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.
I 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.