Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The making of my new tooth! And... tapas at Desiree...

This afternoon, I visited Dr. Blair, the dentist extraordinaire, to get my dental crown fitted.  This day has been a long time coming.  My ordeal started in the fall of 2014, when I noticed the gum above one of the two baby teeth I had left from childhood was badly inflamed.  We visited Dr. Blair for the first time in January 2015 and he told me that I had an infection.  He said it was possible he could try a root canal, but that it would probably be best to remove the tooth and either get a bridge or an implant.

Since I wasn't interested in ruining the two teeth on either side of my abscessed baby tooth, I determined that I wanted an implant.  However, I am a big chicken when it comes to medical and dental procedures.  Also, before we got started on my expensive dental implant odyssey, I wanted to make sure Bill would still be employed after his first year in Germany as a contractor.  It took until September for me to go see Dr. Blair to have the tooth extracted.  I will admit, I was extremely nervous about it and didn't have the benefit of drugs beforehand, but Dr. Blair is a pro.  He pulled the tooth out, noted that it had a vertical fracture in the root, and told me we were right to go the implant route.  A root canal would have definitely failed.

In January 2016, Dr. Blair did a sinus lift.  I went in and took a couple of Ativan, mellowed out, and Dr. Blair did a procedure that would allow more bone to grow so that my jaw would handle the implant.  He also put the implant in my upper jaw and I spent the next few months healing.  The sinus lift took about an hour and I'm glad I took Ativan beforehand, because it wasn't a very pleasant procedure.  That part of the dental implant process cost about 2000 euros, which Bill has paid for.

In May, I went in and Dr. Blair uncovered my implant that had been ossifying in my bone.  Again, I opted for medications for that procedure, but I probably didn't really need them too much.  He just exposed the implant, then put a "healing cap" over it.  Then in June, I went in and got impressions made for the lab to make my crown.  The impressions were not painful, but the process of making them wasn't a whole lot of fun.  Fortunately, Dr. Blair's got a great staff and is himself a very kind and competent doctor.

On my birthday, which was June 20th, we went to the lab and had many pictures taken of my teeth.  Then a few days later, I went back and tried on the new crown.  I was amazed by how real it looked.  We spent about a half an hour shaping it until it fit perfectly.

Today, I went in and had the new crown installed.


Before... you can see the healing cap on my top tooth.


Another shot.


Now the implant is complete.  Can you tell the difference between my natural teeth and my new fake tooth?  I can't.  

I have to go back next week for one more appointment.  Dr. Blair is going to check to make sure the implant is okay.  Then, it'll be back to normal until my next dental crisis.  We haven't gotten any bills for the work that has been done since the implant was installed, but we're expecting another 2000 euros or so.  We do have insurance, which we will have to file ourselves.  I think it covers a maximum of $2000 per year.  Since we have tickets to see Van Morrison on Wednesday, we will stay two nights in Stuttgart.  I will be travel blogging a lot next week!

After we visited Dr. Blair, we went to the Markthalle and picked up some wine, ham, tuna, cherries, cheese, and chocolate.  I love going there.  Someday, we are going to have to visit the Markthalle and load up on a whole lot of delectable edibles.  After we finished shopping, we visited a tapas bar called Desiree.  It's located in the Markthalle and I had been curious about it for awhile.


These were the specials today.  I wanted to order one, but because it was only 4:30pm, we were there too early.

Bill being cute.


We each had a glass of wine.  Bill had a rioja and I had a tempranillo.


A shot of the sign.


And the charming downtown area...  It was a great day to sit outside.


We decided to share a plate of tapas.  Desiree has a deal where you can get five tapas for 12,50.  It comes with bread.  You can also get three tapas for 10,00.  On Fridays, they have paella.  Tapas are offered all day, while more substantial dishes are only offered at certain times, which I didn't see listed in the menu.  The tapas were very good.  I especially liked the spicy chicken wings, olives, and meatballs.  When we were finished, we had another glass of wine to let the horrendous traffic on A81 die down.


All told, we spent about 32 euros for our little afternoon repast.  I think I'd like to go back to Desiree for paella or one of their big dishes.  At the very least, the tapas are fun, especially when the weather is nice and you can sit outside.


We stopped at the Shoppette on Patch on the way home.  Bill gassed up my car and I ran into my buddy, Lucinda, and her adorable girls.  I vented a bit, then we came home.  Has anyone ever tried "Perky Jerky"?  Is it worth the trip?

I'm already used to my new tooth and delighted with the end results.  I highly recommend Dr. Blair if you need a dental implant.  He does great work.  And it's great to be rid of that big hole in my smile, too!  Edited to add:  The grand total for this procedure was approximately 4,750 euros or just over $5200 by today's exchange rate.

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