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)

Cat Food — Feeding Mist & Smoke

Cat Food — Which to Pick?

Merlin and Magic
Merlin and Magic

Mist and Smoke are now about four and a half years old and, knock on wood, are in good health. Magic and Merlin — Di’s “Burmese boys” — lived to be 18 and 15, respectively, and passed away some ten days apart.

Not being raised a cat person, I purchased what ever food Di wanted or was on sale and didn’t pay particular attention to what was in it or how it was rated. If the cats liked it, I kept buying it. Magic and Merlin did quite well on the regimen of Iams, Nutro, Friskies, Science Diet and Royal Canin. Their diet consisted of wet foods at breakfast and dinner with dry food available 24/7.

With Mist and Smoke, however, I’ve taken a different tack. Di’s inability to shop on her own and my retirement give me both the responsibility for the purchase of cat food and the time to research both brands and individual products.

I’ve continued to feed Mist and Smoke both wet and dry food. Breakfast is at 7 am and dinner is served at 6 pm.

Dry Cat Food

After four years testing what they like and what I’ve researched, I currently feed a combination of Wellness Core, Open Farm and Science Diet Indoor.

Like people, cats have individual likes and dislikes. While cruciferous vegetables and kale might be good for me, I cannot stomach them and just the smell of some of them cooking nauseates me.

Neither cat likes Acana or Orijen, but both happily munch the Science Diet, which I consider to be much less healthy.

So, I’ve settled on feeding the cats with a mixed diet.

I have a large plastic box and periodically pour in a half dozen cups of the Wellness and Science Diet and three cups of the Open Farm. Then, I mix these together and dispense into their bowl when necessary. They “cherry pick” the Science Diet but also eat the rest of the mixture without demure.

I occasionally get coupons for other foods and, after checking the ingredient list to exclude those with wheat and/or corn, may add one to the mix to see how they like it. (Recently got a coupon for a “Free” 4-lb bag of Fussie Cat and got it for the cost of the sales tax. They ate it but didn’t prefer it over the others.) The same goes for samples occasionally given out at our neighborhood pet shops.

Wet Cat Food

Just like our previous cats, we feed Mist and Smoke wet (canned) food twice a day. I give them each about an ounce and a half in the morning and again at night. Brother Smoke, who is a couple of pounds heavier than his sister, would like more, but Mist often leaves a bite or three in her bowl.

Smoke and Mist asleep on Joe's lap.
Smoke and Mist asleep on Joe’s lap with Smoke using his sister as a pillow.

Smoke happily gobbles up Mist’s leavings when I don’t pick up her bowl in time, but he tends to throw up the meal when he eats more than his share. I also put away the dry food bowl. About two hours after the meal, I put out the left over wet food, which has been sitting in the fridge, and the dry food bowl from its drawer. Smoke usually eats the left over wet food right away and Mist has a few nibbles at the dry food.

Smoke will eat wet food that has been open and stored in the fridge, but Mist won’t. Neither cares for food warmed in the microwave for a few seconds. Therefore, I purchase most of the wet food in the the smaller 2.8 – 3.0 ounce cans. Yes, it’s more expensive, but the cats eat it and none goes to waste.

Currently, their wet food mix consists of: Wellness Morsels Tuna Entree, Wellness Sliced Salmon Entree, Wellness Signature Selects Skipjack Tuna & Wild Salmon Entrée in Broth and Wellness Signature Selects Skipjack Tuna & Shrimp Entrée in Broth.

Neither cat likes any of the patés I’ve tried; so, most of their food is sliced, flaked, cubed, morsels, etc.

They also prefer seafood to chicken, beef and other meats. Smoke will eat some of them but Mist just sniffs and turns away to “bury” her bowl.

I purchased some individual Tiki Cat cans a couple of weeks ago and three of the tuna versions were approved; they are on my next Chewy order. Neither of the cats would deign to even sample the Weruva cans I purchased at the same time I got the Tiki Cats, so they are off all future lists.

As I was about out of wet food and the next Chewy order isn’t due until the end of this week, I bought some cans of Blue Healthy Gourmet at Target the other day. The Flaked Tuna Entrée was quite favorably received this morning by both Smoke and Mist and the others will be sampled over the next couple of days.

Conclusions and “Advice”

I don’t know that there is any one food which will satisfy any cat’s needs or wants over its entire life. Likes, dislikes and needs change with experience and age for our feline family members just as ours do.

