Yesterday I had my 2nd implant "installed." Or do you say "implanted?" It was a lot easier than 3 months ago when I had my tooth surgically extracted with a bone graft. They have to wait 3 months for the bone graft to turn into real bone and then they can do the implant. So, like I said, this is easier; my cheek is swollen (picture a cartoon monkey) but at least all my teeth don't hurt like before. I can chew pretty normal on the opposite side. Yesterday, for some reason, I was not as doped up when I came home and my mouth did not stay numb all day as before. This alertness was nice, but had to be sacrificed for the Tylenol/Codeine pain relief. Today, ibuprofen is the drug of choice, but I think I'm secretly looking forward to tonight's codeine-induced sleep.
In my previous post, I mentioned my aversion to needles. Here's my IV story from yesterday: I get to the surgeon's office a few minutes early and try to stay calm while waiting. I have complete confidence in the surgeon and trust him totally. The assistant calls me in to the room and starts checking my blood pressure and heart rate. Calm, stay calm. Then she gives me the release form to sign, which says that I'm going to have my #6 tooth extracted, a bone graft, and a dental implant while under IV sedation. I correct her and say that obviously I have already had my #6 tooth extracted and also a bone graft. I'm trying not to get nervous. She leaves for a few minutes and then comes back with a corrected form. I sign the form. Then I'm waiting and waiting and trying to stay calm. Finally the dr. comes in and gets my arm ready for the IV. I do really good when I don't watch and ignore the "pinch" of the needle. (They always say "small pinch" right before they stick you; why is that?) Because I was trying to ignore the whole needle thing, I forgot to remind him that my right arm always has trouble with the veins (I have agonizingly learned this during the past 10 years). So after 3 or 4 "small pinches," I'm trying not to pass out and manage to mumble "you did my left arm last time." He feels really terrible about this and says that most people would be screaming at him by then. So I try to look away as he moves to my left arm (which took about half a second for the IV) and I see the blood on my right arm and the assistant getting a needle ready. And that is the last I remember.
Now during my needle-distraction, I asked lots of questions while the dr.'s hands were busy. I found out that about 90% of wisdom teeth extractions are done under IV sedation and about 50% of dental implants are done under IV sedation. The reason most people don't do the IV sedation is because they either have a severe aversion or they physically can't be sedated. At my appointment 3 months ago, the dr. tried to distract me with questions about the election. Did I think there were going to be any surprises? Did I vote? etc. I asked him if he liked his job. And he gave me the best answer. He stopped and said "I love my job. If I had the choice to do it again, I would absolutely do the same thing." Whew! What a relief. And then I was asleep.
I can't wait to see my x-rays next month. The implants show up bright white on x-rays and it's interesting to see how deep they really go. I'll try to bring my camera and see if I can get a picture. Almost makes me feel like the Terminator or something. Cool!