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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Something to chew on

The night Michael Jackson died, I had finally had enough. I had worked with my amazing dentist to save a tooth in my mouth, but the time had come for it to come out. Since earlier in that year, the pain from this abscessed tooth made it hard to wash my face on the left side. Due to the forking of the roots, and the deterioration of my gum line around the infection, it was a perfect storm for pain and dental nastiness that only great dental training could fix. Thankfully, my dentist happened to be on Facebook that fateful night, and he ordered an extraction as soon as it was possible.


The tooth came out, and even though the extraction caused a great deal of pain, once it was out, I could tell as the pain subsided and the healing began. I knew that I would have to have an implant eventually, so when the initial oral surgeon pulled it, he put some ground cadaver bones in the wound to help build up my jaw line for the implant before sealing up the wound.

Okay, first off, where does one score a bottle of ground up cadaver bones?

Witches ‘R Us?

Voodoo Hut?

No, really, I want to know. And, where do they get them to sell? Yes, I will donate my organs, but bones? Really? To be ground up into a powder? Where do you check that option on your driver’s license? But, as of now, the mélange of the dead in my mouth probably numbers legion, so I have instructed Tod and my students to sever my head in case of the dead coming back. Take no chances with these dead fuckers in my mouth. I have seen waaaaaaaaay too many Zombie flicks to take any chances.

The old tooth (left) with the new one, on the model. The color is "Coffee and Nicotine."

But the initial planting of the dead in my mouth wasn’t enough for the implant to take according to my other dentists, so I ended up getting more packed in and having to wait until:

1. My flex save account was able to be recharged with some money. This shit isn’t cheap.

2. The bone could calcify and grow stronger to take the actual hardware of the implant.


And yes, that meant opening the hole again, cleaning out what didn’t take, and sealing it back up. Fun? Hells no.

So fast forward a year or so later and I am in the new oral surgeon’s office getting the screw hole for the implant put in. At this time, the bone has calcified enough that they can drill, baby drill, and put the hardware in to take the post for the prosthetic tooth down the road. I was knocked out for this one and apparently told the surgeon and her assistant that Tod’s back was covered with ink, which it is. I think prompted him in my chemical haze to show them. Fun. I then spent the rest of the morning propped up on the couch, watching Nick Jr. That’s what was on when the tv turned on, I never changed the channel. Yea drugs!

After this, more healing and then the implant went in after a few months with a healing abutment. The gift of having insurance allowed me to do this and make my jaw line whole again, but the insane cost of dental work had me putting thousands away for the past two years in my flex save to cover what insurance didn’t. I am happy to have this done, as I am no fan of the dentist. What can we learn from all this?

Brush your teeth kids, and take care of your gums!