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My son will be entering BC very soon. I was wondering does the Navy automatically extract wisdom teeth even if they are not bothering the recruit?

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Just wanted to forewarn you - it hysterical to hear these macho guys ask you for the umpteenth time, "Hey mom, does it REALLY hurt? How much?" I drove my sons to the dentist both times (dad was a work). The first day, they looked like chipmunks. Liquids only for the first week (I think). They were pretty good on the second. I just think trying to recover while at BC is not a good idea. Nothing like being taken care of by mom. Of course, if the family has to pay for dental cost out of pocket (and money is tight), then getting them pull at the Navy's cost should definitely be considered.

I appreciate the info! I know it can be rough. There is the risk of the dreaded dry-socket! 

Can't imagine enduring that at boot camp!

If it makes you feel better- my husband had his done at Officer Candidate school (not the same as boot camp, but they still have PT, have drill instructors screaming in their face, etc.) and after his two days off was back to indoctrinating new students and yelling at the top of his lungs all day and doing PT. As someone mentioned, I think the navy dentists must be pretty good at it for all of the wisdom teeth they have to pull! I definitely would have preferred for him to have it done at home where I could have helped him recover but since they weren't an issue, having them pulled under his civilian insurance wasn't an option.

I had mine pulled literally a few days before my husband by complete coincidence and the day after I felt perfectly fine and was back to work at my vet clinic wrestling dogs and cats and out at my barn riding my horse (probably not the best idea I've ever had, but my summer was coming to an end and I wanted time with the animals before going back to school!). I never had chipmunk cheeks so I was very lucky! 

My son didn't have any wisdom teeth to be removed, but he said later that he's glad he didn't have to have it done because the sailors that did were miserable recovering there instead of at home and were still pretty bad when they came back to training after their 2 days SIQ. I would definitely check into having it done before he goes. That's what we'll be doing with my second son.


We took care of my son's wisdom teeth a few months before BC and I highly recommend it! That is cost prohibitive I know and was my choice. His recruiter said no let the Navy do it for free. Mom knew best on this one having done it three times before not including my own. A percentage of the people (my 4 kids) end up with one or more dry sockets which can be very painful, open to infection and takes a long time to heal. Even after that it can cause complications up to three months later (my daughter). My SR had 1 that did not heal all the way closed - dry socket -  we went back to the surgeon and he packed it. He was fine and dandy by the evening and the swelling went down, it closed up within 3-4 days. I couldn't bare the thought of him going through that there. I had a hard time getting him to take the antibiotics. He is very athletic and healthy. It did bring him down a bit! He absolutely refused the pain meds other than otc ibuprofen. Can you imagine having to do, stay or catch up with your division with teeth problems? Glad we did it that way.

Just curious, if the recruits getting their wisdom teeth out get two days off, what do the others do? My son had his out during his junior year in high school which I am now thankful for. He also had an infection and was quite uncomfortable.
They keep doing what they're doing, the ones who had the days off simply have to play catch up.  It is early in training, so they're not missing anything critical.  It is no surprise a number of recruits in each division will miss a couple days... for almost every division, almost every week.  The Navy has boot camp down to a fine art, the wisdom teeth SIQ days have been factored in.

In retrospect, I think it is a judgment/ financial call... After speaking to my Sailor yesterday, he mentioned that nearly everyone caught some sort of cold, etc. Now, add pulling wisdom teeth (possible complications) on top of that and it could set your SR back... Thought here being, if possible, why not get everything done, as much taken care of possible ahead of time so that your SR can excel to the best of their ability with one less obstacle? Yes, hardships help us learn and grow. The process can be intense so why not help your SR with every advantage possible. My Sailor is frustrated because PT is too easy. My guess that would not be the case if he had been nursing that dry socket + the colds and crud they get anyway? Moreover, yes, he said by being the Athletic Petty Officer (APO) - of his division he works closely with all the Yeoman's and the NAVY takes exemplary care of ALL the SR's. The SR's are bummed & anxious though at the prospect of doing any catch up due to this kind of situation. The other SR's then pitch in to help those SR's, all part of the team building process. Hope this helps from a mom on the outside looking in.

My son elected not to have his wisdom teeth extracted.  He was 22 when he enlisted and his wisdom teeth never bothered him.  They did not make him have them taken out although they recommended it.  At his age I think it would have done more harm than good to have them removed.  After talking to an oral surgeon I advised him not to do it.  Thankfully the Navy let him make the choice.


Ok, I'm having this same conversation on the NavyDads facebook page.  I came here to see if the answers were similar and I'm still not getting it.

When I think of pulling teeth, I think of a dentist being able to grip a tooth with a tool and forcefully pull it out. 

MY son needs a surgical extraction for IMPACTED wisdom teeth.  That is a whole different story as far as recover.  No one is telling me how its going to go for him with 4 locations of stitching, swelling, blood, clotting, (I VOMITTED from all that yuck when mine were surgically removed) 

He can not get them out at home, its too close to his ship date....  ugh.

If the procedure is more than a simple extraction, they wait until A school.
I had my sons removed before he left to allow time to heal. My sons friend didn't have hers removed at home as they were not bothering her. They removed hers at Bootcamp and they are awake during the extraction. She struggled with healing and said it was a horrible experience. She said she would get them removed while at home if she could redo it.


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