Last Saturday I was minding my own business, having my usual afternoon snack of plain yogurt with sliced banana, when a screw fell out of my head. That's right, a screw. Fell out of my head.
This requires some explanation. It was not exactly a screw, more like a tiny bolt, with one flat head screw end. Technically, it is called a "healing cap" in the heady, mouthy world of periodontics, but I sure didn't know that. I figured that the cow bone somewhere up in my sinus region had a hissy fit and kicked out my expensive new implant. Because...yogurt?
So I had to wait in suspense until Monday morning to call my superstar periodontist in Monterey to find out what the heck to do about it. That meant a day and a half with a hole in my head leading straight to my eye socket, I supposed. I figured with each passing moment my odds were greatly improving of contracting a nasty sinus infection or perhaps going blind. It's a good thing I don't give a sh*t or I could have been really stressed out.
The sweet office lady on the phone wanted me to come in right away to forestall any possible brain-eating bacterial infestation. So off I went in Spugly the Pope-Approved Palomino Transporter over the mountains and to the sea. I gambled on taking the narrow, potholed county roads to avoid chronic construction gridlock on our crowded, potholed state highways.
It all turned out fine, as all things usually do. I got there in an hour, Doc showed me his brightly colored plastic mouth model with gums and perfectly straight teeth and titanium implants and screw-bolts and removable old school bridge structures. He loves that thing, a 3-D teaching tool. I had seen it before but I was sky high on anesthetics then and I had forgotten its significance to my own real, funky mouth.
Turns out the cow bone and titanium implant are solid as a rock, right where they are supposed to be. The temporary healing cap, which is what the screw-bolt thing is called, had simply wiggled its way loose and splashed down in my yogurt. No biggie. He disinfected it, numbed my gums a little, and screwed it back on like he was replacing a spark plug in a rickety old sedan. I was actually laughing as he did it, partly out of relief that it wasn't going to cost me any more money or time and partly because I felt like one of those animated goofball cars in a Pixar movie. The whole deal lasted about five minutes. Superstar.
To make my day even more pleasant, I drove over to Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove and walked for an hour or so. It was foggy and sort of cold, like it frequently gets there, but just as beautiful as ever. Healing cap fallout is a sweet excuse to walk on one of my favorite beaches.
Peace, Love, and Torque Wrenches,