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Nervous about 5 year old''s dental appointment

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lumpkin

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Hi, all. My 5 year old has been to the dentist to have his teeth cleaned several times with no problem, but he had 2 cavities. The dentist filled one of them, but was unable to fill the second one so referred us to a pediatric dentist. That dentist said the filling had already come out of the tooth, and that he preferred to cap teeth. Okay, fine, makes sense. He did what amounts to a baby tooth root canal on the tooth (I thought he was just going to file away the decay and cap it). Now 5 year old is scared to death of the dentist. The cap has come off twice, now it is off and he won''t even open his mouth for this dentist. So we took him to another dentist for a consult, same thing. We are going tomorrow for a consult with a female dentist, and this is it. I''m sure we will simply have to book an OR and have him put completely under to get the cavities taken care of. Oral sedatives and Nitrous Oxide do not help.

This is my sensory integration disfunction child. I''m very nervous. Very nervous. I know that the tooth that was capped has had a fair amount of enamel removed, so it needs attention ASAP. OR''s take forever to book for dental work. Also, some years ago I saw a 20/20 show on OR''s and anesthesia, where they didn''t get all the anesthesia to work and the patients were paralized but completely conscious and able to feel what was happening to them. I''m literally paniced that this will happen. What can I do to make sure that when he receives the anesthesia they get it to work?

When I had my colonoscopy last year, they were supposed to put me completely under, but I was somewhat conscious for it, which didn''t bother me, but it did stick with me -- what if I had been in surgery???

Please, please reasure me and tell me I am being completely paranoid. This work needs to be done and I need to be the grown up, and not let him see that I''m apprehensive. It''s just that this dental work has been so botched already....
 

monarch64

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Lumpkin, I just wanted to say I''m sorry to hear your little one has to go through all this dental work at such a young age! I really hope the next and last consult with the female dentist will turn out to be a different story than putting your little one under as that can be so risky. You are such a great mother to go to the trouble of getting more than two opinions, and I know it will be difficult for you to see him go through any of this but I''m sure you will find it within yourself to be strong and put on a confident front for him when it comes down to treatment time. I don''t think you''re being paranoid at all, just a very good and concerned parent. He''s lucky to have you. Sorry I don''t have any advice or experience to share, but I want to wish you both the best of luck in this situation!
 

lumpkin

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Thanks, Monarch. You know, I really regret taking him to the dentist at all, at his age. These cavities were SMALL. Now both have been drilled on, enamel has been lost and the cavities are much larger, and I have a scared kid. Part of me is kicking myself for letting them drill on his teeth because I think more harm than good was done. Way more harm than good. So now not only is he afraid, so am I.
 

monarch64

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Aw, but they''re thankfully baby teeth, lumpkin. I know your little one will probably have some issues as far as dentristy now, but maybe now you can tell him he''s in the big boy''s club of dental adventures and he''ll have lots of stories to tell of his bravery to friends at school? I don''t think you''ve made any mistakes here by getting some issues taken care of at an early age, though, you just wanted to make sure his teeth were healthy. Maybe at some point you can take him with you to your next cleaning (non-issue, normal appt.) and he can watch the hygienist clean your teeth or something so he knows not everything involving the dentist is painful or scary?
 

poptart

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As for your worry about the OR and the anesthesia, I thought that they now had to use sensors on their head to monitor the brain waves so they know if the patient is beginning to come out of the anesthesia. It used to be that they just monitored the heart beat, but I thought that now they have upgraded the system. I may be wrong though, so hopefully someone in the medical field will speak up.

And I know it''s scary, but don''t worry TOO much about it. You will just drive yourself crazy. About the dental work... as a young girl I had a LOT of trouble with my teeth when I was young, and if they are opting to put him under anesthesia for the procedure, please let him do it. I had some very painful experiences at the dentist when I was young, and I am still TERRIFIED of dentists. Just walking into their offices gives me a bit of a panic attack. If he has a sensory integration dysfunction, it really sounds like going under would be best. Oh also! I had my wisdom teeth taken out last year and they put me under. Every single one of my molars was really REALLY impacted, and I didn''t feel one thing through the surgery, and it was a pretty intensive extraction (which the doctor proceeded to explain in DETAIL right after I woke up... NOT a good idea). So maybe that will make you feel more comfortable. Best of luck!

