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Birding and other pleasures and aggravations, in Berkeley and beyond, by Ron Sullivan.

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January 18, 2008

Today’s Dental Adventure

Power bucket, fog.JPG

After staying up late last night for a Beausoleil show at Ashkenaz, I trotted off to the other Michael Doucet, who pronounces his name with a short “-set,” to get an implant implanted. This is in the hole left by the molar whose root I cracked by clenching my teeth when my sister Jeannie died last March 2. How’s that for a train of consequences?

Dr. Doucet… Come to think of it, I believe the fiddle god Doucet has that title too, having studied his art in Academe as well as l’Acadienne. Anyway, the oral surgeon is quite a likeable fellow and I can vouch for his skills. He’d told me he was more or less putting a screw into my lower left jaw, and by all the gods of weird medicine that’s just what it felt like. I didn’t mind much, as I was enjoying a stream of nitrous oxide and a vague sort of “relaxation” video involving rainforests, and he’d numbed my jaw good and proper before starting. I could’ve watched, oh, say, Pirates of the Caribbean, but I wasn’t interested in anything with a plot and besides, eww, gunk. I swear the video kept switching continents, though, which bugged me some. Monstera, golden bamboo, tree ferns, cane orchids. Mostly closeups, few or no flowers. Also the odd drive-by wad of inspirational prose, speaking of Eww.

When he was—I guess—screwing in the screw, I could feel it in an abstract nonpainful way. It bit into that newly-grown bone with a sound very like that of a screw biting into wood. I could hear the fibers giving way and then grasping around the screw. Very interesting.

Then he capped that with something he called, I think, the “healing abutment.” It looks like a small steel plug, visible between the surviving teeth. It tastes like steel too. I imagine it’s stainless, though it just looks gray. Suddenly I feel like a cyborg.

The whole thing was amazingly painless, and twelve hours later I’m taking Darvocet almost purely prophylactically. Almost no bleeding. No biting on gauze or anything.

The deal is: my dentist will construct a crown for the spot, three months from now. I suppose there’s an attachment gizmo in there somewhere. Assemble on site; celebrate Grand Opening. Yeah, suddenly I’m a construction site.

Also: pass the pudding, please. For a day or two anyway.


1 | By: Pica on January 19, 2008 at 07:22 AM

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Be good to yourself. I recommend tapioca with a little cinammon.

2 | By: Ron Sullivan on January 19, 2008 at 08:53 AM

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Thanks. I rather like tapioca, actually. I could stretch this a bit, I suppose, and see if our friend and editor Lisa can be induced to make some of her excellent rice pudding.

This was and is, a day later, amazingly non-traumatic. I had a night of extremely gorgeous but paranoid dreams and woke with a headache but otherwise it’s just another day. My mouth hurts less than it did after the average braces adjustment.

One could almost believe in Progress.*

*Believe in it? Hell, I’ve been there!**

**Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in-joke. Yoo-hoo, Julie!

3 | By: Sally Mack on January 19, 2008 at 05:33 PM

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Just think, no more braces adjustments.  Ever.  And pudding for a few days?  Piece of cake.

4 | By: Ron Sullivan on January 19, 2008 at 07:49 PM

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Ravioli and pesto! And bread!

Dang, now I want a piece of cake.

5 | By: VS on January 19, 2008 at 11:11 PM

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Ah, but can you have your cake and eat it, too?  If so, you can probably keep your head…

6 | By: VS on January 19, 2008 at 11:16 PM

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Oh, yeah, regarding “taking Darvocet almost purely prophylactically”, you do know that only works if you hold the pill between your knees, right?

7 | By: Ron Sullivan on January 20, 2008 at 05:22 PM

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V, my dear, anyone who can’t figure out how to have sex with her knees together… Well, never mind; I have age and modern medicine on my side in that matter.

8 | By: Ron Sullivan on February 4, 2008 at 04:50 PM

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Mouthwise, I’m feeling A-OK.

Actually, since the sun came out this morning, I’m feeling pretty good all ‘round. Plus: Shep finally molted, and last night he ate his rat like a Clean Plate Ranger. Good BO-oooy.

9 | By: kathy a on February 6, 2008 at 10:01 AM

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your snake is called “shep?”  that was the name of my husband’s childhood dog.

and one of his current dogs does not get the Clean Plate Award or the Citizenship Award.  someone left a lovely present of a dead rat outside the back door.  [at least it was outside, is my theory; but the miscreant evidently only hunts for sport.]

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