I am BETRAYED BY CHEMISTRY. I had a dental implant put in a few days ago; I was under anesthesia for about 45 minutes and was never in any real pain. For which let us all joyfully shout HALLELUJAH!

(My big back molar cracked months ago. MONTHS AGO. This process has taken an eternity. First the dental surgeon pulled the tooth, for which I made him put me to sleep – for about ten minutes. Easy. He wadded up a lot of cadaver bone and shoved it up in the socket so it would bond to my jaw and allow for a screw to be put in, off of which they could hang a fake molar. The whole process takes about nine months; you could create and birth a baby in that time.)

(During all that time you’re not supposed to chew on that side, but hah. Best laid plans, and all that.)

However, now that I’m almost 60 years old, I’ve discovered that all those OLD PEOPLE from my past who were too wimpy to get over surgeries quickly weren’t such wimps after all. Three-quarters of an hour under IV sedation leaves, apparently, a little sticky residue in both body and soul. I find that three days after (or is it two? It must be two), my brain is utterly cloudy. I was keeping score while playing Scrabble last night and was rendered utterly confused at having to add the number six to the number seventeen. Surely that’s impossible, isn’t it? No one could REALLY add those two numbers together, right?


And I’m blue. Just utterly depressed and lonely and grumpy and sad. So I went to my fitness appointment this afternoon because – endorphins, right? And it was miserable, and my jaw hurt, and I could feel every single stitch disappearing into the vulnerable and naked pinkness of my flesh above where teeth are supposed to be and I think a few unsuspected pockets of anesthesia misery must have been waiting to burst forth because now I feel completely defeated and deflated and the exercise actually made me feel worse.

And oh – did I mention? I have an ENORMOUS SCREW STICKING OUT OF MY JAW BONE and I am constantly worrying it with my tongue. At first I thought it was a flat-head screw, but now I’ve discovered it actually has two parallel grooves in it. What I can’t figure out is…

Are those grooves just straight? Or is there a little wide place at one end so the new tooth can slot into a groove and hold there, like the cover of my cell phone? I don’t know why I need to know this, but I keep trying to figure it out – and my tongue is at just the wrong angle to perform a useful diagnosis. And yes, I have stuck my iPhone into my mouth in a blurry attempt to photograph it, but all I can see is darkness, more teeth, and a whole lot of filled cavities. My dental history has been sadly crowded with incident.

I also wonder – do these stitches go under the screw? Or over it and I just can’t feel it? I think under – but I’d better check again.

And just how big a gap is there between the top of the screw head and the roof of my gum? Could I fit a seed up in there and then lose it? No more brown flax with the morning breakfast, I’m guessing.

And am I rinse-and-spitting enough with disgusting salt water? And did I take the antibiotic today? And why can’t I get a decent night’s sleep when I’m so damned tired?

My mind is a weak, stupid rat running on a wheel. I’m not getting anywhere and I can’t figure out how to get off. This anesthesia stuff is bumming me out.

I’ll be better tomorrow. No need to send a St. Bernard with whiskey.

Although a dog would be nice.

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Fitness. It’s not just about abdominals, you know.


2 thoughts on “Implant

  1. You are far braver than I. When I lost my back molar, I decided I could live without it. Since the “gap” can’t be seen in the normal course of things, I used that as an excuse to forgo the experience. Less painful. (And, added bonus, no cost.)


    1. Do you think it was bravery? Or just blind obedience?! I keep seeing facts drift by about how keeping a healthy mouth is foundational to better health as we age. I can’t put my fingers on those facts now, of course – so i’m left with “you know, people say…” and “I’ve heard…” which is hardly impressive!


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