Friday, April 18, 2008


I survived my three-dentists-in-three-days event in Escondido. Doesn't that sound like a masochist's vacation package? Sadly, it was no vacation. The first dentist told me something was wrong. The second dentist gave me the specifics of what was wrong. The third dentist solved the problem. He had to pull the tooth, which proved more difficult than anticipated.

In spite of the struggle in getting the evil tooth out, the office was very warm and inviting. I was helped by at least five different people and each one told me who they were and what their role was. I was also told what to expect next and assured that the next person was excellent and would take good care of me. It kept me from stressing out too badly, except when the actual pulling was occurring.

The tooth pulling was not stressful because it was painful. It was stressful because the tooth wouldn't come out. The oral surgeon was a tall, fit, muscular man. And he was struggling to get it to come out. It ended up coming out in about five pieces. It was quite obstinate.

After the extraction, I had to bite down on a piece of gauze for an hour. Then I had to change the gauze every 45 minutes until the bleeding stopped. That took about 4 hours. I didn't really eat all that much that night, as I am sure you can imagine. What surprised me was that I wasn't allowed to rinse vigorously or use a straw. Either of these could dislodge the clot.

My recovery followed the after care instructions almost exactly. I lost a day and a half to the Vicodin and have been coping a little better each day. The pain is mild now, but still present. And the socket is still noticeable to me. My voice sounds weird to me, but nobody else seems to notice.

I now have to wait three months for this to heal. After that, they will put a screw into my jaw and put a cap on that. Then that will heal for three months. Then my regular dentist will put a screw on the cap and a fake tooth on the post. The good news is that my dental insurance looks like it is going to partially cover the implant. Woot!