For roughly thirteen months, there's been a hole in my mouth where tooth number 14 was supposed to be. Earlier this week, I received the crown for my implant, finally finishing the job of refilling the hole.
An implant isn't necessarily supposed to take over a year. Based on what I understand, though, it also shouldn't be rushed. Spending a little extra time after the extraction to wait for the bone in the jaw to set is a good thing. Similarly, after the post has been implanted in the jaw, extra time spent waiting for it to set is also a good thing. However, I may have carried it a bit too far in both cases. That's on me. I try not to visit the dentist any more than I have to, so if I can get work done during a routine cleaning, I do. Last month, just after my cleaning, the dentist made the casts to fabricate the implant crown. We set an appointment for this week to install the crown.
In those few weeks, the world has changed a little bit.
Usually, when I visit the dentist, the office is abuzz with activity. Two or more hygienists are typically busy with cleanings while the dentist himself is working on other patients. This week, with the concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, all routine work was canceled. The hygienists were nowhere to be found, and the office staff had been reduced to one. The dentist and his assistant were the only dental staff around, and they apparently weren't particularly busy. They brought me back as soon as I arrived, which was almost a quarter-hour early.
In addition to setting the crown on the implant, I also had a small crack in a tooth and some decay around an old filling, so those repairs were made at the same time. Compared with what I went through last year, it was a piece of cake. However, my dentist is not at all stingy with novacaine. I couldn't feel the left half of my face, including my nose, for about three hours.
It was a little weird suddenly having a crown in my mouth where a tooth had been missing for so long, although definitely not as weird as missing a tooth where one used to be. The fact that it's a crown isn't so weird, since for over twenty years there had already been another crown there, expect that it was on top of what was left of a real tooth. The fact that this crown is on top of an implant isn't at all noticeable.