Yesterday, 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. 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.