This is going to be a long back story, but I need some urgent advice.
I just finally finalized a pretty messy divorce from my DD's father, but we've been apart for 3.5 years now. She will be 5 in the spring and the last time she was at the dentist was about 2 years ago. I brought her in because she was complaining of some pain and sensitivity. Her teeth were a bit gray in color and in doing some of my own research I suspected some enamel issues. The pediatric dentist she saw confirm that diagnoses. He said that she did have some enamel on her teeth but that it was week and would likely cause issues until her grown up teeth came in. She had two cavities filled that day and he advised us to come in regularly to monitor her teeth. The bill for that visit was pretty big and I wasn't able to pay it, as I've had some really hard financial issues since leaving ex. He was unwilling to help me pay the bill, and to boot he canceled her dental insurance plan and hasn't had dental insurance since.
Fast forward to the present: For some reason he has now decided to be father of the year and take an active interest in her teeth. After 2 years of begging him to get dental insurance for her (she has had one broken tooth but hasn't complained of any pain at all) he brings her into a dental program for low income families. Might I add that he is NOT low income and is taking advantage of the system, something I wouldn't even dare do. Anyway, he brought her into a dentist on one of his weekends (I have primary custody, he gets every other weekend visitation) behind my back. Apparently the dentist said that she has TONS of issues. They found 4 cavities, two abscesses, and two broken teeth which need to be extracted. I don't have the ex-rays or paper work stating any of this. The dentist didn't bother contacting me, so I'm getting all of this information from my ex, who ironically happens to be a pathological liar. Ex told me that the dentist said that she DOESN'T have enamel issues, that this is a clear cut case of a child who eats candy all day long and doesn't brush her teeth. I assure you all that this is not the case. DD has egg and peanut allergies, so there is a lot of candy she can't even have. She never drinks pop or juice and we do our best to brush her teeth twice a day.
So I'm certain that these enamel issues do exist. Needless to say, they didn't do any of this work at the first visit. They said that she should probably be sedated due to the extent of the work. Ex has since been trying to find someone who will sedate her through this program with no luck. He still hasn't given in and gotten her dental insurance. I'm not working, so my options are very slim for insurance. May I also mention that he is military and has some of the BEST dental available. Ugh.
We now have an appointment on Friday morning that ex set up with a dentist who has agreed to see her through this free program. I'm bringing her in, but ex will be there too. They are going to do another exam and then try and do as much work as they can, but they won't put her under. They have gas available, but I'm a bit hesitant about it because I imagine it could be pretty scary for a kid. I prefer to bring her to her primary dentist and have him do the sedation and all the work all at once. One recovery, one visit, and she'd be done. But I realize it has to be taken care of and ex refuses to get the dental insurance, so I'm reluctantly going to this visit. I'd like to be more informed, though so that I can say no if something makes me uncomfortable.
So my main questions are: What do you think/know about the gas? What are the side effects? Do you think sedation is a better way to go with this amount of work? Do you know or have any experience with poor enamel and it's effects? Should I try to get her on some sort of stand alone dental insurance, cancel this appointment and bring her back to her primary dentist, or should we suck up the ex issues and the fact that everyone there thinks I'm a monster and go get this all done for free? What would you do in this situation? I'm trying to do what's best for her, but I need to be calm and collected to be there for her as well.
Sorry for the long post and all the messy history. I appreciate any advice.