Halfway To Biting That Apple - Swampy's Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 300433

Swampy's Kitchen

Halfway to Biting that Apple 
Apr. 4, 2013 12:11 pm 
Updated: Apr. 11, 2013 4:27 am
I’m happy to report that I am now halfway there in my 25 year quest to once again bite into a ripe juicy apple. It seems like it was a longer than a year ago this month that we started with the extractions and even though I only wore a full upper denture for 9 months of that time, it certainly felt more like 9 years. If necessary, I could have continued to live with the denture but as I mentioned in an earlier blog about these same teeth, that wasn’t the goal and wearing dentures for the rest of my life was not what I had planned.

A week ago I reported to my periodontist’s office and they proceeded to shoot me up with so much Novocain that you could have had Wile E. Coyote drop a piano on my face and I don’t think I would have felt it. It took me 3 days just to remember I even had an upper lip. Now all those shots were meant for a reason and that reason came next. In order to hold my full set of implants, they were going to need to drill holes in the bone beneath my sinuses. I think I opened my eyes once during this portion of the procedure and I wish I hadn’t. I am pretty sure I used the same sized drill bit fixing a cabinet in the kitchen. But again, due to all of the Novocain, I never felt a thing. I just heard the incessant grinding as I wondered if JR Ewing did this much drilling in all of his time on Dallas.

The drilling produced 6 holes in my head which needed to be filled with 6 implants or posts. As they were being screwed in & anchored, I never thought I would hear the surgical product specialist, who had come in that day to observe, ask the doctor if he needed her to go out to her car to get her Torque Wrench. Nor did I expect to then have that Torque Wrench be used in my mouth. I really thought my face was going to break with each successive snap. At this point we were a good 4 hours into the procedure and I was starting to wonder if we were ever going to finish.

Now all the while I was having my mouth worked on, there was a lab technician from the company that made my full plate upper denture also present. His job was to cut down, mold & shape my old denture into the temporary permanent prosthetic device that I am going to be wearing for the next 3 months while the drilled bone heals & grabs the posts. I have to say that his workmanship was amazing and I can’t believe that the “teeth” I have in my mouth now are actually the denture I despised with all of my eternal being.

When the final screw was tightened and the final edge ground down for the maximum bite points, I had been in the chair for just over 6 hours. It’s been a somewhat painful recovery in that I didn’t expect the swelling on the roof of my roof from the bone grafts but then again, the roof of my mouth has been covered for the past 9 months so I am just glad I can feel it again. I am on a very soft foods diet for the next 3 months so that means if I can hear it when I bite it, I can’t have it. Guess that means I will be on a cookie sabbatical for the next 3 months unless I get my wife’s or daughter’s chocolate chip cookies as they come out of the oven. It also means that the 3 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies (Do Si Do’s, Thin Mints & Trefoils) I have stashed away in my desk at work will get attacked like I am blue & furry and have bugged out eyes when I finally get clearance.

Finally, it’s done a lot for my self-esteem. Not having to take my “teeth” out every night before bed or to not having to brush my “teeth” in my hands every morning has been a huge weight off of my psyche. I feel whole again. I don’t feel like pieces & parts. I like myself just a little better now too.

