Thai Life


Meeting Dr Drill - Part 3

A new tooth clacks down!

[b]The Final Appointment with Dr Drill[/b]

Well the final day of reckoning for the elusive tooth was today and it was an interesting conclusion to the saga.

First thing was a glass of foul-tasting green flavoured water in reception.
Hoping this wasn't some attempt to sedate me I made my way into Dr Drills domain.

Firstly an allen key was unleashed to unscrew the implant cover plug/bolt.

This done a zirconium alloy rod bolt was screwed into its place where the threaded implant was.
This was unpleasant as the area was tender. The implant of course meant it was hollow but not at the edges, nor at the extreme depth of the thing either. Some gum had obviously been keen to re-explore and growth about the 'fringe-zone.'
So he had to root and twinge about somewhat. At first there wasn't enough 'gap' but he made some prods here and there and soon there was enough space for the rod to screw in 100%

Dr Drill was making several precision adjustments using a fine metal probe. Hooked like a scyle, pain images of Dustin Hoffman being put through his paces as the Marathon Man started to take form.
The pain irritation was annoying now, my eyes were glazing with tear-film but the worst was over.
A mini-torque wrench appeared and he manually torqued up the bolt. Giving it a last painless tightening-tweak the part was anchored in to a steel-like consistency.

Now the crown porcelain tooth was slotted over the rod bolt gently.
I was shown it in the mirror to see how it looked prior to afixing.
Colour match was near perfect and it looked good.
I quizzed Dr Drill about the tooth looking slightly angled compared to the real tooth next door but then was reminded the gum would grow to cover the angle up and all tooth looked like that in their natural state.
Inserting the tooth meant the marathon man tool had to be used again.
This wasn't hurtful though but aided the tooths insertion by 'tweezing' aside and away parts of the gum so the tooth could be slotted into place.
The tooth was then 'glued-in' using a plastic resin then, like a model airfix being assembled, Dr Drill held the tooth firmly onto the implant structure with both thumbs.
After a minute a new tool from Dr Drills arsenal was uncovered.
A ‘heat gun’ which used trigger-activated halogen light was buzzed around the tooth, nearly touching it, by the cute dental assistant.
It was bright too. A plastic orange clapper thing was held over it so not to blind or damage the eyes.
A senior assistant took charge after a while held it against the back of the tooth for 3 seconds, just to make sure I guess, I yelped as the heat of it shot up through the crown, rod and implant! Mind a-fizzing like a rocket she removed it quickly again. Obviously satisfying herself that the porcelain was rock steady in there and not going become unstuck.

This done I was told to bite down on this red plastic slide.
Feels like I’ve suddenly grown one big tooth!

Dr Drill unleashed his trademark polishing drill. Whzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
‘Bite down again’ he said.
'Ok' Clack! But still the bite pattern was uneven.
Third-time lucky I bite down. dam_n this implant feels mean man, like I could bite through a rubber air hose! Not quite jaws out of James Bond, but a level towards it :)
It was still uneven, but not by much.
I knew that if Dr Drill took off much more of the crown the tooth would stand uneven against the partnering one. Yet to get an even bite on the lower row it would have to be slightly off center otherwise the bite would be wrong.

Fourth time under the drill...
Clack! The bite was good. Not perfect, but nor were both teeth out of level either. Overtime the fine bite margin would even out.

I asked him what the procedure was to remove the tooth if the impant needed removing. The process involved cracking the tooth and discarding it due to the nature of the resin. Then the rod bolt could be accessed. It was trivia I didn’t really need to know, unless the crown was cracked/damaged but I was curious.
It was then explained to me, that a normal tooth has soft tissue between the tooth and the jaw-bone, giving it the slightly 'springy' feeling.
An implant was much more solid with no soft tissues between it and the jawbone. Giving it the dense, inner-hardened feeling.
This was certainly true, it felt wierd, like a different entity to the other teeth; stronger, elitist and yet somehow with more feeling and sensation than I first expected.

Implant details:

Upper - Titanium.
Lower - Gold Alloy
Rod - Zirconium (I think that's how its spelt)
Made in Sweden. Length 14.5 mm

I asked him about polishing procedures. For polishing the crown he advised telling a dentist about the implant. That was he could use an appropriate device not to damage/wear it away.

Some pictures followed for their records including an X-Ray.
No infection, bone growth was present/healed and all that was left were some farewells and making the last payment of 35,000 baht for a job well done!
I took Dr Drills email address just in case of later problems from the implant.
With that done it was time to get used to having a ‘real’ tooth anchored into my mouth for the first time in 2 years :D

No more worrying about a denture for separate cleaning and food getting stuck behind it, awkward removal when eating tough foods etc :)
Here’s the story by pictures:

After the first implant stage 4 months ago.

Goodbye to the denture!

Hello to the new tooth!

I recommend Dr Drill and if anyone wants to know more PM me and I’ll give you more details on this.

Farang columnist Johnny BThis section is hosted by our resident columnist Johnny B. who has been living in Thailand for seven years now and currently is based out of Bangkok.

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Chang Mai Province Phitsanulok Bangkok Koh Tao Koh Pang Yan Koh Samui