Halfway to Biting that Apple

I’m happy to report that I am now halfway there in my 25 year quest to once again bite into a ripe juicy apple. It seems like it was a longer than a year ago this month that we started with the extractions and even though I only wore a full upper denture for 9 months of that time, it certainly felt more like 9 years. If necessary, I could have continued to live with the denture but as I mentioned in an earlier blog about these same teeth, that wasn’t the goal and wearing dentures for the rest of my life was not what I had planned.

A week ago I reported to my periodontist’s office and they proceeded to shoot me up with so much Novocain that you could have had Wile E. Coyote drop a piano on my face and I don’t think I would have felt it. It took me 3 days just to remember I even had an upper lip. Now all those shots were meant for a reason and that reason came next. In order to hold my full set of implants, they were going to need to drill holes in the bone beneath my sinuses. I think I opened my eyes once during this portion of the procedure and I wish I hadn’t. I am pretty sure I used the same sized drill bit fixing a cabinet in the kitchen. But again, due to all of the Novocain, I never felt a thing. I just heard the incessant grinding as I wondered if JR Ewing did this much drilling in all of his time on Dallas.

The drilling produced 6 holes in my head which needed to be filled with 6 implants or posts. As they were being screwed in & anchored, I never thought I would hear the surgical product specialist, who had come in that day to observe, ask the doctor if he needed her to go out to her car to get her Torque Wrench. Nor did I expect to then have that Torque Wrench be used in my mouth. I really thought my face was going to break with each successive snap. At this point we were a good 4 hours into the procedure and I was starting to wonder if we were ever going to finish.

Now all the while I was having my mouth worked on, there was a lab technician from the company that made my full plate upper denture also present. His job was to cut down, mold & shape my old denture into the temporary permanent prosthetic device that I am going to be wearing for the next 3 months while the drilled bone heals & grabs the posts. I have to say that his workmanship was amazing and I can’t believe that the “teeth” I have in my mouth now are actually the denture I despised with all of my eternal being.

When the final screw was tightened and the final edge ground down for the maximum bite points, I had been in the chair for just over 6 hours. It’s been a somewhat painful recovery in that I didn’t expect the swelling on the roof of my roof from the bone grafts but then again, the roof of my mouth has been covered for the past 9 months so I am just glad I can feel it again. I am on a very soft foods diet for the next 3 months so that means if I can hear it when I bite it, I can’t have it. Guess that means I will be on a cookie sabbatical for the next 3 months unless I get my wife’s or daughter’s chocolate chip cookies as they come out of the oven. It also means that the 3 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies (Do Si Do’s, Thin Mints & Trefoils) I have stashed away in my desk at work will get attacked like I am blue & furry and have bugged out eyes when I finally get clearance.

Finally, it’s done a lot for my self-esteem. Not having to take my “teeth” out every night before bed or to not having to brush my “teeth” in my hands every morning has been a huge weight off of my psyche. I feel whole again. I don’t feel like pieces & parts. I like myself just a little better now too.

In a few weeks, we start all over again with the lower teeth but this time, we really aren’t worried too much about the aesthetics. We just want them to comfortably fit and hopefully without all of the bone grafting my uppers needed. So I am half way to that ripe juicy apple. I’ll keep you updated each small step/bite of the way there. Thanks for reading & thanks for listening. It does make the whole ordeal that much easier to deal with every day

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