In a few weeks, we start all over again with the lower teeth but this time, we really aren’t worried too much about the aesthetics. We just want them to comfortably fit and hopefully without all of the bone grafting my uppers needed. So I am half way to that ripe juicy apple. I’ll keep you updated each small step/bite of the way there. Thanks for reading & thanks for listening. It does make the whole ordeal that much easier to deal with every day.
My "Teeth"
Photo Detail
Apr. 4, 2013 12:48 pm
OUCH, That has got to be very painful, but worth it in the long run.
Apr. 4, 2013 12:57 pm
Hi char - percocet helped the pain at first - now I am just muddling through - thanks for stopping in
Apr. 4, 2013 1:01 pm
So happy that you are pleased with the outcome! I hope you have a quick recovery from the pain.
Apr. 4, 2013 2:05 pm
Thanks Jacolyn - I can honestly say that every day I don't have to put my teeth in or take them out helps me to deal with the pain. Have a great night.
Apr. 4, 2013 2:12 pm
Oh my goodness, Doug. You make me remember that I take an awful lot for granted! I hope that when you are finally able to tear into a steak again, or bite into a crisp, juicy apple, that all your apprehension and pain will become a dim memory. Your courage and determination speak volumes. I also hope that sharing your story brings you some kind of release during this trying time!
Apr. 4, 2013 2:32 pm
Hi Bibi - I took a lot of things for granted. Most of all my teeth. It's a painful lesson I am giving my kids but we all look forward to the day when all 5 of us can bite that apple at the same time. That will be a YouTube moment for sure. Have a great night and thanks for the support. It means a lot to me.
Apr. 4, 2013 2:58 pm
Great endorsement for flossing and brushing! Sorry you are having to go through this procedure but the results will be well worth it. I can see you throwing a party with apples, corn on the cob and nuts as featured foods.
Apr. 4, 2013 3:03 pm
Keep us updated on your progress! One of my molars cracked, with the crack going below the gum line - so I had to have it pulled and I also got a permanent tooth like yours. These 'teeth makers' are true artists!
Apr. 4, 2013 3:38 pm
Hey Doug,let me know when it's time to send you that apple.
Apr. 4, 2013 8:43 pm
Doug, glad that it went well, and here's to the rest being successful, and as pain free as possible. I hope the apple fairy puts a bushel of your favorite apples at the foot of your bed as soon as you're cleared for chomping! Also, get those cookie into a freezer so they will still be tasty later in the year!
Apr. 4, 2013 10:17 pm
OMGosh Doug, just today DD and I were talking about you. We were wondering how your implants were coming along. I got ONE 2 weeks ago and get the last one in May for a total of four. I just can't imagine being in the dentist chair for 6 hours. I've done mine one at a time. You are very courageous Doug. You will be so happy with the result. I love mine! They feel and chew just like real teeth. Isn't modern Dentistry awesome?!?!
Apr. 5, 2013 6:22 am
good morning Marie C - being n example of what not to do for my kids is something I have proven to be very good at of late. There will be a lot of crunchy things on the menu when that day finally comes. Have a great weekend.
Apr. 5, 2013 6:23 am
Morning mofun and to use an obvious pun, your cracked tooth does not sound like more fun to me. Just a few years ago none of this would have been possible. I wonder what will be available in the next few years. Thanks for stopping by.
Apr. 5, 2013 6:24 am
You got it manella ! Have a great weekend
Apr. 5, 2013 6:25 am
Morning Doc - the Apple Fairy ? I like that. She can leave me some applesauce now if she has the time. Have a great weekend.
Apr. 5, 2013 6:28 am
Hi Candice - modern dentistry is incredible - I'm glad, in a way, that I was a chicken for so long. I don't think they could have done for me then what they are doing for me now. Good luck with your teeth. Glad your experience is a good one too. Have a great weekend.
Apr. 5, 2013 8:29 am
Great post, Mr. Matthews! Good luck.
Apr. 5, 2013 9:41 am
Thank you bianciveloce - appreciate you stopping by
Apr. 5, 2013 10:58 am
When I had my major mouth remodel I insisted on being put under. The doc argued with me, saying that it would take two visits and would cost me a whole lot more. No matter. Best thing I ever did. Go to sleep, wake up and it's done. Having had the multiple Novocain experience when the Army doc treated me in my teens, I had had quite enough of that torture. From now on, it's night-night land or I'm not going! And boy are you going to savor the apple. I went for the first corn-on-the-cob of the season. I think I can still taste it....Best wishes!
Apr. 5, 2013 11:49 am
Hi KAT - glad to hear your's went well. I don't like being put under but I also hate hearing, feeling & smelling the drillsoon this will all be done and it will make the apples & corn taste that much better. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.
Apr. 5, 2013 1:08 pm
I had to go take some Advil in sympathy. I hope you heal quickly. I am like Kat, I would have to be put out, if only to avoid all the chatter and machine noise.
Apr. 5, 2013 5:23 pm
Ouch. Glad you've made it this far, Doug, and best wishes for the rest of your journey! Try those chile powders if it gets too bad, and I promise you'll forget all about the teeth pain. : )
Apr. 5, 2013 5:35 pm
Hi BigShotsMom - thanks for the reminder - just took some more advil myself. Thanks & have a great weekend
Apr. 5, 2013 5:36 pm
Hi wisweetp - with the raw areas I have in my mouth at the moment, your chile powders are the LAST thing I need. Bland & Mushy is my middle name. Have a great weekend.
Apr. 5, 2013 8:25 pm
DM: You've got my admiration. I'm fairly certain I couldn't endure that serious of procedures. Don't forget! I've got plans to bring you a big, beautiful Honeycrisp!
Apr. 6, 2013 2:06 pm
Hi Doug, I am halfway through getting two crowns. Now it seems like nothing compared to what you're going through. As I sit in the chair I just remind myself that most people in the world cannot even dream of having the dental work done that we are having. It's worth every boring, sometimes uncomfortable, moment (and dollar). "This too shall pass."
Apr. 6, 2013 7:46 pm
Apr. 7, 2013 3:22 pm
Good evening bikerfamily - I love Honeycrisp Apples. I can't wait. Have a great night.
Apr. 7, 2013 3:24 pm
Good evening Indiana Peggy - good luck with those crowns. I remember a lot of drilling in my mouth & wallet when I had those. Thanks for stopping by.
Apr. 7, 2013 3:24 pm
You can say that again KingSparta
Apr. 7, 2013 5:41 pm
Doug - you are my hero - there is no superhero greater than the super human strength is takes to sit in a dentist chair knowing what awaits you. When I had "deep cleaning" done plus had to have 2 teeth pulled because they were too far gone to save - - the dentist told me to eat "mush" food for a while - I asked what was their interpretation of "mush" food and she said "Krystal burgers" - - hmmm. . . . not a good advertisement for Krystal or what I considered palatable. Anyway - I am still following your plight (and when in the dentist chair, I'm sure it was more like "fright" "fight" or "flight") - and applaud your courage and tenacity in staying on the path to "in search of the juicy red apple" - - I know you will arrive at your destination. Washington State watch out - - Doug is coming!!!
Call Me Alice 
Apr. 7, 2013 5:50 pm
I am glad that you are healing up. Something my siblings and I used to do was take an apple, peel it, then use the same veggie peeler to shave the entire apple down to the core. Each shaving was so thin that you could almost see through it. I am sure you could eat those now. At least you could get a taste of apple early, if not the experience of biting into it. I wish you a speedy recovery!
Apr. 8, 2013 5:44 am
I'm so happy that you're on your way! Thank you for sharing this, Doug!
Apr. 9, 2013 7:01 am
Good morning luv2cook - there are times that I think I might consider bad teeth more of a positive than eating a Krystal Burger. Thanks for all the support along the way. It really helps.
Apr. 9, 2013 7:03 am
Good morning Call Me Alice - I absolutely love that idea. I am going to sit on the couch tonight & slowly peel the apple I wish I could just bite. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the support.
Apr. 9, 2013 7:04 am
Good morning Donnam - sharing it makes it easier though I will admit, it would be a lot easier if I was just reading it instead of living it. Have a great day.
Apr. 10, 2013 4:39 pm
Yikes!! You put the fear of dentures into me Doug! I don't have the greatest dental gene pool either. I'll be praying for quick healing and waiting for your "Golden Apple" moment.
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Doug Matthews

