Category Archives: Dentist

Dental Saga Complete!

unnamedYesterday, the day came where my 3-year-old was due for sedation to get two fillings, a cleaning, x-rays and a fluoride treatment. Catch up on his fear of the dentist here. The pediatric dentist office was kind enough to ask all their staff to come in early, making us #1 for the day. Unfortunately that meant we had to be there at 6:40AM but the positive of that is I didn’t have a child wailing for food or water for hours. We arrived at 6:30AM, and I told my little mental patient that we were at the dentist to fix his boo-boos on his front teeth. He likes that particular office amazingly, just not any dental work. He protested lightly but I think he knew the protests weren’t going to change anything.

We started out the morning well. While we waited for everything to get set up, we watched SpongeBob in a private room and we’re all feeling good. The pediatric anesthesiologist arrived to re-inform me of what was going to happen. At no time would my son be aware that he would be in a dental chair. While we were in our private room, watching TV, he would give my boy a shot of something (think kiddie Valium) to make him unaware of what was going on. So I held my boy while he instantly figured out that the fun was over and someone was doing something to his leg. He screamed, he cried, I hugged him tightly, I kissed him profusely telling him that everything would be OK and after a minute, he quieted. His eyes were open but no one was home. The nurse came in, took him to the dental procedure room, and I sobbed like I was never going to see him again. God, what a horrible, horrible feeling that was.

Honestly, the staff just couldn’t have been nicer. They delivered coffee and bagels while I waited in my private room. They updated me every 10 minutes as to what was going on (IV was in, X-Rays were done).  I was overwhelming relieved to learn all his other teeth were free of cavities. It was just the front two  because they crossed over a little when he was 1, catching food in between them. Both needed minor fillings and that was it. Instead of the hour they had allotted, he was done in 45 minutes. I was told he was in recovery and I could go see him. I ran back and found my little zombie.unnamed (1) His front teeth were perfect, the fillings invisible and the white color restored. While holding my precious boy, the nurse tried to get him to drink some juice, and asked that I push fluids all morning. I was then visited by the pediatric dentist and the anesthesiologist. The dentist said everything was superb, see you in six months for a cleaning (I can’t even process that right now). The anesthesiologist informed me the meds are flushed out by the kidneys so that’s why they wanted us to push as much fluids as possible. 

We came home. After an hour, his head cleared but as I was warned, his body needed to catch up to his head. He was trying to walk around and simply falling over. So we had a little battle while I tried to keep him on the couch for another hour or so but basically, by early afternoon, he was back to himself.

Here’s what I take away from this experience – not all pediatric dentists are alike. The first one last year was recommending putting caps on his teeth because he had the beginning of cavities there. That was my WTF moment. The second dentist, yesterday’s dentist, preferred a much more conservative approach. Oh, and because the procedure only took 45 minutes, the anesthesiologist only charged me for 45 minutes of his time. Later yesterday afternoon, I got a phonecall from each of the pediatric dentist and the anesthesiologist checking on my boy, who is doing fantastically, by the way.


Dental Update. (again)


Remember this —>>> from just a few weeks ago?  This is the closest that my 3-year-old would get to the examination chair.

Today, sick to my stomach with anxiety, I took him to a new pediatric dentist. I had them all well warned and they cleverly began by bringing us into a room with a few regular chairs and a table. Not a dental chair in sight. I talked with a staff member at length about his previous experience with dentists, and was asked lots of questions about his diet and overall well being. I was quite surprised when they offered to not bring my little monster into the examination room. They were going to bring the dentist to us in this regular paperwork room.

I began my conversation with the dentist. He said he would indeed have to check his teeth before making any recommendation and that the best approach was knee-to-knee. Meaning, I put my son on my lap facing me, the dentist’s knees are touching mine and we lay my son back onto the dentist’s lap so that he can look. I warned this new fabulous dentist that this is the exact approach that freaked the hell out of my son just 6 months ago. But we had to try because nothing was going to happen unless the dentist got to look. He resisted a little and I told him that the dentist just wanted to count his teeth, and I began counting 1-20 over and over again. The little monster has a thing for numbers. This appeared to silence my son while the dentist was indeed able to examine him. I was fairly stunned and grateful at the lack of histrionics.

