Implant — A Dental Story — Part 2

Bcckground to the Implant

Several years ago I experienced a sharp pain in the upper left portion of my mouth and face. My first thought was a cracked tooth. Went to a dentist recommended by a friend — I had different, less extensive, insurance coverage than my wife had. X-rays were taken and there was no evidence of a cracked tooth or anything else wrong in my mouth.

I saw a neurologist (who also thought it was probably a cracked tooth) and she gave me some medicine for a nerve problem. The meds worked, to a degree, and got me through the summer.

When we got back from vacation, I went back to the dentist (not my current dentist) and this time the X-rays showed a crack in my upper left back molar. We could really see the difference in the pictures. And the tooth was quickly extracted.

Fast forward to about four years ago and another cracked tooth (#19 — lower left) and now there is a problem. There is a gap in my lower teeth; it needs to be filled. Well, for one reason and another it didn’t get done . . . till now.

After all of the necessary preliminaries, last Tuesday was the day.

Implant Day

Before leaving home, an hour prior to the appointment time, I took the four Amoxicillin (which I’ve had before) capsules as directed.

I arrived on time. The receptionist (clerk/office manager/office lady?) asked whether I was being given a local or general anesthetic. I replied, “local” and she said I had just saved myself a lot of money.

Yeah, there was a significant difference between what I was billed that day and the estimate I had been given previously.

The prep work didn’t take long and almost before I knew it my gums were being swabbed and I was then shot full of “local” — with some more a couple of minutes later after the first had taken effect. My mouth was propped open and he went to work.

I felt no pain — literally, no pain. Weird. I know he’s cutting the skin away from the bone in my jaw. He’s using an electric drill to create a hole in the bone. I can feel the vibrations of the drill and the pressure he’s exerting on it. But pain? It does not exist. Well, except for some where his hand is pressing my lower lip into my lower front teeth, but this is of little concern when someone is using drills, torque wrenches and screwdrivers in your mouth.

Twenty minutes later, maybe only fifteen, he’s done. No pain, no bleeding — time for an X-ray. Interesting.

Post-op

We go back to the surgical room, look at the picture and go over my instructions for the next week.

Take one Amoxicillin that evening and the rest of the bottle as directed.
Don’t brush in the area of the implant.
No regular mouthwash for two weeks.
Don’t use your Waterpick around the implant.
Don’t chew over the implant and no “hard” foods.     OK, no problem.

I make my appointment for my follow-up in seven days and I’m gone. Less than one hour from the time I arrived to my departure.

I generally have a rather high pain tolerance and do not bother to fill my narcotic pain med prescription; ibuprofen and acetaminophen will be just fine.

The surgeon calls me a bit before six that evening to see how I’m doing. As far as I’m concerned — everything is hunky-dory.

For dinner I have two burritos — soft and easy to chew on the right side of my mouth. I go to bed later that evening feeling fine.

Implant Day Plus 1 — Wednesday

I feel fine until about 4:00 pm and then all heck breaks out. Massive headache and nausea. What’s wrong? The area around my implant feels normal — no pain, no swelling, nada.

What’s wrong? Food poisoning, bad burritos? Seems that way to me. Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday morning and I am miserable. My guts heave and I can’t even keep saliva down. I can’t sleep; have no energy. I spend time on the bathroom rug because I don’t want to be too far away when the next heave comes.

The cats are worried; they curl up with me on the bathroom floor (at least they can sleep.)

Thursday evening and I can again keep some liquids down. I suck on ice cubes and sip a bit of coke. After all, I haven’t had any caffeine since Wednesday morning.

Friday, saltines. Friday night — sleep, real sleep.

Sunday, except for my energy level and an almost continuous low-grade headache, I’m back to normal; at least as normal as I get.

Implant Day Plus 7

Today’s follow-up appointment went well. No problems surface and in three months I’ll see him again. Soon thereafter, I’ll have my new tooth — yee-hah!


The follow-up exam goes fine — everything looks and sounds, OK.

No Waterpick near the implant as it can force stuph down — which is not something to be desire.

Keep my electric toothbrush away from the implant — the vibrations may loosen the screw.

Three month — another follow-up.


