Trip to the Dentist

We took Robin for his first visit to the dentist yesterday. Unfortunately, despite what I thought was a pretty good toothbrushing routine, he has cavities in each of his molars—and since these are teeth that he’ll keep until he’s ten to twelve, the cavities need to be filled. So that’ll be…not fun.

The pediatric dentist that we found is very geared to making the whole experience tolerable for small kids. Robin was scared of the chair at first, but he sat in my lap for the examination, and the dentist made a game of counting his teeth that won him over. He was ultimately very good and cooperative, and then we stayed for a little bit so he could play with the toys they had there. He left thinking that the dentist was pretty awesome. Of course, the actual process of filling his teeth will be a lot more challenging. Their plan is to give him nitrous and local anesthesia, and, if necessary, to restrain him using what they call a “papoose” (kind of like a straightjacket, actually). Ugh. Basically Robin has no fear of his next visit, but I’m dreading it.

On a more positive note, we’ve been seeing a lot of family lately. Last weekend was Sam’s grandfather’s birthday, and we hosted the boys’ Pappy and Aunt Betsy while they were in town for the event. This weekend we’re driving up to Carson City for a “celebration of life” memorializing Sam’s grandmother Elsie. And next weekend my mother and Mark are coming out for a visit. So that’s real nice for the kids.

3 Responses to “Trip to the Dentist”

  • Madeline Says:

    You have my sympathy! I thought we were doing a good toothbrushing job, too, but I. had to get a filling last year. I don’t remember the percentage, but I read at the time that a tremendous number of very young children get cavities. Some of it is just genetics. But I still had a hard time with it.

    Your dentist sounds great. There’s a shortage of dentists who see children in our area, and there are none who use nitrous. I had all my fillings done under nitrous as a kid, and it made SUCH a difference. There is only one pediatric dentist anywhere near here, and he turned out to be kind of creepy, not at all good with children, with very unfriendly receptionists. (While I. and I were in the waiting room, I could hear one receptionist cursing loudly while talking to a co-worker about an uncooperative parent.) Also, they don’t allow parents to come back for the appointment with kids over 3, under any circumstances. And also, they do papoosing, but, I believe, without parental notification or consent (and without any sedation). I found out about the practice from someone outside the practice. Bleah. So we don’t see him any more.

    I. made it through her filling successfully, though, with no sedation (just novocaine). The dentist we ended up seeing was not remotely good with kids–didn’t even introduce himself to her or take off his mask. It was fairly wretched for both of us, I’ll admit–but a milkshake afterward went a long way toward making it better, and a year later, she seems to have almost forgotten about it. Most of the trauma, as it turns out, was mine. 🙂 I could say the same thing about my experiences taking Charlotte for bloodwork–she can only remember one of the four times.

    Nitrous and a nice dentist are both great things. You will get through it! Even if Robin doesn’t love it, he will move on quickly. Good luck!

    • shannon Says:

      Not allowing the parents to be there for the exam is SUCH A HUGE red flag. Yikes. I hope the nitrous works for Robin. Thanks for the reassurance!

      • Madeline Says:

        Nitrous worked so well for me as a kid that I actually kind of enjoyed the dentist. 😉 One time, I was so high that I could not remember whether my nose was above or below my eyes. I kid you not. Another time, apparently, I started singing along, open-mouthed, to the Disney tunes on my headphones, while they were working on my teeth. My dentist called it “Happy Air.” It should make a huge difference for Robin.

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