*M*
 

lumpkin

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Poptart, thank you for your post. I will ask about the monitor you talked about. That would ease my worries considerably. I agree, putting him under is the thing to do. It just always scares me! One of the moms I know has a boy who has been in and out of the hospital with leukemia, and I''m sure to anyone who has been through things like that would probably think I''m being irrational and silly. So I am trying to keep perspective.
 

poptart

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Lumpkin,

I looked it up and that brain wave monitoring device is called a BIS. So maybe that will help when you ask about it. I am not sure how widespread their use is, so I''m sorry if I was slightly incorrect in my first post. And just so you know, just because your child is not going through something as scary as leukemia (thank goodness), it does not make your worries any less relevant. You deal with scary things as they come along, and this is your scariest thing right now. It doesn''t make it inconsequential.

*M*
 

Maisie

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Lumpkin my son had to have some teeth removed under a general anesthetic. He was only five too. They decided to just remove the damaged teeth (he had fallen and snapped all his fronts bless him). He was asleep for approximately half an hour and he was as bright as a button within an hour. He doesn''t remember having the proceedure done.

He is 8 now and they have only just grown back in! He looked really cute without the teeth but it drove him mad that they didn''t grow back sooner!

Please try not to worry (not that it will stop you!).... I am sure they are only offering to do it this way so your little one won''t get too distressed.

Maisie
 

lumpkin

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Thank you Poptart and Maisie! We just got back from the dentist, of course it was just a consult. He opened his mouth and was really cooperative with her. We''re going to try doing the work with him on Versed. She says she can get everything done within 35-45 minutes and doesn''t think he will have any trouble. He likes her a lot, but then he wouldn''t let them take x-rays. I really, really hope this works. He''s a VERY smart kid and you can''t put anything over on him. We''re scheduled on the 27th to have everything done. She was positive and up beat, and she seems really competent. I''m still nervous, but not as much as I have been.

Thanks for the support, girls. I so needed the encoragement.
 

FireGoddess

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I hope it goes well Lumpkin. I know that as an adult I don''t like to go, so I can only imagine how a child feels! Our dentist used to let us pick from a ''treasure chest'' of fake jewelry after each appointment - trust me it was the only way to get me to go there.
 

swingirl

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Sorry to hear about your son and the negative dental experience. My som also had a baby root canal. The pediatric dentist had a video screen on the ceiling and the kids got to hold the controller and play while the dentist worked. It was great!

Whatever you do stay with your son throughout the whole proceedure. Stay in the room, talk to him, sooth him, whatever he likes. Some kids want to know exactly how many minutes left or what the noises are. I know your son will be sedated to some level but if you treat him like he''s awake he just MAY be able to hear and at least your voice will be reassuring.

I wish I stayed in the room when my son had some teeth removed. The novocain did not work. No one believed he could feel it (I would have) because they gave him so much. Turns out his nerves are in unusual positions, not in the normal places, so none of the novocain was even close to the nerves. We don''t go to that dentist anymore!

Hope it goes well.
 

Skippy123

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Date: 4/13/2007 5:31:36 PM
Author: lumpkin
Thank you Poptart and Maisie! We just got back from the dentist, of course it was just a consult. He opened his mouth and was really cooperative with her. We''re going to try doing the work with him on Versed. She says she can get everything done within 35-45 minutes and doesn''t think he will have any trouble. He likes her a lot, but then he wouldn''t let them take x-rays. I really, really hope this works. He''s a VERY smart kid and you can''t put anything over on him. We''re scheduled on the 27th to have everything done. She was positive and up beat, and she seems really competent. I''m still nervous, but not as much as I have been.

Thanks for the support, girls. I so needed the encoragement.
It sounds like she is good with kids. Try to make it seem easy; I think kids sense fear. It will be fine; I know it is scary but hang in there.
 

lumpkin

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Date: 4/17/2007 3:35:48 PM
Author: swingirl
Sorry to hear about your son and the negative dental experience. My som also had a baby root canal. The pediatric dentist had a video screen on the ceiling and the kids got to hold the controller and play while the dentist worked. It was great!

Whatever you do stay with your son throughout the whole proceedure. Stay in the room, talk to him, sooth him, whatever he likes. Some kids want to know exactly how many minutes left or what the noises are. I know your son will be sedated to some level but if you treat him like he''s awake he just MAY be able to hear and at least your voice will be reassuring.

I wish I stayed in the room when my son had some teeth removed. The novocain did not work. No one believed he could feel it (I would have) because they gave him so much. Turns out his nerves are in unusual positions, not in the normal places, so none of the novocain was even close to the nerves. We don''t go to that dentist anymore!

Hope it goes well.
OMG! This is exactly the kind of thing I''m afraid of. I''m not a letigious person, but I would have been tempted to sue. Not for money, I''d want the man''s (or woman''s) license!!! I''m so sorry that happened to him. Is he scared of the dentist now? Did you confront the dentist, and if so, what did he/she say? Uggggg.

