Dentaltown April 2018 - 16

professional courtesy
column

Peace and Love, Peace and Love
Last month, I decided to take a day off to spend time
with my son, who was home during spring break. He
was sleeping in, so I was going to stop in at the office
to take care of a few things before we went to lunch.
Before I even left the house, my phone rang-it was
one of our team members, telling me that the chairs
wouldn't turn on.
The chairs have air switches, so I knew that it was
a compressor problem. I left the house immediately
because the first patients of the day were due to arrive
in less than 20 minutes.
I'm blessed with a short commute, so within 10
minutes I was in the equipment room. I immediately
noticed the breaker switch on the front of the compressor
had been tripped; I flipped it on, and was happy to see
both motors start and the compressor begin humming
like normal.
I joined the staff for the morning huddle and returned
to the equipment room to find ... the compressor off
and the switch tripped again. It wasn't a fluke! I called
support at Air Techniques and the helpful technician
did some troubleshooting over the phone. We isolated
the problem to one side and I was able to run on half a
compressor until a part could be ordered. We had air
as the first patients arrived!
I was gone for about three hours, then returned to
the office to check the compressor and see if my associate
needed any help with hygiene exams or emergencies. The
schedule looked good, but a patient had called with a
problem. He's wearing a temporary implant-retained hybrid
that's connected to five implants; a few weeks ago, that
was six implants, but he lost one and I had put him back
in the temporary so I could change his restoration from
implant-retained to an implant-retained
bar plus denture. This patient has
natural lower teeth, and we're learning
some important lessons together.

When the patient arrived, I saw the denture in
three pieces in his mouth and as I removed the screws,
one of the abutments came out with the denture. My
stomach churned when I saw the abutment was missing
the bottom half of its screw; the other half was secure
inside his implant. Yada, yada, yada-another abutment
came out with part of the screw missing. "MacGyver
mode" kicked in and I used the tip of an ultrasonic
on the center of the screw fragment and tried a little
counterclockwise rotation with the tip of an explorer.
The screw fragments were recovered.
But the day still wasn't over! I was visiting with a
patient in hygiene while his daughter was treated, and he
said, "Remember when I broke my tooth in November
and you put in some temporary stuff because I wouldn't
have any insurance until the new year? Well, that piece
came out-and some of the tooth came with it. I have
it right here."
I looked at the piece and told him that wasn't
temporary material, but a new piece of tooth. He insisted
that couldn't be true, so I told him that I could taste
it to be sure, but I'd rather take a picture. An assistant
brought him to a free room and took a picture of the
broken tooth, which I put up next to the original intraoral
photo I'd taken back in November. The new pictures
showed my temporary still in place, with a new piece
of his tooth missing-the other lingual cusp. Let's just
say his reaction was priceless. He left with a smile on
his face and a new temporary next to the old one, with
a plan to return for his crown.
When the dust settled on the day and the compressor
was fi nally turned off, I unplugged it and removed
the cover so I could test the failed component. My
multimeter provided a positive diagnosis, and I had a
repair assignment for the next day.
I share this story with "peace and love" and these
words of advice: Don't take a day off from work! ■

Share your comments about this column online!
To weigh in on Dr. Giacobbi's column, go to dentaltown.com
and click "Read Current Issue." If you have a question, email him
at tom@farranmedia.com or hit him up on Twitter: @ddsTom.

by Thomas Giacobbi, DDS, FAGD, editorial director, Dentaltown magazine

16

APRIL 2018 // dentaltown.com


http://www.dentaltown.com http://twitter.com/ddsTom http://www.dentaltown.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown April 2018

Dentaltown April 2018 - Intro
Dentaltown April 2018 - Cover1
Dentaltown April 2018 - Cover2
Dentaltown April 2018 - 1
Dentaltown April 2018 - 2
Dentaltown April 2018 - 3
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Dentaltown April 2018 - Cover3
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