I believe that feeding our cats both what they really enjoy (even if it is the feline equivalent of ice cream or french fries) and what they like a little bit or merely tolerate (albeit what I think is higher quality food) will keep them in good health for a long feline lifetime. And, I’ll keep on trying out new/different foods to add into the mix.

If you need “advice” on what to feed your cat(s), go to several different sources. Try your cat’s vet — although, s/he may steer you to what the clinic stocks and sells. Pet shops and markets may stock many foods but be aware that some may be more profitable to them than others; this may influence what they try to sell you. Ask your friends; ask your Facebook friends and groups.

Also, check the Internet. Type: cat food ratings into your search engine and you’ll end up with millions of results — many, unfortunately, will be biased; so, check them out carefully.

I like CatFoodDB (Cat Food DataBase) and read several others.

Read the reviews of the foods on Amazon and Chewy — some of them have got to be legit.

And, don’t be afraid of buying a dozen or three different cans of food from a store’s shelves, your cats may like them. If they don’t like a particular brand you bought several of, give them away. Your next door neighbor’s cat may like them and a local shelter or rescue group will love them.

Addendum

Yes, I know the Science Diet contains wheat and corn, but the cats love it. I had fish for dinner last night and “chips” and plenty of tartar sauce to go with. I will survive and so will they.

Random Thoughts

Some random thoughts on a Monday morning . . .

Charles Manson

Charles Manson is dead at the age of 83. He died some forty-eight years after those he is responsible for killing. 48 years.

How much money did we spend on his incarceration? How many school teachers could we have paid for; how many children could we have given better foster care; how many potholes could we have filled; how many . . . ? And all we needed was a single 9mm bullet (and maybe one for each of his cronies) to put him (them) out of our misery.

Jim Mora

Jim Mora was fired as UCLA’s football coach.

According to the LA Times, UCLA will pay some $12,000,000.00 to buy out the last four years of his contract.

$3,000,000.00 a year for a football coach? I thought the purpose of a university was to educate — not to act as a minor league team for a professional sports league.

Maybe I’m behind the times, but I would much rather my tax money go to provide scholarships for the next generation of doctors, scientists, engineers and teachers than to would-be future millionaire quarterbacks, pitchers and one-and-done NBA guards.

“I should have left them in jail.”

Can someone we have elected to high public office really believe that it was better to have left three young men in danger of being jailed for years in a foreign country, rather than to have helped gain their release, just because a boy’s father was publicly ungrateful to him?

A case of punishing the child for the words of a father?

Justice League

Justice League, from Warner Brothers, took in some $96,000,000 this weekend. That was about as much as the next five movies combined. Yet, it was a disappointment.

A $96,000,000 disappointment — aw . . . breaks my heart. C’mon, guys (and gals) how about something new and entertaining that’s not just for teenagers.


Thanksgiving

Is it just me (again) or is there more attention being given to “Black Friday” and the buying and selling of billions of dollars of goods imported from East Asia than there is to giving thanks for what we have?

Oh, yeah, and what about those who are forced to work on Thanksgiving Thursday?

I wonder how many of them are among our lowest paid workers, some working more than one job, and are giving thanks to have a job and are happy to have the additional hours to provide for themselves and their families — especially here in expensive OC SoCal?


Well, perhaps some of these thoughts aren’t so random after all.


Another gratuitous cat picture.

Smoke and Mist on Di's robe and British flag blanket.
Smoke and Mist on Di’s robe and British flag blanket.

Coffee

CATHOLIC MORNING COFFEE

Four old Catholic men and a Catholic woman were having coffee in St. Peter’s Square.

The first Catholic man tells his friends, “My son is a priest. When he walks into a room, everyone calls him ‘Father’.”

The second Catholic man chirps, “My son is a Bishop. When he walks into a room people call him ‘Your Grace’.”

The third Catholic gent says, “My son is a Cardinal. When he enters a room everyone bows their head and says ‘Your Eminence’.”

The fourth Catholic man says very proudly, “My son is the Pope. When he walks into a room people call him ‘Your Holiness’.”

Since the lone Catholic woman was sipping her coffee in silence, the four men give her a subtle, “Well….?”

She proudly replies, I have a daughter, SLIM & TALL, 40″ D BUST, 24″ WAIST and 34″ HIPS! When she walks into a room, people say, ‘JESUS!’.”


Another Gratuitous Cat Picture

Mist and Smoke
Mist and Smoke