Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Tristan goes to the dentist

Tristan had his first visit with the dentist this week. He did amazingly well - frankly, I was shocked. Even I don't usually sit still that long without fidgetting. He sat not only through the examination and scaling (where they scrape the placque off with a metal tool - I hate that part), but through an entire tooth polishing as well. He only balked at the very last minute, leaving one lonely tooth unpolished.

I'd like to think me sitting beside him smiling bravely kept him from being afraid, but frankly, I think it just didn't occur to him to be scared of the dentist. Personally, it took me 10 years of seeing my current goddess of a dentist to get over the preceding 25 years of dental misadventures.

As a very young woman, I had one dentist who had a horrible stutter and a worse temper, and when I kept insisting that the freezing he was injecting wasn't taking despite his best efforts, he pitched a tantrum and threw one of his tools across the room. One of my first dentists lost his licence to practice for misprescribing medication, among other mistakes. The only thing that really holds my teeth together anymore is the fillings, veneers, caps and crowns - I think I have more artificial stuff in my mouth than natural enamel. So needless to say, I have issues of my own, and am making a Herculean effort not to pass them on to my boys.

Sadly for Tristan, what I have passed on is crummy, decay-susceptible teeth. He's three years old, fer crissakes, and has pits in his left and right upper molars that need to be filled. Who knew they even did fillings for baby teeth? My stomach aches at the thought of him having to go through this.

My dentist has recommended he see a pediatric dentist, partly for the specialization and partly so he doesn't associate the trauma (please excuse me while I sob just a little bit) with his regular dental visits. Apparently they'll probably give him gas or something to make it easier. But, will they give me some, too?

My dentist wants to talk with the pediatric dentist in person to discuss options before we commit to a treatment plan. But she said if we don't do something now, even if it is as simple as covering the pits without drilling, the pits will develop into full-fledged cavities requiring fillings within six months.

Oh, and one other bit of trivia - he has too many teeth. On the top, he has what looks like five incisors, an extra one on the top left. Hmph. There's probably something witty to be said there, but I'm a little too freaked out by the idea of this whole fillings-for-my-three-year-old thing to see it just now.