February 8th, 2018

Tomorrow morning I have dental surgery

Please wish me luck!

I’ve had a lot of dental work in my life. I’m a textbook of dental anomalies: several congenitally missing teeth and/or misplaced teeth that required a removable bridge when I was a young teenager, and later implants and something called a cantilevered bridge and a bunch of other stuff I don’t even know the names of anymore.

I am scrupulous about brushing and flossing and have often gotten compliments on my dental hygiene (from dental hygienists, that is, not from random people on the street). Nevertheless, and apparently because my two dental implants were placed in a space that was much smaller than average for two implants, I have developed a common problem called peri-implantitis.

As I’ve gotten older you’d think I’d get braver about this sort of thing. Actually, I believe I’m getting wimpier. But I started out very brave about dentistry for some reason. That’s good, because as a child I was subject to an unusual amount of it.

34 Responses to “Tomorrow morning I have dental surgery”

  1. Gringo Says:

    Hope you have a drilling experience. 🙂

  2. Michael F Adams Says:

    I never had so much dental work done when i was younger. It turned out to be somewhat less than I needed. Now, we budget a little over two thousand a year for my mouth. We are only barely keeping up! I still have no fear of dentistry, as I try to reassure every new dentist, who, judging by the state of things, assume that I put everything off for reasons of dentalphobis. No, I insist, it is only the bills I fear. We shall whether my rotten teeth or the money win the raise this year and nest. I am running out of both.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    Michael F. Adams:

    For some reason, your comment posted twice. I took the liberty of deleting the extra one.

  4. parker Says:

    Best wishes for a smooth experience. Partial knee replacement for me on Valentines day.

  5. Sharon W Says:

    Wishing you a problem-free resolution, Neo. I find myself getting wimpier too.

  6. carl in atlanta Says:


    I do indeed wish you luck and hope you get through it with some great anesthetic, some good music playing from those ceiling mounted speakers they all have these days, or even through some good headphones like the ones my dentist gives me (he even lets me pick out my own playlist!).

    May it be brief and as ‘comfortable’ for you as can be hoped for. And may it be successful!

    Having had various dental problems for years — all traceable to a single tooth injury sustained in 1969 while I was still in high school (in one of those “boys will be boys” play-tussles with a teammate after football practice one afternoon)- – and having spent many, many hours over the past 50 years in “the Chair”, I always sympathize with anyone having to undergo any major dental procedure. One thing I’ve learned is that one’s teeth are a mechanical system and if any of the constituent parts of that system get misaligned, damaged, neglected or sick, the other parts suffer as well and eventually the whole system suffers. Gotta take care of those choppers!
    Best wishes,

    – Carl

  7. DNW Says:

    Best of luck kiddo.

    Don’t worry: the house will be here when you get back.

    If, that is, the adults like Sharon and Carl can keep the matches out of my hands ….

  8. DNW Says:

    Geez, and in all seriousness, you never know what other people have to endure.

    I figure sweating on the treadmill or doing military presses, or working in the cold on hobby machinery, is “enduring”.

    I guess not.

  9. FunkyPhD Says:

    Michael F. Adams, you and I must have the same dentist (or the same teeth)! I have spent an average of $2,000 per year for the last eight years. In half a millennium, they’ll dig up my grave and find a lot of dust and a set of beautiful porcelain teeth! Dust thou art, to dust and porcelain thou shalt return.

  10. steve walsh Says:

    Good luck Neo!

  11. F Says:


    Think of George Washington’s teeth. That could be your alternative. With that thought, good luck!

  12. Frog Says:

    Price a “full mouth reconstruction” with porcelain veneers:Whoa! Something only talking heads and Hollywoods can shill out for with any expectation of increasing value.

    Dentists earn more than physicians, even the best andm most specialized physicians. Plus, they have regular hours, no on-calls, no middle-of-the-night emergencies. Best of all, they usually get paid in cash, check or credit card right on the spot.
    Yup, a set of veneered teeth is priced as more worthwhile than curing a cancer. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows my endodontist gets a pre-tax income of over one mill/year. A 45 minute root canal cost me $1150.

  13. Lurch Says:

    Best wishes, Neo. I use a water flosser and have had great checkups since buying that machine.

  14. M J R Says:

    Very best wishes, neo. Pullin’ for ya.

  15. charles Says:

    Good luck!

