Have you ever wondered how you’d cope if the lights went out during surgery? It never happens, apart from those rare times that it does. It did, dramatically, to our client Sean Corry last week at Corry Dental Care in Magherafelt, Ulster. He was left in the dark halfway through two implants. Sean told Fine Words about it…
We had a 72-year-old lady in for a graft and two implants. She suffered from health conditions that meant she was compromised in how she could lie back, so she used a couple of props and pillows. That meant the working position was awkward to begin with. There was also a lack of good bone to place the implants.
She said to me: “Sean, it’s my granddaughter’s birthday party on Sunday, am I going to have teeth for it?” I replied that if everything went OK I’d have teeth for her. We started at 9am, and to make a difficult case extremely difficult, the lights cut out at 10.30. They stayed off till midday. Then there was no power for another 30 minutes.
At first we lost the overhead lights but still had the light on the chair. As I was half way through the suturing all the lights went out. There was no power and no lighting. We took out a mobile phone to see the suturing and, thankfully, I had a battery powered head torch.
We got that part finished, and just as I was explaining to my patient that she wasn’t in fact going to have teeth for the party because we had no power to grind the crowns, just then the power came back on, and we were able to complete the procedure in full.
So it was quite an adventure of a morning. The lady herself was tremendous. A very strong willed grandmother. She didn’t panic, and thankfully I didn’t either. Someone must have been praying for us. I called her in the evening to ask how she was and she said: “Thank you for your patience, I’m actually feeling great at the minute.”
I do wonder what would have happened if the power had gone off while I was placing the implants or doing the osteotomy. We could have closed up the site, but it would have been unpleasant for the patient, and not much good for me either.
So it was a bit of a sticky wicket but by good fortune I got away with it. I had the understanding of my patient, who was very calm throughout. My two nurses Julie and Kelley didn’t panic. They held up very well.
Kelley is very experienced, very level headed. She’s been here for 11 years, and she worked in other implant clinics before that. Kelley certainly helped me through it.
We found out later that a faulty connector cut off power to the whole town. Once Power NI got it fixed the power was back on. We had a visit from a nonchalant local Power NI manager, and when my wife said this was unacceptable given the kind of work we were doing here, he turned and showed her the back of his head. So not a great performance by Power NI.
Corry Dental Care