Friday, May 30, 2014

A Bridge Too Strong

Last week I reported on the progress of my new dental implants.

However, it seems I jumped the gun. I thought the dentist was going to be drilling holes in my skull in preparation for my new permanent, titanium based front teeth.

That did not happen. Instead, we spent an hour and a half removing the dental bridge that I had always assumed would follow me to the dirt nap. It's pictured above for your sadistic pleasure.

I'm not going to lie, I had nightmares about the bridge removal.

Cursed with a vivid imagination, I lay awake the night before wondering how the dentist was going to yank this inch and a half wide appliance out of my jaw. Particularly since when it was put there, the original dentist assured me this thing was going nowhere.

My worst fears came to fruition.

The proceedings were started with 4, count em four, injections of novacaine through my upper jaw and perilously close to the temporal lobes of my brain responsible for trigonometry, bookkeeping and the composition of urgent CTA's (calls to action, for you ad laymen).

Once sufficiently numbed, the dentist reached for the appliance removal device. Let's put the euphemisms aside, these were nothing more than needle-nose pliers.

He tugged.
He tugged a little harder.
He tugged with a wiggle to the left. And a wiggle to the right.

Bad news, tugging was not going to do the trick.

The dentist turned to his right.

That's when he reached for the tapper.

Another euphemism.
The tapper is dental-speak for hammer and chisel. I was no longer a patient, I was a plumbing project.

"This may feel a little uncomfortable."

A little, was the understatement of the morning.

The tapping and the chiseling and the yanking proved unsuccessful. That's when the circular saw came out. He didn't have a euphemism for the saw.

Mind you it wasn't the kind of circular saw you'd see on This Old House, but a tiny version of the same, made specifically for splitting the sheet metal in my mouth.

If you look at the picture above you can see where a vertical ridge was ripped into each of the bridge supports. This was followed by more tapping. More yanking. And then finally a gush of air where my dental bridge once was.

Right now I'm walking around with a temporary bridge. Some cheap resin fashioned to look like teeth, held in by nothing stronger than Elmer's Glue. I've been told not eat anything sturdier than an overripe peach, lest the bridge comes loose and falls out on its own.

Considering what I went through that morning, that's the least of my concerns.

In two weeks I go back to have the titanium bases installed. That's when the drill comes out.

Did I say drill?
 I meant bicuspid implantation device.

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