Thursday, October 4, 2012

Having Oral Surgery & a Dental Implant: What it was Like

The short answer: like a moderate headache; it hasn't been nearly as bad as, say, a sprained ankle or wrist. Having my braces restrung was more painful than the surgery.

Now for the long answer.

My surgeon started with two shots, neither of which bothered me. (Full disclosure: I have a high threshold of pain and no aversion to needles. The surgeon remarked that most people find the second shot painful.) For the next 45 minutes or so, I sat there with my mouth open while he worked on me, feeling nothing. I saw him using a socket wrench on me (I've turned enough of them to know one), then saw him pulling thread. Finally, he showed me an x-ray of the titanium screw in my upper jaw. He explained that he didn't like the original position of my eye tooth, so he put the screw where there was more bone. Extracting a tooth and putting in an implant in one sitting was pushing the envelope, as he put it, but in the worst case, he'd extract it, let my mouth heal, and try again.

Next, it was on to the orthodontist to get a temporary tooth attached to my braces. The anesthetic was wearing off and my mouth was tender. Getting my braces restrung was the worst part of my day. But once it was done, I didn't feel any worse than before.

Back at home, I remembered a post from the Hyperlipid blog that fellow blogger Tess led me to. Recalling that a study found high-fat meals are analgesic, I had some ground beef (80% lean), guacamole and low carb hot chocolate, and felt well enough to need nothing but ibuprofin. That's all I've had, a couple of times a day, for pain. Of course, I've also been taking the antibiotics and using the mouthwash the surgeon prescribed.

In addition, I've been taking 360 mcg of vitamin K2, 10,000 IU of vitamin D3, 200 mg of magnesium glycinate, and a few other supplements peculiar to my needs. Vitamins K2 and D3 are especially important for dental health; both of these and magnesium are important for bone health. I've also been using the cavity healing diet from a few years ago. Unexpectedly, it made my teeth and gums less sensitive and relieved my TMJ shortly after I started it. I went from being sensitive to heat, cold and acid to, well, not flinching during a shot in my gums. The cavity healing diet includes organ meat, muscle meat with the fat, eggs, fatty fish, non-starchy veg, and dairy as condiments (if desired), but no grains, no sweet fruit, and nothing very starchy or sugary. Basically, it's a high-nutrient, low-carb, high-fat, mostly paleo diet. The organ meat and fatty fish are required at least weekly: they're high nutrient food.

Bottom line, if the only thing stopping you from having a dental implant is the fear of pain, perhaps you think it's more painful than it really is. You could also talk to an oral surgeon about getting some stronger pain killers, and go on the cavity healing diet for a few weeks before and after the surgery.


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Lori Miller said...

Really? Where did you study dentistry?