“The Tooth with The Iron Root” – an interview with a Dental Implant on the difficulties of his integration process
Q: So how do you feel?
A: Well you know… A bit like the new kid on the block. I sometimes do not feel really accepted….
Q: Are they bullying you??
A: Nah it’s not like that, but they do try to push me and hit me hard on the head.
Q: Your head? You mean your crown!?!
A: Yes on my crown, making me feel like I am in the way. But it is not my fault. It’s the Dentist’s.
Q: What did he do wrong??
A: Well he did not give much consideration to my neighbouring teeth. On one side there is a big gap between me and the tooth next to me, and on the other side there is no space at all. And the upper teeth colliding with me suffer because I am too hard.
Q: Can you explain what you mean by “too hard”?
A: Ok, the fact is that I have an Iron Root or whatever metal. Titanium, I believe it is. Actually, it is a rough sand-blasted screw. Now when the Dentist operated and put me in the jawbone there a lot of supporting bone around me was missing. And you know what he did?
Q: No, you tell me…..
A: He took fake bone out of a bottle… can you believe it! … and mixed it with other bone he found near the operation site and put that all around me. Then he covered me, and all this mixed bone with a Membrane, which is some kind of a blanket “to keep the gums out” he said. And then he even cut the gums to make them much wider and longer so he could cover it all and close the wound properly.
Q: Wow that sounds really traumatic.. ….
A: No it is not really traumatic, there was no pain or real discomfort. I pride myself on being the RECONSTRUCTION of the LOST DENTITION. A POSITIVE EVENT. At least that is what the doctor is always saying after the operation, counting on the psychological stimulation of healing.
Q: But I still not understand why you are too hard for the other teeth?
A: The thing is that the others find me hard because, like I tried to explain, I am implanted in the bone. And the bone likes me so much that it snuggles up to me. It actually grows in between my pores of the sandblasted threads of the screw, and if I were hollow it would definitely grow inside me too. Like mould on a wet wall. This makes me irremovable. Similar to the the rocks in the sea. The other teeth can all move microns and sway in the bone because they are attached with fibres to it, like a trampoline (= Periodontal Ligament Depth or PDL). I do not have any trampoline. I am just sitting there hearing complaints that I don’t move. The upper teeth hate me for that. But only the Dentist can solve the problem. He definitely needs to retouch my crown. Then food is impacted between me and the other teeth, and that is why the gums are also upset with me. They bleed every time a hard piece of bread or the toothbrush passes and touches them. I feel sorry for them, but I cannot help it. It gives me a complex and I am kind of getting depressed.
Q: Oh no, you shouldn’t. Can the dentist resolve this gum problem too? So at least they will start to like you…
A: Yes, he can and he should ASAP! If he doesn’t, the regenerated bone will all go away and then my screw threads will be exposed above the bone and the gums… And then the whole mouth will have a problem because I will get some huge infections and need Laser treatments, or worse… antibiotics, to resolve that.
Q: That sounds dangerous. Let’s hope he resolves these problems fast. How long did it take to “conceive” you as a functioning tooth?
A: In some fortunate cases as a Dental Implant you can also have immediate loading with the crown, when there is good primary stability of the implant-screw in the bone. But in my case, when there is a lack of supporting bone you need to wait up to 3 or 4 months, and sometimes even 6. It depends. And then there is The Second Stage.
Q: A SECOND stage??? Is that another operation
A: Yes and no. It is the uncovering of my screw and repositioning of the formerly extended gums. If you are lucky the Dentist does that with a No-Pain Laser approach. Then you can hardly call it an operation. Because it is one swift procedure without numbing or sutures or long healing periods. If you are not lucky, with the old fashioned approach he will use a blade and then there are the above-mentioned painful sutures, slow healing.
Q: Isn’t it also the mouth’s fault? I mean all your difficulties with being integrated and accepted?
A: They, the teeth I mean, don’t stand in a nice row. It looks like the New York skyline. And they should get their act “straighthened out” before taking it out on me. But we do need all of us, me, the Iron-rooted teeth and regular teeth maintenance, and this is a difficult mouth to clean. However, I feel actually that I need more maintenance than the others.
Q: Why do you think that?
A: I am “The Third Dentition.”
They actually paid to have me! So yes, next to my inferiority complex of being an artificial fake tooth I feel quite important and superior too……
Q: Good for you!!! …. And lots of success with healing and the fitting of your crown!!!
By Dr. Elena Speranza Moll
Via Amilcare Ponchielli 21B, 50018 Scandicci –Firenze
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