“I’m going to be a dentist on Tuesdays”, said Sam as we were waiting in the dentist office’s waiting room this morning. Waiting for his sedation medicine to take effect on him. My poor little dude has had the worst mouth of any kid I know. Last summer after coming out of swim lesson and loading up in the vehicle to head home, I looked in the rear view mirror at my son and gasped. The entire right side of his face was swollen. I immediately called the dentist in our home town and took him straight there. The verdict was that he had an infection in the tooth. We were sent to a pediatric dentist in San Angelo where they extracted the tooth. They were also kind enough to examine his little mouth full of problems (this was devastating news to us, by the way) and give us a quote of around $2500 plus hospital and anesthesiologist costs. “Any other options?”, I asked. Nope. Thank you anyway. Thank goodness we live in a free country where we have rights. I proceeded to locate a new dentist for my son.
I found a new dentist in Midland who seemed very accommodating and promised me that he would try to do all of the required work in-office as opposed to the hospital. He examined Sam’s mouth and recommended that he have two caps put on and another tooth extracted. This was the first and second procedure. He also recommended caps for the other side as well. Again, we were devastated. We have no idea why our son has such poor dental hygiene going on. We brush his teeth for him. I guess all those goldfish and fruit chews just did him in. It is what it is…and this part is not good at all!
So, we took him in and had this first procedure done in-office. At this appointment they just put two silver caps on. I need to mention here that they prescribed a liquid sedative that I had filled at my local pharmacy and then I had to take it with me to the appointment. They used a third of it at this appointment and sent it home with me to store in the fridge and bring back for the next appointment. The next appointment was to have another tooth extracted that was causing another infection in his mouth. They used another third of the sedative. The bottle was looking pretty empty to us. My husband took Sam in for the third scheduled appointment which was to have more caps put in on the opposite side of the first set of caps. They gave him the remaining sedative and my husband noticed that after waiting an hour for it to “take”, Sam did not seem effected by it at all. They took him back anyway. A couple of minutes later they called my husband back and told him that Sam was not being cooperative at all and that they would not be able to do this procedure in-office after all. They would only do it in the hospital. Ergggg! My husband was upset with Sam for not being “cooperative”. The little guy was very upset that his daddy was upset. Two days later Sam says to me, “Mommy, you know when I was at the dentist the other day?” “Yes”, I say. “Well, that lady poked with that sharp pokey thing and it really hurt,” he says. Weeeeeellll, no wonder my baby didn’t want to open his mouth. He got poked. He was barely five at this time. He lost trust in those people and I have a strong feeling that there was not enough sedative left in that bottle to make a difference. Now, I am on the lookout for another dentist.
Third times a charm, right? Now we are driving to Odessa for Sam’s dental work. We found a great dentist there named Dr. Joel Edwards. One of the first things I noticed about this place is that they are extremely friendly and knowledgeable. They are also professional and seem to care about the kids. The office is very kid-friendly with Disney movies playing, the little vending machines with toys in them (which they give the kids a quarter or two to choose their own prizes-it is a great idea!), and this cool projector mounted from the ceiling that plays interactive games on the floor. Sam’s favorite is this little puppy dog that will chase your shadow. It is really cute. I want one of those machines! Of course, another reason I like this place is that they were willing to work with us and to see how Sam would do in-office and they did not try to twist my arm to put him in the hospital. Another major difference between this place and the other two places is that they invited my to go back with him and stay throughout the entire procedure. This made me very comfortable.
Sam’s trip to the dentist today was eventful. He was very much under the influence of the sedation. He doesn’t remember anything the dentist did, but he can feel that he has a hole where that tooth was and he has the tooth to put under his pillow. It is a disgusting-looking thing. Hopefully we won’t be going back for a while except for routine cleanings. Sam didn’t mind the Frosty that followed or the new toy. And, thankfully, I don’t think he has a complex about going to the dentist. At least, he still wants to be a dentist…on Tuesdays. 🙂