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Princeton, New Jersey, USA
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Mendham, New Jersey, USA

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Mar. 2000

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About Me
My mother decided early on that her sons would never have to rely on someone to feed them so we all learned to cook at an early age. I really started to branch out when I moved out west to Denver, SF & Dallas. Combine that with extended business travel to Louisiana & my growing love of spices and you get a real mix of flavors.
My favorite things to cook
Love to make cajun food with my favorites being crawfish pie, alligator stew & alligator chili - I go nuts on Super Bowl Sunday
My favorite family cooking traditions
We didn't have a lot of traditions per se but you could count on pancakes or waffles on sundays - dad making scrambled eggs twice a year on christmas morning & mother's day - veal parmagiana on christmas eve, Thanksgiving with Grandma Matthews and any menu of your choice on your birthday. We weren't a spicy family so I learned a lot of good strong basics in the kitchen from Mom that I have carried over into my cooking today.
My cooking triumphs
I love to experiment with variations of dishes I try around the country. My biggest success is here on allrecipes where I had 2 recipes published in the same cookbook - Southwestern Turkey Soup & Curried Carrot Soup. I think my corn muffins are a great starting point and my alligator chili has become a much requested Super Bowl favorite.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few times in the past where I tossed everything and took everyone to a restaurant instead. I'm not too proud to say my cooking is awful when it really is.
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