Story of Andrei

When the doctor said “edentation”, Andrei immediately understood what it was about, though he had never heard that word: He was going to lose his teeth. Maybe it wasn’t his biggest problem (the recent divorce, the confusion that the big boy was going through, the mother’s illness was no small matter either), but it was the one that filled the cup, as they say. “This can’t continue anymore”, he said to himself. He had to change something. Quickly! And as a new wife is not quite so easy to find, as Mihnea’s confusion was demanding patience and long discussions, and with regard to his mother’s illness, he could only pray, he decided to start his personal revolution with his teeth: that is, to put on implants, as the Doctor advised him. And maybe quit smoking.

The decision taken was reinforced by the assurances given by the doctor who shattered his fears. What if the surgery is complicated and painful? The doctor assured him that it was not so, but on the contrary, light and swift: practically, in one day, he could have new, healthy teeth. But what if the implants don’t last? «Hm, well depends on what implants you choose…» Quality implants, German quality, the Doctor specified, are safe… Will he need medical leave? Not! And when will he be able to eat after the surgery? Right after the anesthesia passes! With the mention, which was expected, that during the first two months the diet must be of soft consistency. After this period – to the grill! The price? It was communicated to him beforehand, with the assurance that after the work begins there will be no unforeseen costs. But the strongest argument was that, thanks to today’s advanced technology, he can have implants and fixed teeth on the same day.

And it came the day of the operation, The Z Day, as Andrei called it. Following the advice of the specialist despite the inevitable emotions, he slept well the day before. He ate well. In the morning, after proper sanitation of the oral cavity, with the heart pounding in the chest but not of fear, but by the euphoria of the coveted change, went to the dental office.

The operation, in itself, went so smoothly and comfortably that, after that, Andrei was amazed at how easily he had changed his life. That’s because of the professionalism and care of the medical team: during the operation, he was always at the center of the team’s attention, received assurance that the operation could take a break anytime at his request and the comfort was provided by local anesthesia. Because there was no need for intravenous anesthesia, which neither raised any difficulties, being made by just an anesthesiologist, the operation lasted less than expected and he didn’t need Mihnea to lead him home.

Of course, the doctor also spoke about some important technical aspects, such as the guarantee of osseointegration, concerning the inclusion in the body of an object foreign until then, the chosen physician taking responsibility, the integration of tissue … He listened to new thoughts already smiling: «And I will not feel this humiliating shame when I speak (and he had to speak, he was a math professor after all). And I can go grilling with the boys on Saturdays (the boys are respectable gentlemen, but among them, they’re still boys). And I can eat peanuts again when I watch the game. And I’m going to get rid of halitosis that always makes me blush when I open my mouth. And I’m not going to get to wear dentures, like a… I’m only 53 years old, I’m not yet… and maybe I’ll invite Ioana to the movies…»

After the suture along the six implants, surgery was over. It followed the prosthetic phase of immediate restoration of the implants, with prefabricated work (preferred option for the work that the dental technician performs extemporaneously).

Being conscious and relaxed throughout the operation, Andrei had to fight only with the impatience to enjoy life again: there were so many things he could do again, as there were anguish and imposed restrictions before.

After the excitement brought about by this event that he saw as a restart of his life, the second powerful feeling experienced by Andrei was the surprise due to the difference between what he expected from the operation and how it actually went. The intervention ended faster than he imagined and an hour or two after the operation he had the sensation that his face was swollen, but the pains were manageable with the help of the anti-inflammatory meds that the medical team gave him immediately. For safety, they prescribed an antibiotic and asked him to keep an ice bag on the place that was worked on. He was told the most swollen would be after two days, but then things would go back to normal.

He was also surprised that his teeth, though straight and aligned, seemed large on the inside, but patiently, the doctor explained that the most sensitive tactile body – the tongue – would perceive any changes in the size of the teeth. Moreover, in the next period, it is important that the implants it has received today to work jointly and that the provisional prosthetic work, although it is possible to fracture, can be repaired immediately in the clinic and it is important to remain in one piece. In the end, the doctor also told him that it is very important to remain in permanent connection and to immediately announce any problem that might arise during this time.

It was clear: he made a good decision when he heard about edentation and when he felt the cup got filled. It is true that he was more careful now with what he had acquired: he cleans and hygienize his mouth twice a day, but what was once a torment – brushing of his mobile teeth – was just a refreshment of the mouth.

The change that Andrei was going through was so evident that a neighbor with whom he played backgammon in the evening overcame his shame (which Andrei had known so well) and, with one hand over his mouth (oh, he also knew this gesture!) asked him about the surgery and the cabinet where he had it.

Two and a half months after the intervention, just as the doctor told him, the provisional broke. Being forewarned, that didn’t cause him any anguish. He went back to the dental clinic, where the same people repaired his work on the spot and invited him to immediately communicate any other event of this kind. Thus, Andrei learned that there are differences between dental roots and implants: the implant is completely rigid in the bone, while the tooth has a mobility that is normal.

Then followed the final and definitive work, when he was again pleasantly surprised that he had not waited for it without teeth. The material for the definitive work was carefully chosen and every step of its realization was executed with a comforting care.

The new life, the improvement of its situation occurred immediately after surgery, when he found that known movements of teeth are no longer painful because now everything is fixed and halitosis – that smell so embarrassingly felt until then – disappeared. He already had serious reasons to smile.

And after two months, when he was able to gradually increase the consistency of food, he found other reasons for joy: Saturday’s barbecue with the boys, after he yearned for so long, the quenching of peanuts while watching the game, the Christmas rind whose taste he almost forgot…

With the implants installed, Andrei needed only to make an annual visit to the dentist, to assess the quality of his dental care and for the radiological examination. That on a medical plane, of course. As far as his life is concerned, Andrei had a lot of things to do. He spoke long and tactful with Mihnea, who slowly began to overcome that turbulent phase of youth. He rediscovered the pleasure of explaining to the students about Fermat’s theorem. He rediscovered many joys that he only a few months ago feared that he had lost forever… And on a Sunday afternoon, he called Ioana.

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