I just came home from what has been a long 11-month process and I now know my dentist way better than I want to. It is finally all over! YES!
I have had a bridge spanning 3 teeth now for over 24 years. The bridge came loose last year as bacteria had gotten under it and eaten away one of the teeth the bridge was anchored to. So I asked, what are my options?
Well, I could go with another bridge but they would have had to destroy the next tooth in order to attach that bridge. I didn’t think that was a great option as a 4-tooth bridge is not as reliable as a 3 tooth one. If I did that I would probably be right back in the same situation as I was now somewhere down the line.
The new technology is titanium implants. They are great, my dentist told me. He could attach two (false) teeth to one implant and it should last the rest of my life. It would be more expensive (the whole thing cost around $6,000) but definitely worth it in the long run he said.
Well, I’m a guy and having a small metal rod inserted into my bone shouldn’t be any problem right? I didn’t think so and I agreed that the implant option was for me.
Now, on the day of the surgery my wife drove me to the implant guy (an implant specialist) and I decided not to be put under but to just get the laughing gas. That would calm my nerves and I would be fine they said. I think that was my mistake.
I don’t remember much that day except that it was the most traumatic experience of my life. Nothing else has compared to it. Maybe it was worse because the implant was going right in front. All I know is if there is a next time I would be put under, that is for sure.
Although my whole mouth was numb and there was a towel over my eyes, I could hear everything and even see my blood on everyone’s gloves. The implant doctor was drilling and pulling and pushing and for all I knew he could have been drilling right into my brain! No, it didn’t hurt right at this moment but just wait I thought. Just wait until this anesthesia wears off. I was scared to death!
My wife said I was as white as a ghost when I came back out into the waiting room. All I remember was wanting to get home quickly so I could take the painkillers. I was mortified at what the pain would surely feel like if I did not get home in time.
In the end, after all this, there pleasantly never was much pain. They had warned me that there might be and so I really couldn’t believe it when there wasn’t. There was definitely discomfort but no real pain.
I had to have two or three follow-up visits over the next 6 months to make sure everything healed properly and that the implant attached to the bone but other than that one traumatic day, everything went fine.
I must say that if you are older I would seriously consider NOT having an implant. I’m not sure what age “older” is (maybe over 60?) but this is definitely a young person’s procedure. Maybe I am a wimp but it seems that this is not something I would want my parents to have done.
Now I have the teeth attached to the implant and it is all a distant memory. Did I mention that it is FINALLY over?
While the experience of dental implants were quite illuminating, I am glad that everything is back to normal. The dental convention (read conference) is one that I attend regularly to get to know more and more about dental issues and how to sort them out.