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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!


  1. Amen, hallelujah. I’ve been slowly having all my amalgam fillings replaced with ceramic as they wear out. Imagine, fillings you can’t even /see/. And then there’s the repair to one of the corners of one of my front teeth (the corner was /gone/) that’s been in place for… it has to be going on 30 years. Granted, I don’t use my front teeth much out of habit (after I broke the first repair off. Ow.) but sheesh, the longevity of this thing is up there. Having said so, it will now fall off, but I will have it replaced with whatever the 21st century equivalent is.

    My childhood dentist, the last time I went to him, told me that the business has changed in the time he’s been practicing. (This was when I was in my 20s, after 15 years with him.) He said the biggest single change that has changed his business is preventative care. Brushing, flossing, and fluoridated water changed his business from mostly repair work to mostly cleaning and health maintenance.



    1. That’s certainly true, though my own sad tale of dental woe stems from roughly equal parts neglect and damage done by incompetent dentists. This guy is an artist, and I have high hopes that these teeth will do me for the rest of my life.

      Of course, I said that in 2001 as well.

  2. Bruce C. Baker says:

    Congratulations! Allow yourself to bask in that good feeling for at least the next week, and try to remember not to grind your teeth when reading about the antics of the Congress and the President! 🙂

  3. Kevin Anetsberger says:

    New gnashers for your rashers! Congrats!

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