Aug 26, 2008


I had my implant put in yesterday. No not the silicone type. A tooth implant. I've had braces on since around November 2007 with the goal of widening the space around my sole remaining milk tooth. The adult tooth never came down, and rather than go through an ordeal to salvage it I had it removed as a child. That was a bad move as you will see.

The implant procedure is one bloody and gory event that I frankly am glad I didn't have to witness visually. The first step was to remove the baby tooth. I had visions of the dentist placing his foot on my forehead and pulling hard. To be honest I'm not sure how he got it out, but it didn't involve much stress on my head. I presume he simply cut the gum away and pulled it out. I'll have to ask him next time.

The second step is to put the implant in. The implant is a titanium alloy screw. To put the implant in, the gum is first 'flapped' up to expose the bone area that the implant will go in. Once this is done a hole is drilled into the bone. Keep in mind here that since this tooth is on the top of my mouth, that when I say bone, I in fact mean skull. Yes, the dentist was drilling into my skull. Jeffrey Dahmer eat your heart out. Or someone else's heart out. I of course didn't feel anything but I couldn't help wincing as it occurred. I could definitely feel my head vibrating as the drill bit caught pieces of bone.

In fact the drilling goes on for a while. First a pilot hole is drilled and then the hole is expanded progressively. Once that is done the implant can be screwed in. Yes screwed. The implant is self-tapping so it carves it's own grooves. A torque wrench is used to insure the implant doesn't overload the surrounding bone. At this point a cover screw is placed on the implant and the gum is sutured. But I had a little complication.

The complication was the part of the skull that was drilled into was a little thin at the edges (from tongue to lip). So we next move onto the bone graft. What Sears Craftsman tool was used in this procedure? A hammer and chisel. A little shard of bone was taken from the skull around the roof of the mouth; towards the inner part where the incision was made. This shard was then tacked (or nailed!) onto the outer part.

At this point I am done. This took all of 20 minutes under local anaesthesia. The aftermath wasn't too bad. Some slight swelling. Light bleeding for about 6 hours. Not too much pain. Now I have to get a cosmetic tooth bridged to the two adjacent teeth and a final 'real' tooth put on 6 months from now after the implant has fully healed.

The lesson here? Get braces when you are a kid.

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