I have no photo to take your through the steps of pediatric dentistry and filling those little cavities, but I can tell you Little Margo's story of the process. It really is still bright in my mind, or should I say engraved in my mind....Last month Little Margo had her first checkup for 2011, I was not expecting anything out of the ordinary except cavity free teeth, but to my chagrin, she had two cavities, on the same side of her mouth, one up and one below. It turns out her adult molars had come in on that side, squishing her teeth together, and the inconsistent use of dental floss created the opportunity for a cavity or in this case two to appear on the digital Xrays! Next question, "Would you like to use the Nitrous Oxide gas, she won't mind anything we do after that?" I decided to say no, hoping this process would make an impression about the importance of brushing and flossing daily. Plus it would cost an extra $74.00 dollars, which we do not have in the budget if we used the gas. Was I mean? Was I a cheap scape? My hubby and I talked it over, and decided we could start out with this process and then if gas is necessary let it flow, let flow, let it flow. (Gee sort of sounds like an old winter song...)
I also talked to my own dentist, who also works on kids, and she said Margo would be fine without the Nitrous Oxide. Dr. Jackie, one of the other dentist's of Dr. Ligh's practice also felt she could talk Margo through the procedure without much trouble. So the decision was made. I was also instructed not to mention the shot, or details of the procedure ahead of time, Dr. Jackie was going to do all the coaching. Yes I did listen to this advice in every way. Margo asked, "will it hurt?" "Only a pinch," I responded, "Dr. Jackie will tell you all about it." With that said she was calm for the next few weeks, and that brings us to today.
Today was like any other day at the start, except we rushed to the dentist rather than rushing to school. We arrived on time, and within a few moments Little Margo, was called to the back. Of course she was followed by her dad, (Mark) and myself. I was the last to enter the room, and the first to leave at the site of the shot. I just could not take it, I still hate shots, and I could not believe I was going to let the dentist give Margo a shot....Ok, now you know why I brought Mark. He had to be there, not to hold Little Margo's hand but to hold mine, and allow me to "hide behind his back". Oh yeah, this is about Margo not me...OOOOps.
Dr. Jackie did an excellent job talking Margo through the process. There was the 'fizzy gell' applied on the gum and the tooth to help numb it a little bit prior to 'the pinch'. Margo was a little scared of this, not because it hurt but because it felt so different. Dr. Jackie's calm voice with a smile, said, "are you a little scared of the feeling? This is the fizzy tingling part I told you about, that is all." At the appropriate time, came 'the pinch', yes there was a bit of letting the doctor know, "this hurts, aah..." and then the dance began. It was a dance between administering 'the pinch', and allowing Margo a little break between applications. "Can you count to 20 while I do this, we just need 20 seconds?" And you hear the brave voice, say "hmm hhm." The dance continued, until both areas were shot with Novocaine. Now I must confess, I snuck out of the procedure room when the shots were going to be applied, but I stood outside and heard every word. Mark stayed, held Margo's hand, and was a steady encouragement to her.
Numb, teeth, numb tongue, numb cheek, numb chin later, and the cavities are drilled, filled polished and complete. Did you know Margo was taught the drill is a brush, to clean all the bacteria away. In fact before Dr. Jackie used any tool that made noise, she would describe it and turn it on outside of Margo's mouth, so she would not be surprised by any of the sensations. Dr. Jackie, talked the entire time about what she was doing or going to do in ways a child could understand and not be afraid. One hour later, we had two teeth filled with composite material, adult teeth sealed, and Margo's mom, resting comfortably against the back of her husband. (No sweating, feeling faint, or any other type of fear driven symptom for me!)
I just dropped Margo off back at school with a soft lunch now in place and soup planned for dinner. Little Margo was happy that her cheeks did not look swollen, although they sure felt it. She was assured that no one could tell anything happened. As I write this final paragraph, I can see my Little Margo eating lunch with her friends, knowing how brave she had been. I also believe, she will not want as much candy and other sweets to ward off another cavity experience. Oh yes, she is now very diligent at flossing and brushing her teeth. So perhaps the 'no gas' route was the correct action to take.
If your child needs to have a tooth extracted, then enjoy reading Loosing the first tooth...Lots to learn! This one has lots of pictures.