Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another Gum Graft Down.

The combination of a lifetime of aggressive brushing, a few adolescent years of braces and congenitally thin gum tissue has sent me on an odyssey of gum grafting operations in the last year and a half. My (former) dentist sent me to an old-school periodontist, who did some medieval-style grafts that didn't cover my exposed roots at all. Then I found the amazing (young, German) Dr. Jochen Pechak in Palo Alto (he also has a practice in Monterey.) He's been redoing the other doctor's grafts and doing some more where I needed them. After the first surgery six months ago-- the one my dentist had said couldn't be done-- Dr. Pechak said, "See? Piece of cake!" He's done a beautiful job. I'm very impressed, and I give him my highest recommendation.

I'm not sure if I'll be inclined to post "before and after" pictures on this blog, which is supposed to be about my thinking about art, mostly. But sometimes the attrition of the body infringes for a while on art-making. Here's a way-before picture, with the braces that caused much of the trouble (and the remnants of a perm, as well)!

Year 7, Cheltenham Girls' High School, New South Wales, Australia.

Postscript: while camping this past weekend, it was necessary to brush my teeth with numbingly cold water. I instinctively braced myself for the familiar pain-- and there was no pain! Instead of exposed roots, I have gums. It continues to surprise me.

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