Tinsel teeth December 20, 2010Posted by mareserinitatis in dental surgery, electromagnetics, humor, societal commentary.
Tags: antennas, tinsel teeth
I told you the other day about my harrowing dental surgery. The surgery is a precursor to the next step, which is braces. I’ve been putting all of this off as long as possible (let’s face it: braces aren’t cheap), but the baby tooth that was holding all of this together came to it’s unfortunate demise about 25 years after it’s intended end of operation.
I am hoping that people will be more sympathetic to my plight now that I am an adult versus the typical middle schooler. (At least I hope so for their sake: I’m certainly not as passive now as I was as a 12-year-old.) I remember epithets like “tinsel teeth” being thrown around the hallways of my junior high school so many years ago.
One insult that took me a while to get: “You get good radio reception with those?”
I have to admit: I still don’t get it. Think about it. There are several issues with using braces as receiving antennas.
1 – The most obvious is that the length of the archwire is significantly less than the wavelength of most radio station signals. The archwire would probably be almost Hertzian in length. And Hertzian dipoles aren’t known for the great reception. Usually there’s a bit of active device action thrown in when using a Hertzian dipole.
2 – The second issue is that the archwires are laying horizontally. Most radio stations have a vertical transmitter. This means the braces are cross-polarized relative to the radio station signal. That’s going to knock any reception way down.
3 – It also ignores the fact that human tissue is quite lossy, so the signal will already be considerably attenuated before it reaches the inside of your mouth.
4 – While they are developing the concept of smart braces (which I really like), I don’t think they’re out yet. And while the braces may have cool electronics to move your teeth around at an optimal rate, I seriously doubt they have plans to turn them into dual-use devices that can tune in and amplify a radio signal.
5 – What kind of feed would you use? You can’t use the two archwires as dipole arms and examine the potential across one of the ends because, lying parallel to each other, they will fail to have much of a potential difference. Do they somehow feed to your brain through your incisors?
6 – How do you decode the signal? I got the feeling when this insult was being thrown around that electrical behavior was being confused with mechanical vibration. Mechanical vibration would undoubtedly provide something to the ears/brain that would be musical, but you generally need some sort of transducer to change the signal from electrical to mechanical energy. Again, I don’t think they’re standard on braces, and I don’t imagine that they have plans to make them that way any time soon.
I feel this thoroughly debunks the idea that braces are useful as radio signal receivers. However, I still have no idea what to say to anyone who calls me ‘tinsel teeth’. (And, in case you’re interested, I’m fairly certain that my dad will do exactly that.)
A pain in the mouth December 17, 2010Posted by mareserinitatis in dental surgery, personal.
I have been making an effort to post something every day, preferably something intelligent, useful, stimulating…or at least amusing.
Tonight, I’m going to tell you about my day because it’s the only thing that’s been on my mind. I had dental surgery today, and I have to admit that it was really as bad as I was afraid it would be. (Yes, I was pretty freaked out going in.) It involved extracting a tooth deep in the palate of my mouth that should have come in when I was 9, but failed to do so. Now that it’s been sitting there, tangled up in the root of an adjacent tooth for 25ish years, they’ve said the chances of moving the tooth with orthodontics were very slim.
The doc gave me some sort of medication through an IV that was not supposed to knock me out completely but would put me in some sort of sleepy state that wouldn’t allow me to remember anything. Unfortunately, the tooth was more difficult to extract than they had anticipated, and so the surgery took longer than intended (on the order of 3x). This meant the medication wore off before the surgery was finished. I didn’t realize I had been asleep and woken up again, so I didn’t know that I should try to let the doctor know. I just kept wondering at what point I would forget.
I remembered the last 15 minutes of the surgery, which was, of course, the worst and most painful part. (The tooth came out in many pieces.) I did have local anesthesia, but even at that, I grunted a few times (there was something in my mouth) to let him know things were hurting. I began shaking profusely, and when things were finally over, I was sheet white…and I am fairly certain it wasn’t from the meds.
I have never really had good experiences with dental procedures. (I swear they hit a nerve every damn time they give me local anesthetic, which is almost as bad as the work on my teeth.) I am even more uneasy now given I have a lot more of this stuff coming up.
Anyone else want to share some *positive* dental stories so that I don’t have to freak out about things?