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What it's like to get dental implants - my experience
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JimSocal
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Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:41 am    Post subject: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

I had 4 implants today, done by a grad student at the periodontal
dept. of a major dental school. They were going to do just 3 but they
ended up doing 4: 18, 19, 20, and 29.

I thought someone who is considering getting implants might be
interested in knowing what it was like for me. Your mileage may vary,
as I know different surgeons have different methods and so on. Also,
many people just get one or two implants in a session, and I got 4,
which I think made it quite a bit more unpleasant. I must say that
during the last 45 minutes or so I suffered quite a bit, but now it's
done and I'm at home and in retrospect it already seems less bad than
it did at the time.

First he gave me a bunch of shots. I was getting implants on the lower
right and lower left, so he gave me at least 8 shots. I lost count,
but it was one of the most painful parts, lots of shots.

Then they took photos, with a camera, not x-rays. I suppose this is
part of the dental school deal, and it was one of the most
uncomfortable parts. They used prongs to pull my gums back in various
directions and used a small mirror (about 5 inches long and 3 inches
tall) to get the shot at the angle they wanted. They kept pushing the
mirror hard against my upper lip and a few times it hurt like heck. I
complained but they did not seem to "get" it, and kept doing it. Part
of the problem with going to a school, I suspect. They took about 10
photos and that was an unpleasant way to start.

Then they took me to the area where they were doing the surgery which
had been sterilized. They covered my entire face and upper body with a
paper cloth and I could not see, they only left a hole for my mouth
and nose. I'd never had anything like this before, and all I can say
is I don't prefer it. I got a bit claustrophobic towards the end. Not
really freaking out but just tired of being enclosed.

Then they started the actual implanting procedure. I must say this
part did not hurt much at all. I could hear and feel them scraping
bone, but I didn't feel any pain at this point. The oral surgery
student did all the work and was assisted by a general dentistry
student, and the professor was there at every step, giving suggestions
and making sure it was done right. I never heard any "Oh no!"'s or
even "Hmmm"'s and he said after each implant something like "Good
job!" or "Perfect!" so I hope that was the case. It did make me feel a
bit nervous at times, though, as I heard the prof making comments to
the surgeon about how to do something better, and at one point, later,
he did say, "No, don't do it that way, do it this way". But other than
that it seemed that the student did everything right. I can only hope.

Anyway, after the scraping, then there was drilling, and he was using
a stent I had made by the grad dept of general dentistry, to mark and
guide the drilling. The prof helped a lot here, telling him how to
perfect the angle and such, but the student did the drilling while the
prof watched.

Then there was the putting the implants in, which I could not really
feel but it seemeed to be a difficult part of the procedure.

Then they used a wrench type deal to screw the tops into the implants
(I THINK this is what they were doing) and they knew they were in
tight enough when the applied enough pressure in turning them, that it
started to turn my head. The prof said it can take quite a bit of
torque.

The first 2 went pretty quick and I was doing okay. But by the time
they got to the 3rd one, it started getting uncomfortable and I wanted
it to be over. Just having my mouth open so long was hard, and
something the assistant was doing, some technique he had of sucking
the saliva or blood out of my throat was very uncomfortable. It was
impossible to communicate this, so I just put up with it, but it was
very annoying and unpleasant. It felt like little pricks against my
throat.

The 3rd one and 4th one were really just more of the same. There was
little real pain, it was just super uncomfortable, my jaw was so tired
- actually hurt - from being open so wide for so long, and the
drilling hurt a little bit on this last tooth (#29).

It finally ended, and just in time, I thought, as it was really
starting to get to be too much.

Then it got to be too much: They had to take yet more photographs.
They had to have me open my mouth really wide to take the photos, and
it literally HURT for me to open my mouth that wide, now. I told them,
and they gave me a rest, but still insisted on doing it. They took
about 6 more photos and each one was painful because my jaw just did
not want to stay open anymore and when I opened it wide it hurt. I
have a feeling my jaw is going to be sore, for a week or more!

Then, they had to put in sutures, which for some reason I did not
think was part of the procedure. In the past I have had sutures that
did not hurt at all. But I think the anaesthetic was wearing off and
man, it hurt like hell. I told him, and he said he could give me more
shots, but that is no fun either, so I let him continue. Wrong choice.
It became torturous, and I imagined those old Westerns where they pull
some guy's tooth and give him a shot of whisky and say, "here, bite
down on this cloth!" and then you see the guy squirming in pain while
they pull the tooth. I felt like I was being tortured. Admittedly I am
a child when it comes to dental pain. I hate it! But I'm going to tell
him next time to give me more anaesthetic for the suturing. I think
the student was rather slow at it, as well.

All in all it was about a 4 hour ordeal, though I heard the surgeon
say they did the 4 implants in only about an hour and a half. The rest
of it was the shots, the photos, the sutures, etc..

