In previous posts about myself, I’ve mentioned my ongoing journey to getting dental implants and new “teeth”. They’re dentures really, but they are the kind that won’t come out unless something very bad happens to my jaw.
So anyway, Monday was the day. I was originally scheduled to have them in on the 16th of this month, but my dentures came in early so, the dentist rescheduled me. I’m sure he was as anxious to get this done as I was.
Side note: my dentist is awesome. He talks to himself in the third person but acts as if you and he were having a conversation even though you are in no position to actually speak. He makes dentist jokes: Am I make a good impression. This is my crowning achievement. You get the idea. He also very careful to make sure everything is just right and that you aren’t in any pain during the procedures. I had to go back to him twice for fittings to make sure the teeth where where they’re supposed to be. My first set of temporary dentures had an overbite from hell which made eating difficult for me.
Back to Monday: I went in about 1:30 pm. and was taken to the back right away by the wonderful receptionist the dentist has. I got an X-ray done of my jaws then, I sat in the chair where I was starting on nitrous oxide(laughing gas). The dentist puttered about for a bit getting things ready, showed me my new teeth and puttered about some more. Finally, when I was feeling woozy enough to close my eyes, he began giving me the shots that would numb my gums. I hate shots with a passion, and him doing that woke me up a bit.
He handed me a wad of tissue to hold in my right hand which is closest to him. He has done that every time I was in there to have work done. I guess it’s so I won’t grab him. lol So he waits a bit for the medicine to kick in, chatting to me as he waits. He tests my gums with a pointy thing and decides he can begin. He puts a template over my gums and goes to work with a drill. The third hole he drills is a bit uncomfortable, but the fourth really woke me up. The result was more shots which upset me because the gums in the front by my nose seem to be very sensitive.
While he waits for those shots to work, he starts putting in the posts – the micro implants as he called them. They’re 1.8 mm thick with a rounded head. He put in all three on the right side of my jaw, and one of them went in at an angle he didn’t like. He drilled and screwed in the rest of them implants on the left side of my jaw before he fixed the angle on the one on the right which was hurting me.
Now, this man just didn’t screw these things in with his fingers. He used what he called a “butterfly”. I’m guessing that’s a wrench of some sort. He said he needed it to get torque. Considering he was talking about my jaw, I wasn’t too crazy to hear that word. Anyway, he also used a rachet wrench which sounded awful in my head. I’d used a large version of the wrench so I knew what it sounded like. The dentist also took a great deal of time putting the implants in because of friction. He didn’t want to build up too much heat and hurt my jaw or the implant. The implants are medical grade titanium by the way.
Eventually, he was done, and he gave me antibiotics and painkillers for the next week. I am to see him in 21 days. For the entire time, I’m back on a soft food/liquid diet. Bleh. It could be worse,I could not have been a candidate for the procedure and been stuck with junky dentures for the rest of my life.
Oh yes, I do have my new set of dentures in, but they aren’t attached to the pins yet. There is a layer of soft putty and then adhesive to keep my teeth in place and protect my gums so they can heal. The pins are lined up inside the holes in my dentures, but they aren’t locked in. Once the dentist is satisfied the bone in my jaw has sufficiently grown closed around the pins, then he’ll put the inserts into the dentures so the pins will have something to lock down onto. He’ll also cut out the palate that is keeping everything stable while I heal. I can say these “permanent” teeth are thicker and a bit heavier than the temporary ones I had. The front teeth are thicker on the ends and thus, are rounded instead of being sharp and thin. More like real teeth are. I’m happy with them.
I’ll keep you posted as to how this journey ends. Until then, I’ll see you on the flipside. Don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver! Things might be looking up!