If you’ve been keeping up with me since last May, then you know that I’m in the process of getting dental implants. I’ve talked about it on my YouTube channel and even gave a three month update in this post. Before I started the process, I was nervous. A lot of my initial struggles had to do with not knowing how I’d feel about wearing a retainer with fake teeth inside of it. This was something I did in high school and I remember it being such a pain.
Most of the time I was worried that it wasn’t affixed correctly. I even had nightmares about my retainer falling from my mouth while I spoke. At a time where your self consciousness is at an all time high, it was an additional layer of stress that I loathed.
Ironically enough the retainer I wear today has been the least of my worries (aside from having to ask Ben if I have anything stuck in it during date night – ha). At times it makes me feel more confident in my smile than I have ever felt before. Funny how that works huh? Before starting the dental implant process, I’d immediately notice everything wrong with my smile in pictures (smaller teeth, shorter teeth, etc.). The retainer has definitely filled in the gaps – pun intended. My smile finally looks more “full size” to me.
I can only hope that the final dental implants will produce the same result. That is if I ever get to that point…
A lot has happened since I last updated you guys on this toothy journey. By “a lot” I mean that one of my implants unexpectedly emerged from my gum line (sorry, gross). Essentially it had fallen from where it was surgically placed. This was a tragic experience FOR SURE because it literally happened over night. I went to bed one evening with everything in tact, then woke up the next morning able to touch the implant with my tongue. I cried, a lot. Not because of pain, but because I knew that wasn’t normal.
Now is a good time to remind you (and myself) that dental implants CAN fail. I hate to say it, but I got to learn that lesson firsthand. Since everything had been moving along so smoothly, I had really dismissed the idea that anything could go wrong. I guess the universe felt that I could use a reality check.
One emergency appointment and a failed implant removal later, it was evident that the area was infected. This immediately explained why the implant failed. An infection was nothing I had even thought would happen. I gave the area the appropriate oral care and took all of the antibiotics I needed to. The infection still prevailed because it had stemmed from one of my other teeth.
Adding to the list of unexpected setbacks was a recommended root canal. Having never had one before, I was incredibly nervous. I’ve never had a cavity in my life, and now my mouth was all like “SURPRISE, here’s an infected tooth”. It was truly unbelievable to me. What were all of those years of flossing for anyway? Kidding, I’m guessing the two might be unrelated.
A whirlwind of emotions consumed me while this was all going on. Nobody could have planned for the setbacks that have taken place and that’s kind of what they tell you in the beginning of the process. You can’t guarantee that the implants will be 100% successful, and you shouldn’t dismiss that setbacks can pop up.
At this point, my mouth is still healing from the root canal. I’ll be sittin’ pretty until my next appointment in May, followed by my second attempt surgery for an implant in June. It’s hard to be patient, but I don’t have much of a choice.
The good news is that my periodontist told me he’s willing to try the implant surgery again if I am. That’s one thing that’s keeping me optimistic. I’ve come way too far to just give up on the first try – that’s for sure.
Note: my other dental implant is still in tact which is definitely a positive from this whole situation (!!!)