Oh, and in the end, they took a panoramic x-ray too.

Now I am home, they told me do NOT DO ANY EXERCISE AT ALL, just REST.

I am not feeling much pain, yet. I took 4 ibuprofens just in case, as
directed, and I am on amoxicillin too. He said I could take some
Tylenol 3 if I need to, and from past dental experience I know I
probably will.

Oh, and I'm using some ice packs today to encourage it to stop
bleeding.

I hope my account of my experience does not discourage anyone from
getting implants who needs them. If they integrate successfully in my
jawbone, it will be a great thing and worth the pain and discomfort.

My friend had 2 implants done by highly recommended oral surgeon (and
paid almost double what I paid) and only had 2 done, and he said "It
was a breeze, and didn't hurt at all". So I was hoping my experience
would be the same. It wasn't. Not sure whether it was because of
having a student do it or if it was because I had 4 done instead of
just 2, but I would NOT classify it as a breeze, and it was certainly
NO PICNIC. I'll be happy if I don't end up with any post-surgery
complications and the implants "take".

If you need 4-5 implants, my suggestion would be to get the best
surgeon you can afford, someone who comes recommended and has done
lots of them. If you cannot afford that, as I couldn't, then go to a
dental school. The surgeons at the school are already dentists who are
going in for their periodontal degree, so it's not as if some idiot is
practicing on you. It just may be a bit less comfortable. Or not... I
suppose you can get stuck with someone who is at the bottom of the
class, or you can get someone at the top of the class, that's the
risk. But the same risk can exist with going to a private practicing
oral surgeon, unless you have solid recommendations.

But I go back for 3 more in 2 weeks (#2,4 and 14), including a sinus
lift, and unless I end up with complications from these over the next
2 weeks, I intend to keep my appointment, with the same student, for
the other 3 implants.

It will be a wonderful thing if and when I actually do have 7 new
teeth to chew with!
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Joel M. Eichen
medicine forum Guru


Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 4062

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

Excellent description. Thanks! Can you inform us of what your fees will
be?

Joel


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Bill
medicine forum Guru


Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 346

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

JimSocal wrote:
Quote:

I hope my account of my experience does not discourage anyone from
getting implants who needs them. If they integrate successfully in my
jawbone, it will be a great thing and worth the pain and discomfort.

__________________________________________




I hope your account of the experience encourages people to floss and
brush like crazy so they can PREVENT the problems that create the need
for implants in the first place!

I have been urging everyone to brush and floss better for over 35
years, but many don't put much effort into their dental health UNTIL it
starts to hurt. By then they have already lost the best opportunity for
prevention.

Hope everything works out well for you. Once these implants are
integrated, you should be able to get some great, long-lasting
restorations! That part should be a heck of a lot easier on you than
the surgery.

- dentaldoc
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JimSocal
medicine forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

On 8 Jul 2006 14:04:01 -0700, "Bill" <dentaldoc@hotmail.com> wrote:

Quote:

JimSocal wrote:

I hope my account of my experience does not discourage anyone from
getting implants who needs them. If they integrate successfully in my
jawbone, it will be a great thing and worth the pain and discomfort.

__________________________________________



I hope your account of the experience encourages people to floss and
brush like crazy so they can PREVENT the problems that create the need
for implants in the first place!

I have been urging everyone to brush and floss better for over 35
years, but many don't put much effort into their dental health UNTIL it
starts to hurt. By then they have already lost the best opportunity for
prevention.

Hope everything works out well for you. Once these implants are
integrated, you should be able to get some great, long-lasting
restorations! That part should be a heck of a lot easier on you than
the surgery.

- dentaldoc
Hi, dentaldoc,

I posted the good, bad and ugly of it, to try to give a realistic
experience of it, as I perceived it, which is all I can do.

Part of my intention in posting it, as I told my 11 year old niece, is
to encourage people to brush and floss so they don't have to get
implants.

The other intention I had was to give those who are getting several
implants an idea of how uncomfortable but bearable it MIGHT be; but as
I said, their experience may be easier than mine, and I am somewhat of
a "baby" when it comes to dental work. But I was expecting it to be
easier than it was, and I think I'd rather have expected it to be as
bad as it was for me, so that I'd have been more psychologically
prepared for it. I do think that a lot of my discomfort, though, in
hindsight, was due to the student not being as gentle as he could have
been, and taking longer to suture than he should have, and my needing
more anaaesthetic at that point.
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JPG
medicine forum Guru


Joined: 24 May 2005
Posts: 569

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

On 8 Jul 2006 14:04:01 -0700, "Bill" <dentaldoc@hotmail.com> wrote:

Quote:

JimSocal wrote:

I hope my account of my experience does not discourage anyone from
getting implants who needs them. If they integrate successfully in my
jawbone, it will be a great thing and worth the pain and discomfort.

