Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dental Nightmare

After jaw surgery, braces, appliances, and numerous fillings, I have had to adjust and learn to cope with dental appointments. They are not easy. I certainly miss my xanax, but given that I am still nursing, that is not an option.
Munchkin and I both started with toothaches last week. She has six cavities in her mouth right now. The poor thing inherited my weak enamel. Neither Husband nor I are thrilled with her pediatric dentist. She doesn't explain things very well, including why the need to rush and fill baby teeth. She just wants her money up front and then delays with giving us the paperwork so we can process the claim.
So we decided to try making an appointment for both me and for Munchkin at my dentist. He is great and his daughter (also a dentist) is wonderful too. Off we go. Husband meets us there. I go in my room and Husband and Munchkin to theirs next door.
My dentist comes in and explains that things are worse than expected. I need a root canal. Good news is that he can do it right then. Hmm.....go home and live in dread till the next appointment BUT plan ahead and take the xanax with plans to just pump and not nurse ... versus...get it over with now. He promised to numb me extra good. And to extent I trust any male and any dentist, I trust him. He lets me loose to go check on Munchkin while he sets up.
Lo and behold, Munchkin needs a mini-rootcanal. I forget the technical name. But it is a molar and since it is hurting her, we need to preserve it. If it gets pulled, then we have to have a bridge type thing put in to keep the spacing until her grown up tooth comes in. They don't use sedation there. So we talk and decide to try.
I go in and am getting numb and I hear Munchkin crying. The assistant leaves and comes back to say it was just munchkin getting numb but she's okay now. Okay, I want to cry when I get numbed too. So I'll try to relax.
We are almost done my stuff - which was not so so bad, when I hear more crying and screaming and "I want my Mommy!"
I come out of my chair. The dentist gets to a stopping point and lets me go. I go in there and they are trying to drill. She's numb and I know she can't feel it, but the vibrations and sounds are too much. Husband is trying to reason with her. The dentist and I lock glances and the dentist shakes her head. We're done. I grab Munchkin and the dentist gets us a referral to a pediatric dentist next town over that will do sedation dentistry.
The dentist was great. She told me that she would work with children that are doing "cooperative crying" - crying but relatively calm and cooperative. But she was not going to hold a child down or force anything. All that did was traumatize children and teach them to fear dentists.
I carried Munchkin back in to sit on my lap while I finished up. She didn't much like the drilling noise when they were working on me either. But I tried to be really brave and not clench up while they did it.
The dentist praised Munchkin a whole lot for her getting so far. She got a game and then a milkshake on the way home.
I have an appointment next week to finish up the root canal and do another filling. Munchkin has an appointment in two weeks with the pediatric dentist for hers. I also have pain meds to take for the next few days since the pressure on my jaw from dental procedures is tough for me to handle. I'm still drooling too.
I certainly don't wish pain or discomfort on Munchkin. But I am so glad I was there when she called me and needed me. I am glad she knows she can yell out for "mommy" and that I'll be there. I'm glad she knows that I (and her father) will stop unnecessary procedures and look out for her best interest. I'm glad she knows that we will not hold her down for dental exams. I'm glad I'm able to get over my fear enough (or cover it up enough) to be there for her.
I wish my mother had been able to do that.....


lawyerchik said...

OUCH. What a time of year to have to go through that..... I'm glad that you are able to be there for your daughter, and that there are such things as sedation dentists!! Hope it all works out! (I expect that Christmas cookies would be harder to eat without teeth...)

Labyrinth said...

I am so glad you were right there for Munchkin. I wish your mom had been there for you, too. I wish mine had been there for me.

All my childhood dental work was done without novacaine and my mother was the one who determined that. She didn't like it for herself, so us kids weren't allowed to have it either. All my fillings were done without pain alleviation of any kind. I even had a tooth pulled without it.

Your daughter cried for you and you were right there. My mother would have told me to rise above the pain.

Thank God the terrible things stopped with you and weren't passed on to your little Munchkin.

Kahless said...

I was at the dentist today.

I hope the next appointment for Munchkin and you turns out ok.