dizziness, flanging of sound, and, in some cases, slight hallucinations and mild aphrodisiac effect. It can also result in mild nausea or lingering dizziness if too much is inhaled in too short a time. Other commonly reported side effects include stomach irritation and headache. Normally I'm perfectly open to the concept of an aphrodisiac, but I'm fairly certain the Oral Surgeon guy is going to be a crusty old man (and we all remember the last time I judged a doctor before meeting him. Maybe this one won't be married.
So if any of you have had this done before - with or without nitrous oxide - tell me all about it. Preferably before I panic. Mmkay? The very fact that you survived to tell me all about it is even good. Thanks so much.