  16. Gary D. G. Says:

    1. Good luck, Neo.
    2. Please remember: just like all the beasts in the animal kingdom, the dentist has a family to feed.
    3. Rarely will I ever make a disparaging remark on another’s post, but I’d really like to know which planet “Frog” is living on.
    “…no middle-of-the-night emergencies”!!!!!!
    “Best of all, they usually get paid in cash, check or credit card right on the spot.” ☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺
    Somebody please help me. I can’t get off the floor. I’m laughing/crying too hard.

  17. J.J. Says:

    Just had my teeth cleaned today. No biggie, except I detest having to sit in a chair with someone’s fingers in my open-wide mouth for 45 minutes. So, I don’t blame you for being a bit on edge. The easiest of dental procedures can be a pain in the a** or jaw.

    Many years ago, the Navy botched a wisdom tooth removal. They severed my mandible nerve. As a result, my right jaw is numb to this day. (50 years now.) That may well be the primary reason I detest dental appointments.

    Good luck, Neo.

  18. om Says:

    Good luck!

    And best of swishes (that mouthwash routine).

  19. MollyNH Says:

    Best of luck

  20. AesopFan Says:

    M J R Says:
    February 8th, 2018 at 7:46 pm
    Very best wishes, neo. Pullin’ for ya.
    * * *
    Maybe not the best encouragement idiom for the topic, but we all know what you mean.

    May the chair rise up to meet you.
    May the hygienist always be at your back.
    May the high-intensity light shine warm upon your face,
    and flossing fall soft upon your gums.
    And until we meet again,
    May the dentist hold you (carefully!) in the palm of his/her/or their/ hand.

  21. Frog Says:

    Gary G D:
    I live on Earth.
    What of mine do you dispute?
    Nocturnal dental issue=Go to ER, get pain med and antibiotic, and call dentist in AM. If it’s dental damage from a car wreck, which includes jaw injury, an oral surgeon is called. Dentists sleep easy. My endodontist told me that’s why he went into dentistry rather than medicine!

    Our local dentists ALL want you not to leave without full payment. No billing costs, no receivables or uncollectables.

    Do you argue with my endodontist’s gross income math? In round numbers, charges $1000/hr, 8 hours/day, 250 work-days per year =$2 mill, overhead 50% (which is a very high assumption), leaves a pre-tax income of $1 million. One assistant per endodontist, no billing staff or insurance-authorization seekers to be paid. So the endo is in fact getting significantly more than $1 mill.

    Perhaps you are a dentist practicing subterfuge?

  22. Ariel Says:

    Hi, Neo,
    I have 14 caps, of which 8 are root canals. I have never once found a root canal painful. But I have found that it creates a fragile, dead tooth which can break while eating bread.

    BTW, while frog maintains dentists make more than physicians, he might not know that a dental office runs around 75% going to overhead while physicians run around 60 to 70%. And both often discount the price for a procedure by your ability to pay. My dentist (25 years) charges me little for his time when it involves a cap. He actually feels sorry for me, but that’s what friends can feel.

    And that’s a segue to an earlier comment by you on January 11th, 2018 about my ‘feelings’ (okay, the segue is tenuous):

    “On the topic of DACA, as I wrote earlier, “rights” are not about whether a person feels a certain way. We’re talking about legal rights, which have nothing to do with feelings. Do you think that if a person who came here illegally as a child and therefore does not have the legal right to work (or to stay in the country) is then granted that right, that somehow that doesn’t count as a newly-granted right because of how the person felt before? Or because you felt he actually should have had that right before? One can be highly sympathetic to the plight of Dreamers and believe wholeheartedly that they should be granted various rights, including even citizenship, without coming to the odd conclusion that Dreamers already had those rights because of feelings.”

    It’s not about feelings, but it is all about laws and changing them. I realize the meme that conservatives use in that binary universe of conservative versus liberal, conservatives think and liberals feel, but I think, following the meme, because I was a conservative Republican for 44 years (1972) and a civil libertarian, however at odds, for all those years. These kids are Americans, they know no other country or culture, so we need to follow our ideals, the ideals of our country, and make provision for these kids to become legal Americans. In the interim, they will have to be given the right to work, to go to college, to do whatever Americans do for that vaunted ‘pursuit’. Until we as a nation decide how to deal with this special problem just coming to our notice (we ignore so much until we can’t, it’s why Jim Crow went on so long), the argument of ‘extra-rights’ or ‘special rights’ just doesn’t apply.

    And further
    “I have no idea what this “please ban me” thing is about. I will ban you if you cross the line, but you haven’t crossed it. If you want to leave you’re free to leave, of course, or to come and go. It sounds like you feel you need an intervention or something in order to stay away?”