If any of you are interested:

Oral Surgeon
David A. Hochwald, DDS
7677 Center Avenue, Suite 206
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Current Dentist
Kenneth R.Barrett, D.D.S.
7677 Center Avenue, Suite 305
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Implant — A Dental Story — Part 1

Implant. What sorts of images does that word conjure up for you?

Pain?
Money/Expense?
An electric drill in your mouth?
Torque wrenches?
Screwdrivers?
Novocain or other local anesthetic?
General anesthetic/being put to sleep?

Maybe, YES to all of the above?

History

We weren’t poor growing up, but we did without a lot because any extra went to tuition to put my brother and I through Catholic schools (EL-HI). Orthodontia? No way! Regular exams? Of, course.

My left – upper – canine came in behind its predecessor and pushed it out of the way. All we could afford at the time was a quick visit to, I believe it was a “Dr. Beauchamp” dentist-in-the-box. A quick local injection, extraction and out of there. Braces? Not an option. And that tooth is still there and occasionally almost putting a hole in my tongue. Could I have it fixed today? Yes. Will I? No, I’m too thrifty/cheap to spend the money on something I’ve dealt with for fifty-plus years with few problems — other than all of those pictures in which you see me smiling but not showing any teeth.

Oooowww . . .

A year or two after I started teaching in Orange I needed my two lower wisdom teeth removed — the uppers had been removed without incident previously.

I went to my appointment about 4:00 pm. The oral surgeon said the operation — under local anesthetic — would take about twenty minutes total. Twenty minutes later he had the first, left, tooth out in pieces. An hour plus later he had the other out in a dozen or more pieces. Also, several additional shots of local — I can still here his voice through the haze of pain and time saying: “Local.” And the nurse replying: “What? Again?”

As some of my friends might tell you, I do not always do the sensible thing, but what I usually do or just want to do. With dry sockets and pain pills I went directly from the dentist to the YMCA and played in my volleyball league. I went home and slept and got up and went to work the next day.

A day off just because I was in pain? Surely, you jest.

Did this experience affect me?

Well, it was thirty years before I again went to the dentist.

It’s almost time to visit the dentist who did last week’s implant surgery and see how things are actually going on in my mouth. I’ll continue my implant story on the morrow, or perhaps later this week.

Oh, yeah — today’s the primary election here in SoCal and polls are open to 8:00 pm. If you want to have your voice counted, VOTE!

(to be continued — tomorrow: The Implant)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Tuesday — I was hoping today’s scheduled rain would appear but, so far at least, nothing other than a little mist early this morning. And, now, the sun is shining.

Got up a little before seven as the cats were moving about. Fed said cats, went out to get the newspapers, warmed water for Charlie’s tea (Lapsang Souchong) and made myself a pot of coffee.

Coffee finished, I was taking my cup to the front room to enjoy and read the papers while the house was still quiet, i.e., Charlie hasn’t turned on the TV in her room. While entering the living room, and about to have my first sip, I heard Charlie asking for help getting out of bed. Ah, well . . .

So, I helped her to her room, opened her windows, turned on her heater and humidifier, got her tea and her morning meds. Then I popped my cooling coffee cup in the microwave — I like hot coffee — and sat down to read (back to front — starting with the comics and ending with the news) my papers.

After finishing my coffee and the papers, I moved to our exercise room (spare bedroom) and sat on the exercise bike for my usual 100 minutes. Nexfilx and Fullmetal Alchemist were on the TV (muted), the iPad was playing music and I was re-reading Walter Jon Williams’ Angel Station.

I finished on the bike, fixed another cup of coffee for myself and another cup of tea (Earl Grey) for Charlie and warmed her morning muffin (banana and chocolate chip).

I was reading my email with KTLA Morning News on in the background and “breaking news” we had another car chase. The doorbell rang — our cleaners had arrived (every two weeks). I helped Charlie move into the living room while they first cleaned her sunroom and then moved with her back into the sunroom while the cleaners did the rest of the house.

