A Journey with Love and Laughter

Read about our family as we journey through life as a family, with siblings, school and spina bifida, and lots of fun and laughter along the way!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Dentist

Nick has been going to the dentist to get 9 cavities filled.
9 cavities!

I have since found out that the Ditropan was probably to blame for the cavities. The sugary oral liquid given three times a day for years, on top of the fact that the same medical gives a dry mouth that can impact cavities as well... And the sensitive gag reflex that prevents us from getting at the back without a fight.
I wish I had know this before and been more prepared for the cavity consequences.

We were referred to a specialized Kids Dentistry clinic and came up with a plan.
We had a couple of different choices to get them fixed.

1. Using General Anesthesia, they offered in the clinic (not even considered) or the hospital. It means that they can fix all the teeth at the same time, but it also means general anesthesia
2. Using freezing, nitrous and/or an oral medication to make him sleepy. It means that he will be awake (but sleepy), but they can't do it all in one sitting.

We decided on option #2, all of three of the choices. We talked about all of the different things they do to help to calm Nick if he gets upset and make it a non-negative experience.

The first appointment didn't go entirely as planned. Nick was scared, I hadn't been 100% sure of what to expect. We stopped when he started to get upset and crying when they had done 3 teeth on the bottom.
He didn't like the feel of the rubber (latex free) dam they put in his mouth. I know from experience it feels suffocating, especially for a kid. And the pressure is uncomfortable.

I had looked at Sick Kids referral to see if we should go there. But after talking with Nick I thought that we still might have a chance to avoid general anesthesia. So I didn't follow through with getting a referral.

For the next appointment we practiced calming. And breathing through our noses (and inhaling the nitrous oxide) when Nick got scared. We were much more prepared. 

So the next time we went, we did top and bottom on the opposite side and Nick did great. I was so happy.
We only had one appointment left, with 2 teeth and then we were done with the dentist for a while.
That was the plan.

It didn't go as planned.
Nick got very stubborn and wouldn't let them doing anything.
He refused to let them take his blood pressure, or drink his sleepy medicine. I ended up syringing it into his mouth, and after an hour he was sleepy.

Then he got upset about everything. The freezing made him cry. Even with more freezing. He got upset with everything they tried to put in his mouth. Crying big tears that rolled down his face and into his ears. He would fall asleep when they stopped. But start up again if we tried again.
We tried everything to calm him down. But he just kept crying and saying no.
We tried about 4 times before giving up and leaving without doing anything. (Except drug him up). The dentist was great and very patient with him.

I'm not sure what we are going to do next. The 2 teeth we left for last are the ones that need to most work (potential root canal for a front tooth and cap for a back tooth). I know it is just baby teeth, and they will fall out anyways. They still lay the ground work for adult teeth.
But if we start talking about pulling or that they are just baby teeth, I imagine what Nick's smile would look like for 3 years without a front tooth and I want to cry.

It would have been nice to be able to have identified the need for general anesthesia (which he is getting for his surgery anyways) and be able to do everything at the same time. But it is too late for that now.

I am really hoping that with all of the concentration we have put on his surgery that I might have sprung this dentist visit on him and that is what caused him to be so upset and scared.
I'm hoping his teeth will be ok while we wait to figure out what to do.

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