Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Replacing all your teeth in one day with implants and dentures for a new smile -- and you'll "get it" during the process

The ad-sphere has been cluttered  with commercial promising replacing all of one’s teeth with implants – possibly pulling them all day, coming home with a new smile. And there are plenty of potential customers in my age group. 

Clear Choice” is perhaps the best known of the operations that do this.

Today,. I had this done by a private periodontics socialist and my later mother’s dentist.  The price was probably a bit lower.

I had lost a lot of teeth already, and the uppers were replaced by a  typical removal denture, anchored by the few good teeth lest.  But the lowers are a total non-removal denture, anchored by five implants.  (Actually, that’s how all implant replacements work.) 

One of the interesting aspects was that it was done with sedation.  Valium and Demerol made the two and half hours to do the lower extractions pass very quickly as a blur. Things seemed to slow down with the fitting of the dentures – the exact sculpting, the xrays, and the extra time to test a new process to make a backup copy of the template impressions right in the office. The whole day kept me the there ten hours – overtime.
I didn’t know that conscious sedation required ECK monitoring.  So, I “got it”, just like in a disco: the female attendant pulled up my shirt, without consent, and pasted on electrodes.  Fortunately, there were some peripheral areas without much hair, and only three electrodes were required (instead of the usual ten).  But after a backroom break, she had to attach three new ones.  Sedation iv was in the elbow, rather than at the hand or writs, as often in the hospital.  Conscious sedation does require abstaining from food for four hours before the appointment, and doing without food or drink all day.  In that sense, it’s like an all-day outpatient surgery day. 

I suppose we could engage a discussion here why Medicare doesn't cover dental (except for biopsies), and why employer-baaed dental insurance is so weak on "the big stuff".  

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