Instead of talking about how my husband flooded the kitchen filling his water bottle up the other night, or how Brandon slathered a freshly bathed Codi's head in rash cream we are going to talk about dentists instead.
Even though we brush Brandons teeth every morning and every night, he has still developed a cavity. It is right between his two front teeth. I guess the spot I'm most at fault was listening to my adult dentist when they said you didn't need to take kids to the dentist until they are three. After visiting the childrens dentist I've learned you in fact need to take them as soon as that first tooth comes out. You do this because they can seal each tooth as it erupts. The childrens dentist let me know that most adult dentists don't want to deal with small children so they tell parents to wait until they are 3 thinking the children will be easier to handle. I must say that my child isn't going to be easy to handle at any age.
I would like to talk about Brandon's first visit to the dentist and then discuss their plan of action and my response.
We arrived at the appointment 15 minutes early at 8:45. We went into the waiting room and Brandon played with all of the toys. Numerous children came in after us. All of them were seen before us. By 9:20 I started looking towards the reception desk. Finally at 9:25 she informed me that she went back and asked what was going on because she felt bad for me. It was clear Brandons attention was waining and she didn't like people being late. The receptionist let me know that the doctor had another new patient in front of me and the appointment ran long because they like to take time with new patients.
At about 9:28 we were taken back. We were met with two assistants. One to handle me and one to handle Brandon. We were taken into a private room with a door, they referred to it as, a "quiet room." One assistant took Brandon to her equipment and showed him each tool. She let him turn on the suction, and the other tools and touch everything. While she was doing this the other assistant was going over care, procedure and what would happen with me.
From there they walked us out to a little sink station. They had three different size sinks and he got to go to the shortest size. First "his" assistant painted some purple disclosing liquid on his teeth. We were given a bag with a toothbrush, some fluoride toothpaste, a disclosing tablet to try at home, some children's dental floss, a flossing toothpick, and a 3 minute timer.
The assistant had me remove the toothbrush and put some toothpaste on. She asked me to show her how we brushed at home. However at this exact moment Brandon happened to turn around and realize he was standing 5 feet away from the lady blowing up balloons. His attention was lost at that exact second. I was highly frustrated with the entire thing. I thought a childrens dentist would be slightly smarter then to place balloons in the line of site of a child who had yet to be examined. We rinsed him up and went back to the exam room. I was informed the dentist would be right in.
About 20 minutes later Brandon had completely lost all attention and patience and had become consumed with getting a balloon. The dentist still hadn't come in and I was getting phone calls that Codi was refusing a bottle and starving. At this point he had been with out food for probably 3 hours as he was asleep when I had dropped him off with my mom. I stepped out of the room to ask what the hold up was. They told me that they were trying to place a crown on a small child and would get in soon.
Another 10 minutes later the doctor came in. Brandon promptly asked for a balloon. She attempted to examine him but he was over it. So, because of their tardiness my child did not receive X-rays or a cleaning. The doctor opened his mouth, saw the cavity and informed me he needed to have both front teeth crowned and that he would have to be knocked out to do so. I was totally shocked. I had seen the cavity myself and assumed he would need a filling. But crowning two baby teeth seemed a bit much to me. I inquired about it and she told me that since he was so little he wouldn't be able to hold still long enough for a filling, and because of the location a crown would be better.
My next question was, "Excuse me by why in the fuck do you think you need to knock my child out?" I was told that he was too small and would be too wiggly to be consciously sedated. I asked about the laughing gas and why he couldn't sit in my lap. She simply replied, "no he needs to be knocked out." She had the assistant get him some balloons and told me I needed to go and schedule immediately for his crown. I walked towards scheduling in a daze. When I arrived in the private discussion room I informed the lady I had a nursing baby at home who needed food and I would come back. I scheduled an appointment for Tuesday and left.
After this I flew to Oregon cleared my mind and then came back to deal with the dentist. After doing a lot of thinking I went back to meet the scheduling lady. She went over the whole thing. Brandon would have to have the crown done at a hospital. He will be put under via IV. The risks and so on, and of course cost. Let me first say, that I don't give a shit about cost when it comes to my kid. If they had said we have to do something for him and it will cost you one arm, I would have gladly handed over my arm.
Finally the lady gave me a chance to speak and I presented my concerns. Here are the things I said:
I think he is to young to be put under period. This is my child, my entire life, my whole world and you want to knock him out over some teeth, I think not.
He will be 3 in about 3.5 months. Even at three he will be able to sit still longer, and at 3 and a half he would be able to sit still even longer. Why did no one discuss with me the possibility of sealing the teeth and seeing how long we could hold off, to possibly avoid knocking him out?
If we were able to hold out for longer then wouldn't laughing gas be a possibility if he simply sat in my lap and I restrained him if he began to wiggle?
Why are they trying to schedule to do a crown on two teeth with out doing an X-ray, and cleaning and full exam? When I asked this her reply was, "well they would just do all of that while he is under and if he needs more fillings they will accommodate." Umm, okay so now you want to put my child under for an extra extended period of time to do X-ray's because your office was too late to do them during his scheduled visit. Again, I think not.
I DON'T WANT TO KNOCK MY TWO YEAR OLD OUT!
Finally the lady asked me about scheduling. She remembered my last visit and asked if at anytime I was informed of how much time it would take. I replied no. Then I said, "you know even if you had told me, and I had brought my infant along to nurse, you were still about 45 minutes late total and that still was a burden in my day, also because of this my son got less care and treatment." She apologized and said she would talk to everyone involved because she really could relate to my frustration.
The final verdict was this. I set a follow up appointment for Brandon in three months. He will be 3 at his next visit. They will check the status of the cavity. As of now it is not bothering him, should he start complaining it hurts before then I will take him in and re-evaluate. She will present my questions to the doctor and they will call me to follow up about prolonging the crowns until he is possibly old enough to have it done while awake.
Now I would like to ask all of you, what would you do in my place? Would you allow your child to be knocked out? Would you wait like I am? What would you do. I plan to contact his pediatrician and another children's dentist for some second and third opinions.
Emery, I remember you dealt with something similar with Ezra, how did you handle it and how did it work out in the end?
I'm asking for assvice here so let me have it people!
Posted by Shannon Mateo at 7:31 AM