Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

April 7th, 2009:

Boy, That Took a While…

…but it’s over. (No, not the book.) I’ve felt this way a time or two. The best example is the day I woke up after graduating from college. I remember thinking: Yikes! It’s over! I’m done! I don’t ever have to go back there! (I enjoyed high school a lot more than college.)

On January 14, 2008 I started in on a major dental project. My long-time readers have seen me post reports here from time to time. It involved removing the two botched sets of joined crowns that I had had installed in September 2001–which took almost four hours and a fortune in carbide burrs all by itself–a gingivectomy all the way around my lowers and parts of my uppers, two root canals, an extraction, a bone graft, an implant, and an immense amount of fussy work to create 25 individual crowns and a bridge over the bone-eroded gap where I haven’t had a tooth since 1991.

Today I went in and had the last crown attached to the implant post that was inserted November 6. Dr. Seaman used a little torque wrench to tighten it down, and even quoted me a torque value in newton-meters, which I have already forgotten. This one was easy, as there was no biological material involved. Some cranking and torque wrenching and a little grinding to get the bite right, but there was that thought again as I got in the car to head home: It’s over!

It’s not entirely true that I never have to go back there. Bionic or not, teeth need cleaning and looking over a couple of times a year, and I’m happy to go back for that. I now have 28 chewing surfaces for the first time in a long time, with nothing loose, nothing bleeding, and nothing inflamed; in short, everything is as it should be.

Let me reiterate: I’m as nervous as anyone about the state of the world today (though I worry about different things than most people) but as much as I enjoyed the early 1960s and even the late 1970s, I would never go back in time unless I knew that I could fast-forward again for dental work. I miss 60’s Sunshine Pop and sometimes I miss my hair, but I’ve had enough agonizingly crude dental work done in the last 50 years to kiss the point in time I’m standing on and shout to the sky: God bless the 21st Century!