__________________________________________



I hope your account of the experience encourages people to floss and
brush like crazy so they can PREVENT the problems that create the need
for implants in the first place!

I am certainly trying. Having ITP with a sometimes low platelet count
has also been a bit of a spur to take more care. I would not be able
to afford implants so that wouldn't be an option for me but I don't
want dentures, crowns or bridges either. I hope I am not fighting a
losing battle. No gum bleeding at all at the moment so I am hopeful.

Ann

Quote:
I have been urging everyone to brush and floss better for over 35
years, but many don't put much effort into their dental health UNTIL it
starts to hurt. By then they have already lost the best opportunity for
prevention.

Hope everything works out well for you. Once these implants are
integrated, you should be able to get some great, long-lasting
restorations! That part should be a heck of a lot easier on you than
the surgery.

- dentaldoc
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JimSocal
medicine forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

On Sun, 09 Jul 2006 10:37:20 +0100, Ann <me@privacy.net> wrote:

Quote:
On 8 Jul 2006 14:04:01 -0700, "Bill" <dentaldoc@hotmail.com> wrote:


JimSocal wrote:

I hope my account of my experience does not discourage anyone from
getting implants who needs them. If they integrate successfully in my
jawbone, it will be a great thing and worth the pain and discomfort.

__________________________________________



I hope your account of the experience encourages people to floss and
brush like crazy so they can PREVENT the problems that create the need
for implants in the first place!

I am certainly trying. Having ITP with a sometimes low platelet count
has also been a bit of a spur to take more care. I would not be able
to afford implants so that wouldn't be an option for me but I don't
want dentures, crowns or bridges either. I hope I am not fighting a
losing battle. No gum bleeding at all at the moment so I am hopeful.

Ann

Good luck! I have heard that green tea is very good for the gums and

teeth. Also xylitol to sweeten with. I think flossing is key, as well.
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Howard McCollister
medicine forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

This was great. Thanks for posting. My question is, why can't patients
be anesthetized and sleep thru a procedure like this?

JimSocal wrote:
> I had 4 implants today,....
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Joel M. Eichen
medicine forum Guru


Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 4062

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

Forget floss ... tooth decay, tooth ROT is due to bad dentistry ..... we
dentists must prevent tooth-BOMB-out, not administer over it. The kid
cannot brush bacteria outa da grooves ~ bacteria are way too small. In
time, the decay goes into the nerve, then shoddy root canal and/or
crowns finish up the job.

The solution: Minimal intervention, and PREVENTION.

An Irish family has seven kids, and underemployed parents. They do not
have dough to throw around. If all seven kids come to me EVERY SIX
months RELIGIOUSLY, without fail, I can guarantee that they will never
need root canal therapy and/or crowns, and or tooth loss. Well almost
guarantee, accidents do happen!


Joely


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George Chatzipetros
medicine forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

Joel344 wrote:
Quote:
Forget floss ... tooth decay, tooth ROT is due to bad dentistry .....

Yes, also lung cancer is due to bad medicine. Forget cigarettes, it's
the doctors' fault!
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Joel M. Eichen
medicine forum Guru


Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 4062

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Joel344 wrote:
Quote:
Forget floss ... tooth decay, tooth ROT is due to bad dentistry
.....


Yes, also lung cancer is due to bad medicine. Forget cigarettes, it's
the doctors' fault!




R E P L Y


Post hoc ergo propter hoc


(after this, therefore because of this). This is the fallacy of
assuming that A caused B simply because A happened prior to B. A
favorite example: "Most rapists read pornography when they were
teenagers; obviously, pornography causes violence toward women." The
conclusion is invalid, because there can be a correlation between two
phenomena without one causing the other. Often, this is because both
phenomena may be linked to the same cause. In the example given, it is
possible that some psychological factor -- say, a frustrated sex drive
-- might cause both a tendency toward sexual violence and a desire for
pornographic material, in which case the pornography would not be the
true cause of the violence.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc is nearly identical to cum hoc ergo propter
hoc, which you should see for further details.


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George Chatzipetros
medicine forum Guru Wannabe


Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

Chill out Joel, I was only joking. You can believe you can save
everybody's teeth if only they come visit you every 6 months if you
want to, but it's not up to you really. I've got many patients who
visit me every 6 months and their mouths are frankly awful, because
they spend 15-30 minutes with me and then spend 5 months, 29 days, 11
hours and 30 minutes NOT following any of my advice.
You can't change everyone!

Regards,
George
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Joel M. Eichen
medicine forum Guru


Joined: 24 Mar 2005
Posts: 4062

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:26 am    Post subject: Re: What it's like to get dental implants - my experience Reply with quote

Not advice .... drilling out occlusal defects beginning age 6, 7, 8, 9
etc.


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