Monday, August 15, 2011

Fixing a Hole Where the Sugar Gets In

Sonya is an unusual child because she loves going to the dentist.  I mean LOVES going to the dentist, since the first time she went.  Whenever I make an appointment for a checkup and I tell her about it, her reaction is almost the same as when I tell her we are going to Disneyland.  She even decided a couple of years ago that being a "kid" dentist is what she wants to be when she grows up.  Along with being an artist and a mom.  It's quite the balance of both sides of her brain. Then on our last trip to visit Dr.  Willens, we received bad news.  I feared Sonya's dental dreams would die right there in the dentist's chair.  She had two cavities.

Now, let me first start by saying how shocked I was by this news.  I never had cavities myself until my late teens, and even then they weren't big ones.  The girls brush twice a day, and yes they all have a sweet tooth, but I'm not feeding them straight sugar for every meal.  I just didn't get it.  I even make them brush their teeth before we leave to go home from Disneyland!  How did this happen?

I actually didn't find out about the cavities until after we left the checkup.  He called me later on in the day, because he hadn't checked her x-rays while we were there. After we left, he looked and them and found the decay.  They were in between the back molars.  Flossing is what would keep those cavities from forming, and as good as I am about them brushing, I am horrible about them flossing.  Partly because their teeth were far apart for so long and they didn't need it.  I guess Sonya does now.  Well, the good news is, it wasn't bad enough to see during a checkup.  The bad news was they still needed filled.  And she needed Novocaine. That they give with a needle.  Into the mouth.  Have I mentioned how much my daughter hates shots?

I was upset at this news, because I was so worried that now not only would Sonya not want to be a dentist anymore, but she would hate going to the dentist.  I myself didn't have Novocaine for the first time until this past October.  That needle in the gum thing hurts like a bitch!  I'm pretty sure I would opt for an epidural again instead of needle in the gum, so yeah I was worried about Sonya.  However, Dr. Willens assured me that they do everything they can to make it a least painful process as possible.

Last Thursday morning, our awesome neighbor Victor, came over to watch the other two girls while Andy and I took Sonya to the dentist.  The last thing I needed were the Wonder Twins running around, or seeing what was going on with Sonya.  Then I wouldn't get anyone to the dentist ever again.

When we arrived at the appointment, they gave Sonya a liquid antihistamine to drink.  It tasted like bubble gum and she got to pick a prize afterward.  So far, not so bad.  The point of this was to dry out her mouth and make her a bit sleepy.  We waited a half hour for this to take effect. Then we were led back to the "cavity room" in the office.  She lied on the chair and they put a nose mask on her that she was to breathe in and out of.  First she was breathing oxygen and then nitrous oxide.  This helped to numb and relax her further.  I held her hand as she sat in the chair waiting for the dentist to come in.  Even though it was just having a cavity filled I was scared for her, knowing how scared she was.  She looked so little sitting there, and I started to have flashbacks of her as a baby and a toddler.  Now here she was almost seven years old, looking so big and so little to me at the same time.  Half of me wanted to scoop her up and take her out of there so the dentist couldn't harm her, but I knew it was all for good.  So I stayed brave and she was amazing.

He came in and numbed her gums with some topical cream.  After that took effect, out came the needle.  She never even saw it, and I don't think she felt it even a tiny bit.  More waiting for the numbing to occur, then ten minutes later he went to work.   They opened her mouth and filled it with more things that I thought could fit in there. This contraption to isolate the tooth, that contraption to keep her mouth open, something else to keep the filling from sticking to the other tooth.  He drilled and cleaned out the "sugar bugs", then filled the hole back up.  It was actually quite fascinating.  Andy and I got to watch the whole thing.  After fifteen minutes he was done, and she was ready to go.  The left side of her mouth was numb and swollen, but the hygienist gave her the good news that she couldn't really chew for the rest of the day so she would have to have milkshakes or smoothies.  Yay!  Nothing like leaving the dentist after having a cavity filled only to create more with milkshakes!  I think this may be a conspiracy.

"So, do you still want to be a dentist?" I asked on the way home.

"Oh yeah!" She told me.

Whew!  So we hadn't killed her dream yet.  Then when we got home, I got confirmation that she had no idea about the Novocaine and needle to the gum.  We walked in the door and her sisters were excited to see her and started asking questions.

"Sissy!  Did you have to get a shot?" This was the first thing Lana asked.

"Nope," was Sonya's reply.

"Well, actually you did," I told her.

"I did??" She asked surprised.

"Yup," I answered.  "Didn't even feel it, did you?'

"Huh, guess not," she said.

This is great because she has to go back in two weeks and get the other one filled.  Thank goodness this experience went well.  So, I'm thinking maybe next time I have to get a cavity filled I will request the kid friendly version of taking care of them, complete with nitrous oxide.  It sounds better than feeling a shot to the gum.  Or getting an epidural.  

1 comment:

Moomser said...

Brave kid! I still hate going to the dentist! Although I have never been to a dentist who cared so much about a kid (or an adult for that matter) feeling pain before, makes me want to go to him too!