Thursday, January 27, 2011

A day at 2 dentists, plus 1.

I have bad teeth, not Austin Powers bad, but not something to write the tooth fairy about. I dropped a filling mid Autumn and had not been able to schedule a visit to get it filled. Just plain lazy, no excuses. But around Thanksgiving I felt an abscess starting to move in to the neighborhood, and one day it just kind of expanded my face on the left side. I was not able to see my dentist at that time because he was on vacation, so I called my primary doc and got a prescription for an antibiotic, which knocked it out real fast. So Christmas came and went as did New Years . So on MLK day 2 of my older kids had had dentist appointments and I was able to jump in and get a quick xray and he said we can save the tooth with a root canal. I said ok and scheduled it for today, and took the whole day off because Jake also had a dentist appointment in the afternoon for another cap on one of his baby teeth.

So I got tot the dentist office at 10:50 am and went right in, the assistant numbed my gum for the Novocain shots. Now as a kid we never had Novocain for our dental work and actually it really raised my pain tolerance, so even though I have been opting for Novocain for the past 13 years I still use the techniques learned as a kid. Now as I was laying there waiting to be numb I was reflecting to myself that the dentist office really has not changed in the 40 odd years that I have been going. More on that later. When the doctor finally came in I knew the numbing would not last for the balance of the visit, I could feel the adjacent teeth starting to come back to life about 20 minutes in. So I just kept my eyes closed, said some prayers, should have put my mp3 player on, maybe next time and reflected on life.

I got home around 1 pm and we started to get Jake ready for his visit. I made sure I had my Ipod Touch in my pocket for Jake and Lynn and I loaded him in the car and we headed to a pediatric dentist office up the Northway. Now Jake is autistic ans is mainly non verbal and when we pulled into the parking lot he started his "all done" mantra, which lasted until we left. Now we went through check in and "pre op" with the nurse in a private room, we opted for sedation with him since he would be uncooperative to say the least, we attempted to get him to drink the meds which he immediately spit out all over himself, Lynn and me. The doc came back in about 20 minutes later and administered the med through poor Jake's nose. Well he did not like that but it worked and about 5- 1 minutes later we were ready. So off we went to the room where he would get his work done. In this room we had 3 nurses and the doc, we laid Jake on the chair an they put him in a big blue velcro cocoon, to immobilize him for the procedure, the deep pressure helps to keep him calm along with the meds. After about 15 minutes they had sealed his teeth, and were about to cap his bad tooth, through out the procedure Jake was alternately crying and laughing, scrape squirt cry, drill drill laugh. Also they placed a rubber suction plate in his mouth that not only did the suction it also kept his mouth open with out too much extra assistance, my jaw is still a little sore from this mornings oral gymnastics. It seemed like it could have been a dentist office on the Enterprise, shiny, gleaming instruments, nurses in color coordinated uniforms, the doc in a polo shirt with his name on it, fancy head gear and tools. Beam me up. Now earlier this month I took our youngest Nate up there for some small cavities, he is also on the spectrum (PDD-NOS) but he did not need the restraints and used laughing gas for his procedure. His big thing was he needed to look at the instrument before the doc could use it on him, and he giggled through the entire visit as well.  And when he was finished he said, this is a direct quote from Nate, "Thanks Dr Awesome!!" And that was that.

I know many people my age don't like going to the dentist but I wonder... if we went to a pediatric dentist when we were their age would things be different?  And were there many pediatric dentists around in the 70's? And where were they???

1 comment:

MrsH said...

No pediatric dentists for us. We had Dr. Minervino, the man of a thousand Italian jokes. Hope everyone feels better!