Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Implant - Joy, Joy!

Yesterday was a day of excitement in the dental chair - oral surgery. Joy, joy. I had the misfortune a few years ago of taking a direct hit to my #9 big front tooth with a steel door. Due to the impact of that hit, my dentist discovered last summer during a routine exam that my tooth was slowly dying from the inside out ~ "internal resorption" in technical terms. It's rare, but my luck is such that it would happen to me, afterall, I have already endured jaw surgery when I was 17 to correct an overbite that would have resulted in unmanagable TMJ.

So, after consulting first with an endodontist to see if it was possible to save the tooth with a root canal and finding out it was too late for that option (oh wooh is me, I was not too happy to hear that news), and then consulting with a peridontist who's mannerisms caused me to shudder (he was in his 70's, a bit shaky, had an unorganized slightly dirty looking exam room, and had informed me I would have to go without anything in the place of my front tooth for up to a full month after it was removed and healing), I consulted with an oral surgeon who made feel a bit me more at ease. Apprehensive, but better than how I felt after consulting with the old shaky peridontist. Not only that, I would be able to have a tooth bonded in place immediately after my front tooth was removed so I wouldn't have to walk around looking like a hillbilly (and feel like one!).

So anyway, yesterday I had the second step in my implant process done - about 4 months ago I had underwent the dreadful tooth removal (oh my word, I was soooo scared, but it turned out to be "better" than I had imagined, though I did end up with a bone graft at the time as well. The second step was the implant - not the finished tooth - but the implant of the screw into my jaw which will hold my finished tooth. It went okay, but low and behold I discovered while using the restroom before final x-rays that they had BROKEN OFF PART OF MY GOOD TOOTH to the left of my implant when removing the "fake" temporary tooth that my dentist formed for me, which was bonded to the adjacent teeth. Oh my word, I couldn't believe the surgeon had broken off part of one of my good teeth without even saying a word to me about it! Again, such is my luck.

After being at the oral surgeon, I drove back to my dentist for him to again form a "fake temporary" tooth so I wouldn't feel conspicuous as it would be quite obvious I was missing a front tooth otherwise, and he fixed the broken tooth with the dental bonding agent as well. I explained my concern that when this is removed for the next step in the process that perhaps they would break my adjacent teeth again causing further damage. He eased my worries in that next time I'll see my dentist the same day to have the bonded temporary tooth removed CORRECTLY before going for step 3 in my oral surgery. I can't believe the oral surgeon of all people didn't CORRECTLY remove the bonded tooth. My gosh!!!

Well anyways, I'm alive after the screw was put in my jaw . . . and, no I don't have a screw loose! LOL It's in there good. I ended up with another bone graft around it and several stiches. Today my face is puffed up larger than a chipmunk with a mouthful of nuts, but I came in to work anyway. The pain is not great considering how it looks. I might take a photo of myself to share, but I haven't yet.

Next step is in another 5 months after this heals, they will cut open the area where the screw is to prep it for the final finished tooth. Right now they have my gums stitched over this area so it heals in place well. Hopefully this entire process will be done within a year and I end up with a nice smile once again. :)

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