Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Endings, Dentist-style

Rachel has never been a big fan of the dentist.  She has warily tolerated teeth cleanings, as long as they are fast.  But she doesn't much care for in depth dental exploration.  This past summer, the dentist found a cavity in one of her molars and scheduled her in for it to be filled.  So began the dental saga...

Steve took Rachel in for the tooth filling.  She wasn't happy, but she allowed the dentist to clean out the tooth.  But when it came time to fill it, she clamped her jaws shut and refused any further dental procedures.  So, the dentist rescheduled her and gave her a prescription for valium.  Surely that would do the trick.

I took Rachel back to the dentist, dosed with valium.  She started crying before we walked in the door.  We sat around waiting for the valium and nitrous oxide to kick in.  They never did.  Apparently, neither laughing gas nor valium have any effect on my 3 year old!  Rachel eventually calmed down and happily explored every piece of equipment in the dentist office, but absolutely refused to open her mouth.  The dentist commented, "She's strong willed, isn't she?"  Um, yeah.  We finally gave up and the dentist suggested we find a pediatric dentist who could sedate Rachel.

I started calling pediatric dentists, all of whom were in the city, an hour from our house.  One dentist said she could get Rae in some time in March.  Somehow, since she has a hole in her tooth, I thought that was a bit too late.

On Monday, I found a dentist that could work Rachel in.  Today!  I was shocked and quite relieved.  It took a lot of paperwork and many phone calls, but we got everything in place.  So, today was the big Dental Adventure Day.  Since she was going to be put clear under with anesthesia, Rachel couldn't have anything but clear liquids to eat this morning.  She couldn't believe her good fortune when I announced that she could have all the popsicles she wanted - for breakfast!
After three popsicles (in three different flavors, of course), some jello, and part of a slush, we picked up Granny and drove to the city.  We did some shopping to distract Rae from the fact that luch time was fast approaching and she wasn't going to get anything to eat.  Granny needed to stop at the pet store to buy cat food.  Rachel discovered the tiny shopping carts there and was absolutely delighted!
We made a couple more quick stops and then killed time in the toy store.  Rachel found some fabulous princess glasses to try on.
Then it was time to go see Dr. Mike.  We were the only people in the office and I was really impressed with the entire process.  The dentist and anesthesiologist came out and chatted with Rachel, who was happy to put on her charm.  The anesthesiologist gave her a quick, unseen shot in the behind and convinced her that the office had a bug problem and a big mosquito had just bitten her!  Within two minutes, Rae was out cold. 

Rachel's surgery went beautifully, and it turns out that it was a good thing we'd brought her in.  The dentist took x-rays and checked out her teeth.  She had another cavity that needed filled.  And while he was poking around, one of her molars cracked into pieces!  It seems some of her molars are not properly formed and are really fragile.  (Genes or maternal nutrition can have a huge impact on tooth formation - yet another reason that it is sad and frustrating to know nothing at all about my girls' birth parents.)  So, a simple filling turned into a filling, 3 crowns, sealants, and flouride treatment.  I am SO glad that Rachel could just sleep through all that!

After two hours in never-never land, Rachel woke up.  She was happy and flirty and totally loopy.  It was pretty funny to watch!  She knew where she was and who everyone around her was.  (One of the first things she said was "Hey, Dr. Mike!"  But her words were slurred and she had no motor control.  She has like a noodle, her balance was way off, her eyes were droopy, and she couldn't hold on to anything.  She commented that she "must be dizzy".  She remembered nothing at all of the surgery, was in no pain, and was convinced that "We only been here a little tiny while" instead of nearly 3 hours.  Here is Granny and Rae in all her drugged glory.
Rachel hadn't eaten anything (except popsicles) for over 20 hours, so food was our next priority.  Rachel, of course, asked for noodles.  So half an hour and a big bowl of noodles later, she was back to herself.
Rachel is very proud of her "shiny teeth" and will happily show them to anyone who shows the slightest interest.  Dental Adventure Day was a smashing success.  Now we just have to pay off the bills....

1 comment:

I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

The Ladybug Sisters


Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way