Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jeff Eitzman -- Uber Dentist

Thanks to @MarkStraw for recommending Jeff Eitzman to me.

Jeff's a brilliant dentist. He takes a lot of time to get to understand his patients' mouths. And then he takes the right, considered, skillfully executed action.

In November, a relatively new filling applied by 'Dentist X' in Fourways fell out. I sought opinions from friends. One bud recommended 'Dentist Y' near Cresta/Northcliff. The filling lasted exactly three days. Another bud -- the aforementioned Twitter-bud, @JackStraw -- gave me Jeff's number.

A good sign is that Jeff was booked up till February. But his mom, who runs the reception at the practice, popped me onto a cancellation list.

When I finally got a booking in mid-December, Jeff spent two hours with me, investigating WHY this problem filling kept falling out. He devised a treatment plan. Lined my cavity with a hardening substance, put a temp filling over that, and told me to come back in two months once the hardening agent had cured.

When I got back to his chair in mid-February, just before my bithday, he got to work on the real business of giving me a lasting filling. He completely reconstructed my tooth, using about four separate layers of material, including strategically-placed metal screws that he embedded in some of the substrate.

This filling is incapable of falling out. Furthermore, he constructed it in such a way that it does NOT trap food in the crevice. Previous dentists who botched this tooth also botched the crevice.

The tooth is still sensitive. But every day it's settling down more. The reason it's sensitive is cos the cavity was so deep that the drilling went very close to the nerve. Jeff's treatment philosophy begins with 'First do no harm', followed by, 'If we can save the nerve, we'll do that', followed by, 'The natural tooth material is the best material for your mouth'.

The dude is a sculptor. I recommend him fiercely.

These four pics started out as black and white drawings in my PaperBlanks Moleskine-substitute notebook. I drew them while Jeff was working in my mouth. The colour-work came later, in PhotoShop CS3.

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