I really do know my kid and I need to not be afraid to speak up and be his voice. And I hope the dental hygienist who worked with us also learned a lesson too. That not all kids fit into one category and to listen to the parents, sometimes they do know what they are talking about. Also that it is sometimes worth giving the kid the benefit of the doubt.
Leif had to have a filling repaired that was done in November. Back in November we went through the whole sedation thing. He was sedated, given nitrous oxide, anesthetic, was restrained and he STILL fought tooth and nail. It was an awful experience. Pure misery for both Leif and I. So in January when he had his routine exam and they found the filling had cracked, fear set in. However, it was at this appointment that I noted (as did the dentist) how well he did. He had x-rays (without anyone in the room), he let the hygienist clean his teeth and the dentist examine them, all sitting in the chair by himself.
I told the dentist with as how bad as the first filling appointment went as compared to how well the exam went, I was refusing to sedate him and to only use nitrous if necessary. Surprisingly, he was on board for the most part. He told me he wasn’t convinced it would work, but we would give it a shot.
This morning I suppose we didn’t get off on a good footing with the hygienist when she asked if he ate or drank anything this morning. I told her he had some cheerios and some apple juice. He was hungry. She huffed and puffed about instructions were to not eat because he could vomit with the nitrous and then choke. I blew it off much to her dismay.
At that point she was quite insistent that Leif lay on the table, with the nitrous mask on. My mistake. I had been under the impression that we would attempt nitrous as a last resort. I should have spoken up. Leif flipped. He was having none of the nitrous. At that point AB and I both suggested that we just try it without the nitrous and see how it goes. The hygienist literally rolled her eyes at us and said she needed to go talk with the doctor. She came back about 10 minutes later with the dentist – Leif was calmed down again.
I could tell he wasn’t overly thrilled at our requests, probably had forgotten what we discussed 8 weeks ago, but was willing to go with it as long as it didn’t get ridiculous. I am not looking to cause pain to my child, in fact, the opposite. I truly believe that if you take your time with Leif, show him the tools, explain to him what is going on, he will be receptive. He is a smart kid.
The dentist commented a few times how well Leif was doing, he asked AB if he wanted a job as a dental assistant. He also said that it is truly easier to do work when the child is calm and doesn’t have the nitrous mask on. He said he couldn’t believe that one of the easier fillings he would do all week was on a 2.5 year old. Then the hygienist actually commented to me that she could not believe how well Leif was doing, she had never seen a kid that young do so well. She offered Leif two toys instead of one from the special drawers when finished because he had done so well, but he really only wanted his two dinosaur flossers he pilfered from the exam room.
I am so proud, my 2.5 year old had a filling repaired without sedation, without nitrous, without restraint and without anesthetic (it was shallow) and without throwing a fit or a single tear. I DO know my kid.