Dental work on a 2 year old and trauma - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 03-14-2013, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My almost-2 year old has tooth decay on his top 3 teeth (he lost one front tooth due to a fall at 19 months). The remaining front tooth has brown spots at the top. The 2 side teeth are worse, and are starting to wear away at the bottom. We are working on remineralizing  naturally following a very strict protocol (brushing with Xylitol 5 times a day, MI paste, soaking grains, cod liver oil/butter oil), but in the meantime visited 2 pediatric dentists to see what our options were. 

The better of the two dentists examined him and found that the teeth are still appearing strong and there is no decay on any other teeth, but that they cannot tell about root damage without an xray. They would likely put crowns on the 2 side teeth and a filling on the front tooth. However, they cannot guarantee that they can save any of the teeth, because they won't know until they are able to get into his mouth and have an x-ray and clean the teeth under sedation. The dentist  recommended that we bring him in after he turns 2. The earliest we could get him in is the beginning of June (he turns 2 at the end of March). We saw the dentist in mid-February. 

The procedure sounds HORRIBLY traumatic. They give him an oral sedative (Versed.) He has to be a minimum of 25 lbs- he is currently 27 lbs, fully clothed. That in itself kind of scares me. The procedure in the office is that they then STRAP HIM DOWN to a papoose board. AND, I am not allowed to be there with him. 

I am torn. I want to try to save my son's teeth, but this seems awful and horribly traumatic to me. I don't' know if I can put him through that. He already hates doctors, dentists, and even hates me brushing his teeth (I have to hold him down) Some (more holistic minded) people tell me "They're only baby teeth. Why put him through it? Or, wait until he's older and better able to understand what's going on." Others (especially concerned family members) say "Kids are resilient. He'll get over it."  My mommy instinct says "NO! Don't strap down my baby" and my  head says "Yes, it makes sense to get it fixed, and the strong bond you have with him will help him through the trauma.' 

 

I just REALLY don't know what to do. Anyone have experience, insight or advice to share?

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#2 of 4 Old 03-14-2013, 11:47 AM
 
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I'm sorry that you are going through this. It's so hard to even think of your son having to go through dental work, never mind going through with it.

I know you said you saw 2 different pediatric dentists, but is there maybe one who would do a different approach instead of sedation/papoose? Maybe it's a lot less expensive than going the General anesthetic route. But from experience, there was no trauma for our son going under GA to get his dental work done. (He was 23 months at the time) He doesn't remember it and he loves going to the dentist and getting his teeth cleaned to this day. He is 3 now. We had really good coverage at the time of the oral surgery so everything was covered for it. But it is expensive if you don't have coverage.

I just remember looking up what a papoose was when we were looking into dentists, and I just told myself there was no way I would go that route. I didn't want to have to sedate my son at all, but holding him down while I couldn't be there just sounded barbaric to me. Not to mention I've heard horror stories of parents hearing their children screaming from the waiting area. Although if your son is mostly sedated and wouldn't be really conscious, maybe it would be okay.

If I were you I would ask how "sedated" your son would be. Will he remember it? Because if he will, then he would most likely be scared of dentists in the future.

Shop around for a good dentist. We saw 3 different dentists and ended up feeling the most comfortable with a dentist that is hours away from us. Not convenient but I wouldn't change a single detail about his oral surgery. It went better than expected and my son was back to normal the afternoon after, of course he had to recover from his 4 front teeth being pulled and we had to take precautions, but he was in good spirits and didn't remember a thing.

Mama to 1 handsome boy born Nov 29/2009 and 1 beautiful girl born May 21/2013 and wife to 1 handsome man, married since Jun 9/2007.

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#3 of 4 Old 03-14-2013, 12:58 PM
 
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When my older DD was about 3, we had to hold her down to do a small filling. There were 4 of us in the room, the Dentist, assistant, me holding her hands, and another assistant gently lying on her to hold her down while talking in her ear. It seemed really traumatic to me, and I had a few tears. But it was over quickly, and when she was done, she left the room happily showing off her freezy. She never has any problems going to the Dentist since then, and had her 2nd filling not long ago without too much drama.

Off topic, my younger child had to get stitches and was held down kicking and screaming, and all she remembers is the popcycle afterwards, and wants to go back!

I have to say, the idea of strapping them down, and not allowing a parent in the room would bother me, but in my experience, they seem to be more resilient than we think!


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#4 of 4 Old 03-15-2013, 10:44 AM
 
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Subbing... we are facing dental work, and i want to know/read as much as possible.

 

FWIW, I know I couldn't do an option that didn't allow me to be with him (barring him needing GA).

 

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aj- married to JA and mami to Bug (11/09) and Critter (1/12)!

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