I will definitely be in the room with him. If we had had to have his work done at the hospital I was going to ask if I could be present.
 

divergrrl

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Date: 4/17/2007 3:35:48 PM
Author: swingirl
Sorry to hear about your son and the negative dental experience. My som also had a baby root canal. The pediatric dentist had a video screen on the ceiling and the kids got to hold the controller and play while the dentist worked. It was great!

Whatever you do stay with your son throughout the whole proceedure. Stay in the room, talk to him, sooth him, whatever he likes. Some kids want to know exactly how many minutes left or what the noises are. I know your son will be sedated to some level but if you treat him like he's awake he just MAY be able to hear and at least your voice will be reassuring.

I wish I stayed in the room when my son had some teeth removed. The novocain did not work. No one believed he could feel it (I would have) because they gave him so much. Turns out his nerves are in unusual positions, not in the normal places, so none of the novocain was even close to the nerves. We don't go to that dentist anymore!

Hope it goes well.
I had this happen to me at 10. They were pulling my 4 PERMANENT eyeteeth and one babytooth to make room in my mouth before I had headgear & braces. My mom just dropped me off & I had to endure it alone. (she wasn't even there--single mom what can you do?)

The baby tooth came out fine, the two top teeth came out fine & my two lowers hurt so bad. I was crying and yelping in pain and the dentist slapped me and told me I was going to scare the little kids in the waiting room.

I have the same deal...the nerves on my lowers are all messed up, to this day I can't get numb on the bottom & have to either white knuckle it or go sedation.

Lumpkin: Aside from my horrific experience, I go to the dentist regularly and take good care of my teeth. Just stay with him and hold his hand. And good luck to you! This sounds like a nice dentist. Andt don't beat yourself up about letting them drill on the babyteeth in the first place. Untreated decay in babyteeth can affect the health of the permanents underneath. My dad is a spanish interpreter & he goes to a lot of pediatric appts where the little kids have decayed teeth & the ped. dentist is trying to explain the importance of keeping those baby teeth healthy. I always get a lecture from him re: my toddler when he gets home from an appt like that.

Jeannine
 

lumpkin

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Divergirl, I''m appalled the dentist slapped you. If a dentist slapped an adult in his chair can you imagine what would happen? It''s amazing how we (general) allow adults so much more latitude than children when it comes to being scared at the doctor or dentist. My husband has to take lorazapam to have anything more than cleaning done. He''s a grown man and his dentist even hand selects the hygenists for him.

Your dad is right. I know that baby teeth need to be kept healthy. If decay is allowed to progress it infects the developing adult teeth. I''m still scared, though.
 

swingirl

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Lumpkin, my son recovered and we chalked it up to one bad experience that will never happen again. We found a really nice dentist that had 2 young boys of his own so he had a lot more compassion AND was more recently trained than the first dentist, who was about 60 and should have retired.

My poor son has a situation where the baby teeth never fell out on their own. The chemical that is supposed to make the roots dissolve wasn''t produced in large enough quantities so he ended up having almost every baby tooth pulled!! His dentist got good at it but he sent my son to an oral surgeon for some of the larger teeth. My son''s teeth would get loose and then tighten up again as they got wedged in by the adult tooth coming up. Poor guy just resigned himself to getting his teeth pulled regularly and got used to novacain which worked better on the back teeth.
 

divergrrl

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Lumpkin: Yeah...she was pretty awful...well it was 1980 and my mom wasn''t there so what can you do?

Thank goodness stuff like that doesn''t happen anymore. Your little munchkin will be fine, it really sounds like this new female dentist has a good chairside manner & will treat your child well.

I wish you both the best of luck and a very smooth and pain free experience. I think this is a time when a good bribe to get him through it would come in handy. What''s his favorite treat he almost never gets to have???? And you need to have a good bottle of wine (if you like that sort of thing) to soothe your nerves afterward too. I know you are feeling all his emotions in addition to your own. It''s the "momma way".

Diver
 

lumpkin

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It is the mom way, LOL!

BTW, for those whose nerves are not located in the typical place, how did the dentist figure that out and how did they find where the nerves actually were?
 

divergrrl

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Lumpkin: My mom''s nerves are out of place on the bottom ( a trait I inherited) and she finally found a dentist that found it...trial and error)

I''m still waiting for a dentist to find it (she lives in a diff. state) . Until then, its sedation for bottom work.

I''m thinking of your son & sending happy dentist vibes his way...let us know how it goes...

Diver
 
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