In July, 2020, trying to stay healthy, and not gain weight during COVID, I was eating a cherry. And I heard a crack, and realized I had broken a tooth. But not just any tooth. The tooth just to the right of my front two teeth on the top.
My dentist had just retired. A friend gave me her dentist's name. And she was very, very nice. And seemed very, very competent, but the work was more extensive than she could do. I would need an implant. She sent me to a periodontist, who was also very nice. She pulled the tooth, and I spent an afternoon laying on the couch with an icepack on my face, then went back to the dentist, for a flipper, so I wouldn't have to walk around looking like I was dressed for Halloween, with no front tooth, for the next few months.
Then the periodontist called me. She had looked more closely at the Xrays and before doing the actual implant, she thought I would need a root canal, or maybe two root canals in the teeth next to the tooth that had broken. And so she sent me to an endodontist. He did the work he needed to do, checked the work a few weeks later, and sent me back to the periodontist.
The periodontist waited for my gums to heal from the root canal, started the implant and told me to come back in four months after the bone had grown around the implant. Implants like mine rarely fail, she said, and after she had checked it, we would be ready for the final procedure, with the dentist, where I had originally started. Great! A year later I would have a tooth in that hole.
Unfortunately, when I went back to get my implant checked, it had failed, or was in the process of failing. The endodontist thought it was because my mouth just wasn't getting enough fresh air, because I was wearing a mask all day. She prescribed a strong course of antibiotics and told me to come back in a month, and to wear my mask as little as possible during that time.
When I went back a month later, she still wasn't happy with the way things looked. She wanted to pull out the implant and start over, so that's what we did. She pulled it out, we waited a few months for that to heal, she put in a new implant, and we waited four months for the bone to grow again. In November (18 months later) when I went back, the implant had actually taken, and I was ready for a tooth. I got excited, thinking we were close to finished.
Not so fast. When I went back to the dentist, I found out I wasn't quite as close as I thought. They still had to make a temporary crown. I would wear that for two months, until my gums got adjusted to having a tooth in that hole again, and then there would be an actual crown. But before I could have an actual crown, I had to visit the ceramic specialist, who would make sure the tooth was a perfect match with my actual shade.
So this morning, I spent about thirty minutes with the ceramic specialist. He said my teeth are sort of an unusual color and he wants to create something, and then have me come back, to make sure it looks like he wants it to look. I have to go back in about two weeks, and then the week after that, 21 months and $7000 later, the dentist will put the final crown in my mouth.
Next time, I think I will just eat M&M's...