Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I heart our new dentist

And so does Junior.

He has had a bit of an absolute terror of them ever since he was tortured when he was 4. His first trip to the dentist they found 5 cavities and so we needed to go back and have them filled. Now the dentist office is a kind-of scary place anyway without Mom telling you it will hurt. So mom didn't mention possible probable pain discomfort. Mom certainly didn't mention numbing stuff or to tell the dentist if it hurts because duh that's a big clue that it will hurt. That dentist (and many others) have a rule about not letting mom go back with the kids because sometimes mom causes more problems than she helps.

So an oblivious 4 year old went back to be tortured get his teeth worked on.

Ok I need to let you know that there are 2 schools of thought when it comes to children's dentistry. One is that you don't ever numb the kid unless it is an incredibly deep cavity because the numbing shot hurts. The other is that you always numb the poor kid because sometimes the drilling hurts even when it shouldn't.

I grew up with a dentist who follows the always-numb policy and so I never knew there was any other way. Yes, the shot hurt but I always thought it was so cool because it just felt weird afterward.

So back to Junior's traumatic visit, the torturer dentist did the 4 teeth and then got partway through the 5th and had to stop because Junior was fighting him. He recommended a pediatric dentist because Junior was being a difficult case.

I took one look at my white-faced tear-streaked little boy and knew this had been an awful visit.

We left and I told Junior we would do whatever he wanted, we could go by Sonic, go to the zoo, or just go home. He decided that Sonic and the zoo sounded pretty good so we did that and he perked up.

Later I got to thinking about it and I realized he hadn't played with his face at all. You know how after you have been numbed it feels strange to poke your cheek - he hadn't done that.

So I asked him if the dentist had given him anything that made his mouth feel weird.


So that dentist had the nerve to act like my child was being a brat for objecting to being hurt!?!

Needless to say, we haven't been back to that dentist. Junior went to a pediatric dentist to get that tooth finished - and they found another cavity the first had missed. But he still gets a panicked look on his face when we talk about him going to the dentist.

So today he went to the dentist that the rest of us have been going to since we quit going to the torturer the other dentist. He was scared but I was allowed to go back with him. As the visit went on, he got more comfortable and talkative. He even looked at me at one point and said "I'm not scared anymore. You can go to where you wait."

He even giggled while the hygienist was polishing his teeth.

He left the dentist with a smile on his face, a goody bag in his hand, and thrilled to have no cavities.

I heart our new dentist.


  1. I had an experience somewhat like his with my first dentist visit when I was a kid...still haunts me to this day....glad you found a better one!

  2. We just discovered the wonder of a pediatric dentist, and I heart her, too. What a difference a gentle dentist and a kid-friendly staff can make. Of course, mine got to drink the happy juice, so that didn't hurt any!