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.
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.
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:
David A. Hochwald, DDS
7677 Center Avenue, Suite 206
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Kenneth R.Barrett, D.D.S.
7677 Center Avenue, Suite 305
Huntington Beach, CA 92647