Dental Implants – What You Don’t Want to Hear

In January of 2006 I learned through my dentist that I needed four teeth replaced on the upper left side of my mouth. My dentist recommended a dental implant surgeon to me with great credentials. I visited this implant surgeon and we came up with a plan to restore my mouth. We decided to pull four teeth and install four implants. This specialist explained the details of the procedure to me and all sounded fine. She provided me with prescriptions for pain medication to use during and after the procedure. I could see I would experience “happy hour” during the operation.

On the day of the surgery my wife drove me to the clinic. She had to pick me up after the surgery as I would be in no shape to drive. You also can forget driving to the clinic as some of the pain medication will be taken the night before the surgery and you will not be in any shape to drive. Matter of fact I was not in any shape to drive the day after the surgery. I imagine I could have gotten arrested as a “public drunk” had I walked around my neighborhood the day after the operation.

By the time I sat in the dentist’s chair I was half zonked by the tranquilizers and Demerol. The first three teeth were removed without a problem. The last tooth was different. I felt as if the tooth was being unscrewed out of my head. On a 1 to 10 pain scale this rates a high 7 or low 8, it just plain hurt, hurt bad if you know what I mean. I was relieved that the worse was over, so I thought.

After the extractions the dentist installed three implants without a hitch. Now we are back to the fourth socket. Remember I have a socket now as the tooth was pulled. The dentist uses device that looks like an Allen wrench and proceeds to screw the implant into the newly made socket in your jaw. The final three turns of this wrench caused excruciating pain. On a one to ten pain scale this gets the 10. On the last turn I think I passed out from the pain. I woke up saying, “I’ll talk, I’ll talk”. I must have momentarily thought I was being tortured in some POW camp. The pain pretty much ceased when she stopped screwing in the implant. The implant must be some kind of expansion anchor. I should have looked at the device.

You might wonder just what this procedure is costing me. The extractions are separate when it comes to billing for the procedure. The implants were $1,800 a piece. This does not include the crowns that will be attached to the implants. I just received a quote from one dentist for $5,000. I am shopping around and trying to get a better price for the crowns. I know a lady that needs implants and she is taking a second mortgage on her house to pay for them.

Right now one of my implants is out as it failed to take hold. The hole made in the socket goes all the way into my sinus. When I drink water the liquid will run out my nose if I am not careful. This can be fixed but for the moment I have to live with this condition. Overall I have confidence that this entire procedure will work out just fine. My advice is take care of your teeth, get them cleaned, and be on the lookout for gum disease.