Wisdom Teeth Removal

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by willens, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. willens

    willens New Friend

    Jun 6, 2010
    Hello everyone,

    Sorry I haven't posted so long; school started up a couple of months ago. So far I'm doing really well. I'm first chair in concert band, and I am playing lead in jazz band. I also recently made the second jazz trumpet chair in eastern district, and i'm a sophomore. I'm very worried now, because in 18 days, i am getting all four of my wisdom teeth pulled out. I've done some research on the web, and all sources say that I may have to take 2-3 WEEKS mandatory from the horn. This will have a lot of setbacks, because the actual district festival is on January 7 and 8, about two weeks after the operation. I'm getting the actual music tomorrow. another setback is that I got an all-state audition recommendation, and the audition is three weeks after the senior festival. I've already begun learning the music. One more set back is that our jazz band at school will be recording for the High School Ellington Festival on January 31. My band director wants me to play lead, but I don't think I'll be able to. I've already told him about my wisdom teeth having to be removed. So the main questions are:
    1) How long will it take me to recover? I'm 15 yrs old and I have an upstream embouchure. I'm also a relative healthy person who exercises regulary (if it makes a difference)
    2) Should I forfeit my chair in the District Festival, (even though it is a bit early to tell whether I'll have to), and request a lower chair?
    3) What will be the best way for me to either maintain my chops while I recover or once I'm able to play again, the fastest way for me to get back to where I was?

    Thank you,
  2. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

    Sep 25, 2009
    Polson, MT
    Reschedule the dentist until after the school year. Wisdom teeth removal is not an emergency procedure.
  3. tpsiebs

    tpsiebs Piano User

    Feb 6, 2010
    Randolph, New Jersey
    Removing wisdom teeth can be either routine or a horrible experience. IMO, unless, you're in a severely impacted and other teeth moving around situation, you'll want to wait and give yourself a good two or three weeks to recover.
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    I took probably less than a week off of the horn after my wisdom teeth came out. Having said that, getting those teeth removed had a serious impact on my playing - I lost both range and endurance.

    One of the reasons I was so adamant about having a dental implant done when I lost a molar this last year (long story, but ultimately it was more my dentists fault that mine) much to my wife's dismay due to the cost of the procedure, was due to the fact that once you pull a tooth, it can allow your other teeth to shift because of the gap, and it changes your oral cavity. Even losing that molar created a change in my playing - side note, I was playing aftet that tooth got pulled within a week too. You'll have some pain, but it's manageable.

    So, play it by ear and don't force it, but I see no reason why you can't be playing again a week or so after their extraction - again, I had all four of mine pulled the same day and I was playing within a week. My concern for you is what it may ultimately do to your playing, and it might have a big detrimental impact.
  5. willens

    willens New Friend

    Jun 6, 2010

    I would love to do that, but they're definitely growing in at an angle. I saw the x-ray and they're at about a 70 degree angle. I talked to my teacher, and he said that it would be best to get it done and out of the way. It's actually caused me jaw pain before, very sporadically.
  6. Scatmanblues

    Scatmanblues Pianissimo User

    Jul 19, 2010
    West Texas
    It really is idiosyncratic for how you'll respond.

    I was playing 2 days after I had mine out with virtually no pain. My section mate had it done the same year and was almost 3 weeks off the horn.

    No matter what -DO EXACTLY WHAT THE DENTIST TELLS YOU in regards to cleaning, eating, etc. after the procedure. You DO NOT want dry socket or an infection. That will guaranteed knock you off the horn for a while, and hurts worse than the procedure (don't ask me how I know...:roll:). I lost more practice time to the infection a week after the procedure than I did from getting the teeth out, and the infection was no one's fault but mine.

    If it's already causing you pain, it's better to get it done. That said, if you can wait until after the run of concerts and things (say, Feb.) you may have less practical impact on your playing.

  7. TheNigerian

    TheNigerian New Friend

    Nov 2, 2008
    I lost permanent sensation in my tongue after my surgery Summer 2009. I was working at a summer camp in upstate New York when I had to get it done. I took a week off, played and instantly felt a negative effect. I lost an octave and a half of my range and I was playing in orchestra pits, lead in the camp jazz band, and concert band material. Luckily I was hired to be a bass and percussion double so I had time off from playing my horn, but it took a physical toll on me.

    Take your time, and like what people previously have said: it is not an emergency surgery, wait to schedule your surgery a little later.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    IF yout dentist says do it now, then they are the ones that looked in your mouth - not us. If this appointment is just the next available date, check to see if summer is an alternative. I an aware of players that needed 1 day to restart up to 4 weeks.

    The pencil routine can keep your chops alive for about a week without the horn............:
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    One one hand I agree with that. On the other, I have found some dentists to be a bit like car mechanics when it comes to dental work they say you "need" to have done. We had a dentist tell my wife that she had gum disease and she needed to have some rather involved procedures, and the procedures in question I don't believe were covered by insurance at the time. According to him it was a grave prognosis and needed to be addressed sooner rather than later.

    We changed dentists and the new guy loves her teeth and gum health, so which is the case? Given the circumstances, I trust the new guy.

    My only issue with the new guy started over a year ago when I needed a root canal. Essentially a white composite filling I had (put in by the former dentist) was cracked and it allowed the tooth to decay under the filling. My current guy refilled it, but said that I might need the root canal, which I did. The issue arose due to his schedule - he had been sick and had been out of the office a lot, which as a consequence caused a back-log of work he needed to do, so he scheduled my root canal as a 2-part procedure. Did the root canal, but rather than finish it off with the on-lay that day, he gave me a temp filling, and was going to finish it the next week. This was so that he could get another patient in to try to catch up on his back-log of work. Well, before the week was up, my tooth, which was structurally weakened from the root canal procedure, broke, and it broke all the way into the root - in short, the tooth could not be saved. This was my first molar on my lower left side - a tooth that gets used a lot. For that reason, on top of the fact that as a trumpet player, I don't want my teeth to shift, I decided to spend the $2K-$3K that it cost me out of pocket to get a dental implant - I'm glad I did it, but I wish I had the money.

    To be fair to my dentist, his illness was ultimately traced to something much more serious (still don't know what happened) and he ended up being out for surgery and then being out for months for convalescence.

    Sorry for the meander, but the point is, even when you've got a guy you trust, they don't always hook you up the right way.
  10. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    I am 54, son of a retired dentist, and I have all three of my wisdom teeth (one never formed) however, they have never caused me any trouble whatsoever. Pain is a sure sign they need to be extracted, especially if you are anticipating having, or have ever had braces, or want to avoid braces. As you have read, do what your dentist says to avoid a dry socket, which is where the blood clot in the socket where the tooth had been is dislodged either through chewing or though sucking on a straw (Don't do it!). This allows air to contact the still-live nerves and causes pain, relieved by the dentist packing the socket. Sometimes they are unavoidable, but they can be managed.

    If playing increases the risk of a dry socket, avoid it. Your dentist will know better than all of us.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010

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