It feels as though I've been going on and on about teeth for the last year or so, and that regular readers must be bored of hearing about them - but people do still seem to be interested and are always asking me about my dental adventures. Well, now that they are all mended (yay!) and the hardcore dentistry is done at last, I can talk about the actual process without too much anxiety. So here is one final post (promise!), in a little more detail, before I put the whole gruesome episode behind me.
For those of you playing catch-up, I lost or broke ten of my teeth in total (as well as fracturing my jaw), in a bicycle accident last year. Having rejected the NHS's offer of dentures, I made my own plans for getting implants done abroad (where they are significantly cheaper), and went on the first trip to Hungary back in April. This involved a fairly intense operation for which I was sedated for two hours or so while metal pegs were drilled into my gum and the surrounding bone that had been damaged in the accident was repaired. I was in and out of the dentist's chair for another eight days after that, getting my stitches checked and having a couple of root canals - these were actually the worst bit of the entire process. The implants and bone augmentation had to be left to fuse to my own jaw bone for six months before the new teeth could be attached, and it felt like a long time in between with nothing to show for all the trouble.
Last month I went back to have the process completed - this involved being sedated again to have the implants 'exposed' and seven broken teeth filed down ready to be crowned. Compared to the previous treatment this felt like a breeze - the sedation is really very effective and you hardly remember anything afterwards. Once they had taken moulds of my teeth, the technicians created the new ones from porcelain in a matter of days, and the rest of my time there was spent literally trying them on for size - checking the fit, colour and bite before they were finally stuck in. For the more ghoulish among you, This X-Ray was taken afterwards and shows exactly what I had done. It was very strange to have a mouthful of perfect teeth again, after so long living with them being such a mess, and although in theory I could use them almost straight away, it took a bit of getting used to the action of chewing again. But I am happy to report that I've since devoured several pizzas without too much hassle, and am working my way up to nuts, crisps and apples!
I can't say that any of it was a pleasant experience exactly, but the level of care and dedication I received from my Hungarian dentist far surpassed any medical treatment I have had here in the UK. Even with the travel and accommodation, it cost a third of what it would have done at home, and all happened to smoothly and professionally. The dental practice was clean, modern and comfortable (you could even watch TV while being drilled!), and all of the staff who looked after me were wonderfully kind and patient throughout. I guess I was fortunate to discover such a great place to get the work done (you do hear some horror stories about dental tourism, usually in the Daily Express) - especially since it was a bit of a random coincidence finding them in the first place. I 'd certainly recommend them to anyone else who might be thinking about getting implants, or any other extensive dental work. Free consultations are currently scheduled in London, Eastbourne and Dublin - drop me a line if you would like further details.