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Thursday, April 24, 2014


Tuesday night. April 22nd. Dinner time. An event that will go down in history, well history of this blog anyhow, as a heart-stopping, jaw dropping, tear creating (not really) infusion of sound and sight that shut the entire house...NO...the entire neighborhood down for hours!  OK, that may be a slight exaggeration but when I did yell out, "Oh shit", the dog looked at me a little weird as I'm not known as one who swears much. Well there was that one time when my wedding ring almost ripped my finger off my hand but I digress.

I was told from the very beginning that this is just a temporary and that I needed to be careful with it. But did I listen? So I was having dinner, a homemade soft taco for those with inquiring minds, when I hear a "SNAP" as I bit down to tear me off a piece of goodness. I immediately paused...a mush of food still hanging out in my mouth. I swallow, I get up and head to the mirror. Teeth still there, good! I pinch my upper teeth which is of course my temporary arch and see if it moves. Sure in the heck did, damn! Wiggle, wiggle...double dam! This is when I tell my wife what is going on as she was dealing with something more important like watching Survivor (I will be in trouble for that one). I asked her to get the camera and try to take a photo of the back side of my temp arch as I could not see any cracks on the outer surface.

(the underside looks like that due to it just being a temp. the final teeth will look very realistic)

Yep...that is a photo that no one wants to see after getting dental work. The good thing is it's still in place as shown by this photo taken at the same time...

WOW! I see that I'm in dire need of a nose hair trimmer. Anyway I was going to go to my local dentist to get it fixed in the hopes that it would help it last until my return trip to Costa Rica in September. But then I thought, "Wait a minute...why don't I just go to CR early and get my permanent teeth?". So I contacted Dr. Prada and he in turn spoke with Dr. Gonzalez, the one who installed my implants, and they both agreed that 4 months, in my case as they put it, was enough time for the implants to osseointegrate (fuse) to the bone. So I contacted the airline that I had just purchased my September tickets through last week. I contacted Liza, the person who I reserved a room from. I then talked to my boss about needing 2 weeks off not in September but! Everything is a go! In a little over 3 weeks I will be on my way, once again, to Costa Rica.

So how/why did this happen? Cheap materials? Hardly! Bad craftsmanship of the temporary arch? Not a chance. When the temp arch was first place, it was pressing solidly up against my upper gum. But as the gums healed, they receded and by quite a bit. You see I had inflamed gums due to advanced periodontal disease. When Dr. Gonzalez took my bad upper teeth out, he also performed some much needed gum surgery. So since all the nasty teeth were out and the gums were worked on and "cleaned up", the gums began to heal and shrink. When that happened, a considerable gap opened up between the arch and the gums. Since I had no implants in the very front of my mouth and the front upper teeth no longer had gum to lean against, everytime I bit down on something, it was flexing that arch. I was unaware that this was happening. Finally the arch met it's match...a delicious soft taco.

Obviously I won't have this problem with my permanent teeth. For one I won't have a single, full arch. I will have 3 separate segments of porcelain fused to zirconia which is incredibly strong. Also there wont be the gap between the new teeth and my gums as there is now.

I'm OK with this latest event since it has resulted in me getting my long awaited, permanent, new smile even sooner than I had expected. Thank you Mr. Soft Taco....THANK YOU!

Oh...and in case some of you are saying, "See...that is what you get for getting dental care outside of the States", I have a co-worker that has had his PERMANENT bridge break/crack 3 times and he got his work done right here in the good 'ole US of A. Plus he paid a hell of a lot more money.


  1. Thanks for the update and the clear explanation about the healing gums. Glad to hear that you were able to work things out with Dr. Prada and are going to get your permanent teeth ahead of schedule. Don't forget to bring your umbrella as the rainy season is just getting started.

    1. I don't do umbrellas and I love the rain. Bring it on CR! ;)

    2. We are from Oregon...rain doesn't bother us :) Although, I won't be there this time. :(

  2. Rod,
    Glad to hear that you are getting your permanent bridge sooner rather than later! As I mentioned on the forum, I got my All-On-4 about 3 1/2 weeks ago. I have the temporary bridge installed. My gums are healing, and a gap is opening up between the bridge and gums. My implant clinic showed me how to floss between there, to keep the implants clean. I also use a water pick in that area.
    You mentioned that the permanent bridge won't have that gap. Then how will you clean between there? With my all-on-4, the dentist mentioned that I will have a gap, but it is well above my smile line (can't be seen by others). He said the gap is necessary for cleaning.

    1. Hey Roger...there will be a very small gap. Just enough to get the floss threader through. I should have made that more clear and sorry about that. I meant that the new teeth won't have the gap that I currently have which is significant since the healing of my gums. I've been following your progress and I'm very happy for you. Spread the word as it looks like you have found a good place.

    2. Rod, thanks for the clarification. Yep, you had your extractions at the same time as the implants, so that gap will be really large now that things are healing. I had my extractions 4 months prior to the implants. I've still got a little soreness in the gums, but I'm on the mend, and getting more used to the new bridge each day. I had to learn to chew again when I had my denture, now I get to learn all over again with this bridge! Take care, and have a good trip to CR!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Johnny but the photos in this post is when I had the temporary...nothing compared to the final product which can be seen in later entries into my blog.


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