The dentist recommended fillings for his two front teeth, and that they would perform all the other routine stuff while he was under sedation (x-rays, fluoride treatment, cleaning). He said there were a couple spots that he wanted to take a close look at, but those would wait until my boy was asleep and he could look at X-Rays. The sticker shock for the dental work wasn’t as bad as I was envisioning, but the shock of the anesthesiologist almost had me falling off the chair. Goddammit. I want to earn $700 an hour! It’s possible that this procedure will go ahead on Monday, just 5 days away. I’ll be happy to have everything cleared up with him. Those teeth have been worrying me. My credit card is going to scream in pain. But whaddya gonna do?

Two adults have to accompany him for the sedation appointment so I am grateful that my awesome Dad is here visiting. Now all I am waiting for is the dental office to call back and give me the exact time of the procedure. Oy oy oy!!! I need a drink.

Update: He is scheduled for 6.40am on Monday. While it will be hell to get up before 6 to get him to the dentist on time, he won’t be allowed to eat or drink before the procedure so the earlier the better. To fit him into their schedule, the dentist, anesthesiologist, and the dental technicians are all coming in early because they didn’t want to shift around their other patients and have them wait longer than they expected to wait. That’s pretty awesome of the dental practice, I’d say.

The Dental Saga

dentist Today saw our 6-month dental check up. My oldest, the 5-year old hurricane, thinks the dentist is awesome and loves looking at her x-rays. She has perfect teeth, thanks to her Daddy’s genes, and the dentists always love her. She’s a breeze.

Last year, just before my escaped mental patient turned 3-years old, I took him for his first visit to a pediatric dentist which was less than stellar. In fact, he refused to lie down for the dentist to examine his teeth, so the dentist held him down on the table. The entire scene turned into something resembling The Exorcist. Needless to say, both he and I were traumatized, and I vowed we would never go back to that pediatric dentist again.

Flash forward to today, six and a half months later. New dental office, new dentist (he’s also my dentist now as he does general family dentistry too). I really like him and his staff. They treated me superbly so I was OK referring my children to his office. My oldest breezes in there, claiming it’s the best place ever. The dental hygienist is ready to run away with my daughter because she’s been the easiest minor that she’s ever treated. Not a cavity in sight and she’s pearly white. All done.

dentist2I tried to warn them about my son. I asked for a soundproofed room, but they thought I was kidding. I wasn’t. The hygienist couldn’t even get close enough to him to count his teeth. So I ended up holding a Q-Tip, and using that to count his teeth while she watched. The closest we could get him to the actual dental chair was to put Elmo on there and he watched. Honestly, this wouldn’t be a big deal except he has the start of a cavity between his two front teeth. His first teeth arrived when 10 months old. During his second year, the majority of the rest of the teeth came in and made it so that his front teeth crossed over a little, catching food in between them. No, I didn’t think to brush his teeth. Seriously, I wasn’t about to scar an 18-month old by holding him in a headlock while shoving a foaming stick in and out of his mouth. But by the time he was two-and-a-half, I could see something was forming and that’s when I brought him to the dentist over six months ago. And the damage was done, psychologically and physically.

Today’s dentist, as good as he is, couldn’t get my boy to sit in the chair so I pretended to count his teeth with that Q-Tip while the dentist had a peek, while we all stood next to the dental chair. All he could say was that it probably needed a filling, not caps, and should be done under sedation given my son’s reaction to dentistry in general. He would need to refer me to a pediatric dentist for that and I immediately nixed the ones we had visited previously.

So now we get to go to a new pediatric dentist who isn’t in our network (oh joy) and prepare for a cavity to be completed under sedation. I am scared to think how much that’ll cost, nevermind how much it’s going to freak my little guy out. But I have to get it taken care of before the cavity gets worse.  So in two weeks, I get to scare the ever-living crap out of my little guy again, and that’ll just be the introduction and evaluation phase. The sedation will come at a later appointment. Oh the fun, fun, fun.