Wednesday, September 29, 2010
In my previous posting concerning dental travails and triumphs, I told you that I was going to post some grody photos from my actual time in the chair getting the procedures performed. And then, because my dentist hadn't actually sent the photos to me by the time I posted, I instead gave you this silly photo of me showing off my new choppers in a somewhat grotesque fashion.
I had no real need to re-publish this photo, as you could have easily clicked onto the link and seen it, but since some of your blogs have an interesting feature whereby your blogroll listings include the current first photo displayed on any given blog you've got listed, I felt it was prudent to put a photo here, because...
Good news everybody! The grody photos showed up in my e-mail yesterday. And let me tell you, they are grody, indeed.
gro·dy [ grṓdee ] (comparative gro·di·er, superlative gro·di·est)
Definition: very distasteful: disgusting or extremely unpleasant (slang)
[Mid-20th century. Alteration of grotesque]
Let me assure you, the photos are NOT pretty. They do, however, illustrate rather well every bit of what I went through. If employed to scare children, I think these shots might get the kids to brush their teeth about twenty times a day. In that regard, they have true value.
Before you get to see the photos - if you really truly want to see them - I will point out that they are the property of Domenic D'Amico, DMD (Long May His Tribe Increase!) and unauthorized reproduction, without the express written consent of the person with whom you're reproducing, is frowned upon in every state, even Mississippi. I will also point out that the mouth is mine, and unless you want your mouth to look similar, you shouldn't pirate these shots.
(Even if your mouth already looks similar - and I know, from some of your comments, that a few of you sport hardware of the same sort - you shouldn't steal the good doctor's photography. Not only might I beat you up, but he has all sorts of drills and things which could make life extremely unpleasant.)
OK, enough preamble. I'm going to leave a whole bunch of white space between here and the photos. Scroll down at your own risk. I will not accept responsibility for heart attacks, premature births, soiled drawers, or any other results of you viewing my sad and sore mouth. You've had more than enough warning.
Here comes the nasty! Bail out now if you have any misgivings!
This shows my mouth following the extractions, but prior to the final placement of the screw-in pieces of the implants. The metal bits are the implants proper, which were placed into my jaw via the expedients of slicing open my gums, drilling into the bone, screwing in the titanium rods, then stitching up and waiting, basically, for the bone to get tricked into accepting the rods as being teeth and healing around them. In a small percentage of cases, a rod will be rejected by the body, necessitating a second attempt at placement. Luckily, all of mine took. I have four similar rods in my upper gums, holding a full prosthesis permanently in place.
There is what appears to be a sore or an ulcer on the right side of this shot, but it's an optical illusion formed by reflections off of pooled blood and saliva. I hope it is, anyway. I sure as hell didn't feel it in my mouth anywhere before, nor do I now.
And here we see the screw-in bits screwed in. Notice the change from flat metallic to gold. The denture snaps onto these gold bits for secure placement.
Notice the sort-of burned-looking area to the right of one of the gold bits? It looks that way because it was literally burned. The doctor felt that access to the implant was impeded by my gum tissue having healed around it, so he used a laser to burn some of my gums off.
Also, you'll notice the whitish bits where suturing has been done. That would be collagen, inserted following the extractions. It was felt that I had lost a bit too much tissue on the side of the implants, so this was done to build up the area.
Lovely stuff, isn't it? Here's another shot of mostly the same view.
I want to make clear that all procedures performed by Dr. D'Amico were done in as painless a fashion as humanly possible. He always cares, and he asked me many times if I was all right or if I needed more pain relief (which he never denied me, if I requested it) and he explained every procedure, in plain English detail, both before and during their completions. He is the best dentist I've ever had. If I had had him for my dentist for a longer time, maybe I wouldn't have had to undergo such hideous-looking procedures.
Now, as a reminder as to why I needed this done, here's how my bottom teeth looked last year.
And here's how they look now!
NOT grody. Not in the least.
Well, OK, the stains on the uppers aren't pretty, but they're nothing that can't be taken care of with some heavy-duty cleaning, which I'll ask Dr. D'Amico to do this afternoon on my next follow-up appointment. I didn't realize how bad that was until I saw this photo. Anyway, it only shows in a shot like this where the dentist asked me to really smile wide to show off the lowers, which are freakin' Pristine!
Soon, with more better stuff.