As a result of a misspent youth – well, if “misspent” means not spending enough time and effort on dental hygiene – most of my teeth, if not all, have some dental work on them, and more than a few have been crowned, and then the crowned tooth had to be replaced by a post and crown, and then I had a bridge to fill a missing tooth. And most recently, a post and crown gave way (it was an old crown – more than 10 years – and the post snapped off.
So I am getting an implant.
Not the kind that would bring me from a 32AA to a 36D. (Everything I know about bra sizes I learned from American pop culture, which is stuck with the imperial measures. I believe Singapore bra sizes uses the metric system so it is 90 cm and a cup size. And no, I have not been scrutinising my wife’s bras. What kind of pervert do you think I am?)
So I am getting a tooth implant for my missing tooth.
The dentist had already wanted me to do an implant for another missing tooth (a premolar) but it was not obvious, and I thought I could do without (no one can see anyway).
But because of the missing tooth, says the tooth doctor, I had shifted my bite and put extra pressure on the other teeth, and that was why my post and crown (canine) was damaged irreparably (way to go with the guilt trip doc!).
Anyway, the post and crown was a canine. And so it was a little more obvious. And vanity or otherwise, the gap was obvious. So tooth implant.
And since i’m going through the whole pain and suffering, the pain and suffering for two teeth implants will not be that much worse than for one, so let’s go with two implants. (Most women’s implants also come in pairs).
There was one tooth separating the two gap and that seemed to have an infection (from the x-ray). And that would affect the implantation (stage one). An infection would risk the implant not holding properly. So he would do a root canal on that one.
And that was when that tooth “broke”. Well, it was also an old crowned tooth, and somehow the crown was not perfect and the underlying tooth had decayed and in the process of working on it, the tooth broke off, leaving the root.
At this point, you might be asking yourself, why are you still reading about my dental problems? I am only writing this for two reason. One, my pain and suffering is immensely pertinent to me. Two, there is a lesson here for my daughter. One day. When she can read.
Well, okay. You can let your sons and daughters read this too. No point letting a lesson in dental hygiene and my pain and suffering go to waste.
Well, the dentist said, that’s good news and bad news. The bad news is the crown needs to be replaced (so it’s going to cost me). The good news, I now have the option of a bridge for the premolar (which would be cheaper).
I said, ok. Let’s get a bridge for the premolar (3-tooth bridge) and an implant for the canine.
Well, just in case by the time Z reads this, bridges are lost to history, a bridge is where a missing tooth is “placed” between two teeth. So the tooth to either side of it, are crowned, and the missing tooth added to bridge the gap. So I will have three teeth, but they are anchored onto only two roots.
So that was done. He had a temporary bridge made, and then he started on the implant.
And that was when he found further infection (that was a surprise to him. It didn’t show up on x-ray). And he discovered that I did not have enough bone to hold the implant.
This sometimes happen and instead of doing the implant straight away, he would have to do a bone graft to ensure there is enough bone to hold the implant. So that would take another week.
Ok, where are you going to get my bone from? (More pain?)
Oh, he said, it will be animal bone.
Great. I would be part pig or something. Every time I drink hot water, I will taste bak kut teh.
A week or so later I was back in the chair. My permanent bridge was in place, and he was getting ready to do the bone graft. I asked again, what type of bone would be used.
This time he said human.
Well, that’s not any more comforting. Probably the bone from some convict from China? (Would that make me part PRC? Will have I have discriminatory to my own jaw? Maybe this will help me with my Mandarin.) Shouldn’t he have check for my blood type first? I guess bone graft is not the same as transplant.
Anyway, lots of local anesthetic later – which reminded me that in Canada you have the option (if you have the money, or maybe it is covered by their Health insurance) of having dental work under General Anesthetic. That is, you will be unconscious the whole time, and there will be an anesthetist monitoring you (to make sure you don’t die) while the dentist does all the painful work on your disaster of a mouth.
Canadians apparently hate pain.
Where was I? Oh yes, lots of novocaine later… I’ll spare you the details.
But, just to say, he found that there were holes in my bone from infection and he grafted bone to holes he could see. Since I was opened up and under anesthetic and all.
Would I recommend this?
Only if you can do this under GA.
Oh and Zoe, if you are finally reading this, brush your teeth and floss.