Child Dental Fillings

May 24, 2012 By: erik Category: Offspring, Parenting 813 views

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Nora's New FillingThere are few things that makes you feel quite as terrible as a parent as seemingly allowing a part of your child’s hygiene to deteriorate to the point of actually causing pain. We have known for some time that Nora has had some cavities in her molars, but it wasn’t until she started complaining about tooth pain that we sought out the local pediatric dentist for an appointment. Nora went to her first inspection and was very good, opening her mouth, like a hippo, for the dentist. The dentist told us that she has cavities that require fillings in all four corners of her mouth, but that her left lower molars are particularly rotten, requiring some drilling, killing the nerve, and then a cap to replace the missing bit of tooth.

Her first appointment, for the worst corner of her mouth, was this morning. Nora was so pleased with her behavior at the initial checkup that she was actually looking forward to going to the dentist. We got there a little early and had to wait for a bit in the waiting room, which was full of toys. When it was time to go in, I asked if Nora thought she could go in alone, as the dentist recommended, and she conveyed that she was very much against that idea. I went in with her and laid her down on the dentist chair/table thing, and they proceeded to put a blanket over her and then some netting to hold her down. It looked like enough restraints to hold Hannibal Lecter.

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that Nora, who can’t stand to ride in the car for five minutes because she can’t stand being strapped in and immobilized for that long, was somewhat displeased. I held her hand for a bit, but the dentist wanted to tie her down so much that even her hands weren’t free. The dentist, a pleasant enough Mexican woman, told me to stand on the other side of her if I was going to be there at all. I did, but Nora kept begging me with her eyes and words to let her out of the constraints that eventually I had to leave, because there was no way I could convince her that staying put was a good thing.

So I sat in the waiting room listening to her scream for Poppy, which she later, adapting to the Mexican dialect of the dentist, converted to papá. Frankly I’m surprised she didn’t finish the 40 minutes of torture dental care completely hoarse, because she screamed the entire time. Several times I had to get up from my seat in the waiting room and go to the bathroom to wipe tears from my eyes and blow my nose. It took all my willpower to not rush into the dental examination room and fling the dentist against the wall and rescue my poor baby.

If you can stand it, here’s an audio recording I made from outside the examination room.

When she was released, she came and hugged me more tightly than she ever has, clinging to me for a solid ten minutes while I spoke to the dentist, made her next appointment, and got the bill. The dentist recommended that we go buy an ice cream and then take some generic pain meds. I think she was referring to her patient and not to me. We bought some ice cream and went home to medicate, Nora with some children’s tylenol, and I with a glass or three of Rioja. It took Nora no time at all to revert to a happy little tot, while I was still traumatized by what I had witnessed. Ever since, I have been praising Nora for her good behavior and bravery at the dentist, and I let her watch several episodes of Dora The Explorer, her current reward activity of choice.

Nora's New Filling

Ignore the white foam, as this was just after a toothbrushing. Note the black hole on the other side of her mouth and the horrible twisted nature of her bottom front teeth. The dentist said that Nora has particularly weak teeth.

Her local anesthesia has worn off already and she seems none the worse for her morning of dentistry. In the long run, until she reads this blog entry, she might not remember this event at all. All the better for her.

Even after all the emotional strife of today, I just want to say how thankful I am that I live in the first world and not only have access to top notch emergency dentistry when my child needs it, but that I have enough money in the bank so that I can afford it at a moment’s notice. What a privilege.

  • I only made it to 35 seconds of the video :~( I’m glad she has recovered from the trauma.
    It seems to me, in my amateur opinion, that the bottom teeth are twisted because that last tooth came in late and didn’t have enough room to be straight. No reason why the permanent teeth should have that problem too. She does have a family history of braces though so that may be her future too.

  • JoshAGrady

    ¡Que horror!  I’m glad that I haven’t seen myself in that situation.  (I am, however, sure that the trauma will take you much more time to overcome than it will for Nora.)  I’m not quite convinced that the whole “restraining the child” thing is the way I’d choose to do things, and do wonder if this isn’t one of those Spanish things that strike Americans as utterly barbaric.  Like I said, I haven’t seen myself in the situation, so I just don’t know how I’d have reacted.  

    I think that, all told, you deserve another glass of tinto. …and remember to floss.

  • Blessedscribe

    Erik, there are natural ways to help your cavities “heal over”. See this link to a woman who healed her son’s cavity using raw butter and oil.
    Aloe vera, sea salt, baking soda seem to do a good job of cleaning, as well.  Please Google alternative methods of reversing  cavities. A child shouldn’t have to get a cap…and “weak teeth” are all about mineral loss.  You might want to Google that, too. Finally, it’s not necessary to brush vigorously, but consistently; brush gently, polishing the complete tooth (even the edges), and floss.  Teach her how!
    God bless!  I enjoy your site.

  • Amaia

    Erik, I don´t know how you are going to convince Nora and yourself for her next appointment with the dentist.I¨m sure you both will easily remember this trauma at the waiting room. I´m absolutely convinced that after the anesthetic injection it´s painless but not your memories.

  • Erik, if you can get a hold of this chewing stick it’s got antiseptic properties your family will benefit from: 
    God bless.  Que le vaya bien a Ud. y a la nina!