Puzzle

The car chase ended with the good guys capturing the bad guy and no one getting hurt. Charlie went back to watching her animal shows and I started in on my puzzles. The cats decided to infest my lap and hinder my puzzling but I persevered. I enjoyed today’s puns and Charlie just groaned at me when I read them to her:

  • 20 — “Explore Alaska it’s  _____.” — morethanjuneau
  • 33 — “Writers and photographers will find Michigan a great place for _____.” — freelansing
  • 39 — “Blow into Maine on _____” — augustawind
  • 50 — “I was afraid to ski, but in New Hampshire I _____” — concordmyfears

Sorry ’bout that folks, but I couldn’t resist — Tuesday does that to me.

Golf and The Wife

Subject: A Golf Story

The Wife — “Where the hell have you been? You said you’d be done with golf by noon.”

Husband — “I’m so sorry Honey . . . but you probably don’t want to hear the reason.”

The Wife — “I want the truth, and I want it NOW!”

Husband — “Fine. We finished in under 4 hours; a quick beer in the Clubhouse. I hopped into the car, and would have been here by 12 noon but on the way home, I spotted a girl half our age struggling with a flat tire.

“I changed it in a jiffy, and next she’s offering me money. Of course I refuse it, then she tells me she was headed to the bar at the Sheraton and begs me to stop by so she can buy me a beer. She’s such a sweetie, I said yes.

“Before you know it, one beer turned into three or four, and I guess we were looking pretty good to each other.

“Then she tells me she has a room right there at the Sheraton, less than 50 steps from our table. She suggested we get some privacy while pulling me by the hand.

“Now I’m in her room . . . clothes are flying . . . the talking stopped and we proceeded to have sex in every way imaginable. It must have gone on for hours, because before I know it, the clock says 5:30. I jump up, throw my clothes on, run to the car, and here I am.

“There. You wanted the truth . . . You got it.”

The Wife — “Bullshit! You played 36 holes, didn’t you?”


Mist and Red
Mist and Red


Subject: A Golf Story — The Alternate Version

The Husband — “Where the hell have you been? You said you’d be done with golf by noon.”

Wife — “I’m so sorry Honey . . . but you probably don’t want to hear the reason”

The Husband — “I want the truth, and I want it NOW!”

Wife — “Fine. We finished in under 4 hours; a quick glass of wine in the Clubhouse. I hopped into the car, and would have been here by 12 noon but on the way home, I spotted a man half our age struggling with a flat tire.

“I changed it in a jiffy, and next he’s offering me money. Of course I refuse it, then he tells me he was headed to the bar at the Sheraton and begs me to stop by so he can buy me a glass of wine. He’s such a sweetie, I said yes.

“Before you know it, one glass turned into three or four, and I guess we were looking pretty good to each other.

“Then he tells me he has a room right there at the Sheraton, less than 50 steps from our table. He suggested we get some privacy while pulling me by the hand.

“Now I’m in his room . . . clothes are flying . . . the talking stopped and we proceeded to have sex in every way imaginable. It must have gone on for hours, because before I know it, the clock says 5:30. I jump up, throw my clothes on, run to the car, and here I am.

“There. You wanted the truth . . . You got it.”

The Husband — “Bullshit! You played 36 holes, didn’t you?”

Wandering Thoughts

It’s Saturday evening in SoCal.

I’m watching the Angel – KC game on the boob-tube. It was in the low 80s here today and it’s snowing in Kansas City. I imagine Tom Hanks yelling, “There’s no snowing in baseball!”

I did chores today: dishes, grocery shopping, feeding cats, litterbox duty, helping Charlie move around and fixing her meals and tea, etc. This evening I got her the Subway sandwich, chips and cookies she wanted (along with Jaffa cakes and tins of Danish cookies) and picked myself up some fish and chips, mushy peas and calamari.

As I watch the Angel game Mist is sleeping curled up against my legs and feet and Smoke is grooming himself on the couch to my right. Charlie is in her room watching, and trying to figure out what is really happening in Blade Runner 2049.

And my mind started to wander . . .

I began my teaching career doing student teaching and part-time teaching during the 1971-72 school year. My older students were 13 and 14 years old. That means many of them were born in 1958.

My first students are turning 60 this year.

They, some or even many of them, are now grandparents.

Noooooooooooooo . . . .


Angels won.