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Opinion: Dental implant experience

By Marion Vermazen

When I went to the dentist a month or so ago for a regular check up he said that because of infection I was losing bone around one of my teeth and I really needed to see a periodontist. He recommended  Dr Lang,  a periodontist and dental implant specialist nearby. I had a horrible experience with gum surgery many years ago and I was dreading going to see him.

After meeting with and talking to Dr Lang about my options I felt much better. He very clearly explained my options and answered all my questions. His passion and excitement about what he does and in particular about how the implant procedure has improved in the last few years was contagious. Coincidentally Dr Lang’s father  was a pharmacist in Wisconsin near where my Uncle was a pharmacist and Dr Lang received a pharmacy degree before going to dental school a the University of Washington where my sister went to Dental school.

The bottom line on my options was that I could have gum surgery around the tooth but it might or might not work depending on what was causing the infection. That didn’t appeal to me so I decided to have to the tooth pulled and have a dental implant installed instead.

Last Tuesday Dr. Lang pulled my tooth and installed the implant. The procedure was not too bad at all and I am so impressed with the whole technology. Bear with me. I am a technology geek. I think this is really cool.

First Dr Lang drew some blood and used a centrifuge in the corner of the room to make some platelet rich plasma (PRP) which is supposed to speed up the healing process. Then he pulled the tooth. There was a lot of infection around the tooth so pulling it was probably the right decision. Dr Lang then drilled a hole in the bone of my jaw and installed the implant which is basically a screw. Here is a picture of it.

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Dr Lang used the platelet rich plasma to reconstitute some powdered human bone and then packed the area around the implant with the reconstituted bone PRP mixture, which I think of as glue. He then used a Teflon membrane to cover up the extracted tooth area. He covered the whole thing with more PRP and sewed it all up. In a few months when the bone has grown in around the implant and everything has healed I will go to my dentist and have a crown attached to the implanted screw. Here is an x-ray of my jaw with the implant in place.

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I  slept most of the afternoon after having the procedure. I’ve taken a couple of Motrin but the pain hasn’t been bad at all.

The tooth I had pulled has a large gold top. Now I want to figure out how to recover the gold. Apparently some people use the gold from teeth they have had extracted to to make jewelery but I think I will just sell it.

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