    IIRC, you’re a psychologist? Yet, you took it to condescension.

    “You told me nothing i didn’t know about DACA. You did tell me about yourself.
    I have no more reason to waste my time with you than you with me.”

    Ariel Says:
    January 17th, 2018 at 3:44 am

    Sorry, I hit the button too soon.

    Please ban me. I mean that with all sincerity, the very dictionary definition of the word. It’ll save both of us a lot of time, and I mean that with all civility. I made a mistake coming back here, your blog is not for me. Nothing more needs to be said.

    So, please, ban me.”

    It wasn’t about addiction and intervention. It is about that I am not the same Ariel from 10 years ago. I likely won’t agree with you most of the time, and your commenters even less I will be nothing other than an gadfly on your blog, some would call that ‘troll’ (cuz ‘troll’ means disagreeing rather than all the techniques a troll uses), and, from what I saw in your replies back, my judgment call, you don’t seem to welcome gadflys. If we can’t reach compromise, there’s no reason for me to be here, and that is the old Ariel as well the new.

  23. neo-neocon Says:


    You misinterpreted my response to your “please ban me.” I was merely trying to figure out why you said it, since you already have the freedom to come and go as you please (unless I do ban you).

    The only reason I could think of that made any sense was that you wanted me to ban you because otherwise you’d be tempted to come here even though you didn’t want to. I asked it as a question, and it was an actual question seeking an answer to something I found puzzling.

    I’m not a psychologist, by the way. I have a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

    And by the way, I have quite a few gadflys here that have been commenting regularly for a decade or so. Who is a troll and who isn’t is a judgment call, but it’s not simply someone who regularly disagrees with me.

  24. Exeter mom Says:

    When I was a little girl my parents took me to a dentist who did not believe in Novocain! I endured that until I was a married woman. Now I insist upon a double shot.

    i wish you a painfree, anxiety free “experience.” And May it be the last of such events. Good luck and more, my friend.

  25. Yancey Ward Says:

    I had a lot dental work done as a teenager- I had teeth too big for my mouth, and thus badly crooked. When I was 12, I had four premolars removed surgically, and then wore braces for two years to straighten the remaining teeth. After the braces came off at age 14, I had the wisdom teeth removed because they were coming in sideways.

    However, on the plus side, I had excellent nutrition growing up, and I took reasonably good care with my teeth for a child and adolescent (thanks, Mom!). I began taking better care of them as an adult, but I did have a problem a couple of years back that was the result of badly chipped lower incisor from an accident that happened just before I got the braces at age 12- 37 years earlier. I probably should have had the tooth root-canaled and fitted with a post and crown, but I chose to live with the chipped tooth. Eventually, the enamel on the top wore down into the dentin. I ended up win an abcess under the incisor and the adjacent canine, and had to have both teeth root-canaled and crowned.

    Other than some thinning on the upper incisors, though, my teeth are great, and I have seen close up the issues bad teeth can have in my parents.

  26. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    Good Luck, Neo!

  27. Barry Meislin Says:

    Good luck! Keep on smiling!!

  28. Gary D. G. Says:


    “Perhaps you are a dentist practicing subterfuge?”
    I beg your pardon, but would you mind telling me what you’re talking about.
    Am I taking umbrage; I believe so. And I’ll ask you to avoid ad hominems, if you can.

    Having been an endodontist in (it seems) another lifetime, I can tell you, you have no idea of a endontist’s life. If you like, I’ll put you in touch with my wife. She’ll be more than happy to tell you about it – if you have a couple of days.

  29. Matt Harris Says:

    My sympathies – I have spent too much time at The House of Pain and feel for those who have to go there.

  30. Frog Says:

    Gary DG

  31. om Says:


    So when a dentist detects oral cancer does that make their work acceptable in your eyes or their expenses justified, since it is after all, all about your particular field of medicine? Answer if you wish, when you wake up.

  32. Michael F Adams Says:

    Thanks, Neo, but you deleted the one with the spelling errors/typos correcte. :0)

  33. neo-neocon Says:

    Michael F. Adams:

    Ooops, sorry!

  34. Susanamantha Says:

    My dentist of 45 years is nearing total retirement. He first reduced his work week to 4 days, then 3, then, two, then just half days. I now see his replacement, a child, by the look of him. It’s was reassuring to have a dentist, a decade older than I. I always assumed he had seen and treated nearly every dental issue sub sole.

    I will miss “Old Faithful.”

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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