Sunday, July 8, 2012

Kanoa gets his split tooth pulled out 7/6/2012

On the way to the dentist.  Some background.....We had used healozone for over a year and a half as well as MI paste and gave him lots of good cow butter on toast and things (Ramiel Nagel's book Heal Tooth Decay).  I had been using sprax candies and xylitol toothpaste and MI paste, but did give him sweeties as he wanted them most of the time.  Finally when the tooth abscessed about two to three weeks ago, I read about what to do and spoke to different people about whether or not extraction was necessary.  Although one person wrote that she had had an abscess and not had her tooth extracted and all went fine, all the rest thought that extraction was necessary for various reasons and everything I read concurred with that as well.  I am glad that worked for her and so grateful she wrote to me to share her experience, but felt that for Kanoa's situation, that extraction was indeed what I thought was best.  Jim agreed.  I had interviewed several dentists about extraction and what if any kind of anesthesia would be needed.  I contacted the two dentists I considered and we met with one of them again and finally went with the one that both Jim and I felt used the safest medication.  We both liked this dentist and staff so much and felt that they were a great fit for this situation with Kanoa. And I am so glad we used this office!!  By using them, Kanoa did not need anything but lidocaine (we tried briefly the nitrous, but he didn't really want to keep on the nose mask, so when I went on the chair, the dentist said she wouldn't need it).  Because we only used lidocaine (and even if we had used the nitrous), he could eat, drink and nurse as he wanted to.  Had we gone with general anesthesia, he would not have been able to nurse or have anything by mouth after midnight.  I think people might wonder if he had this bad experience and was awake for it if he'd feel afraid of the dentist from now on.  Well, I don't know.  But I am still going to make the safest and best choice for Kanoa that I can make and not be fearful of future what-if scenarios.  I will take it one step at a time and not push what is not necessary.  This difficult situation was one difficult situation.  I don't normally force these kinds of things on my child.  I think he knows it.  We did some talking gently beforehand a few times.  He didn't respond much, but I know he heard me.  I think he still trusts me (in spite of this one difficult experience....I was honest with him about what to expect and why we needed to do it and I was grateful that we were able to go for a year and a half since it was first recommended for extraction....even though I had hoped that he could have avoided pulling it out at all).  Only time will tell how he'll feel in the future if/when he has a dental appointment.  I will follow his lead.  He doesn't have to go or open his mouth or do anything that he doesn't feel comfortable with.  And I won't make him unless his health is in jeopardy, so likely he'll have alot of time to get used to working with dentists as he sees fit.

Brought things I thought that might be comforting and some favorite books (Can We Sleep Here Tonight, Katy Cat and Beaky Boo a lift the flap book, and Harry the Dirty Dog a treasury of three stories)

Waiting Room - We drew pictures of different kinds of ice cream that  different people would like and played various kinds of waiting games.  I forgot his DS!!!  It was still home being charged up.  Li and Makana shared theirs, but the Kirby game was home and that was his favorite.  He wanted to hide under the chairs and not have the appointment.  But Daddy distracted him into interesting things to do.  Finally he was called and only he and I were to go in.  He said he had to pee first, so he used the bathroom first.  

It wasn't totally easy.  The helper who I love took his blood pressure.  She was supposed to leave the cuff on, but he didn't want it on and so she took it off.  She gave him a q-tip with the cherry numbing stuff on it and he held it.  I saw him start to put it toward his mouth and he touched it to his tongue as I said, "Don't put that in your mouth."  My words and the numbing feeling weren't good and he cried and wanted water to get the taste out.  He had water and then wanted to switch seats.  So he moved to the seat where customers usually sit and I moved to the seat on the side of the room.  When the dentist came in, the helper explained what happened that had caused the crying.  We then were ready to begin the work.  He wanted to sit by himself and so we tried that, but he wouldn't let them put the numbing stuff on his tooth and started moving.  I asked if he could sit on my lap and so we tried that.  I know this sounds horrible, but I helped to hold him while they did what they needed to do, holding head still and trying to keep his legs from knocking down the instrument table and people.  One helper also helped to hold a leg that got loose as she continued to try to give the dentist whatever tool she needed and also use the liquid sucker instrument.  Another helper talked gently into his ear reminding him of ice cream and saying things to try to comfort him.  I don't even remember what I had tried to say, but decided to be quiet as there was enough going on.  During one moment, I asked the dentist if she was okay and she said she was fine.  I was relieved that she was okay to keep working and just get that tooth out, even though it was this hard.  I would have hated to stop at that point only to have to do it again another time!  He screamed when the numbing stuff was smeared on and especially when he got the shot to numb his tooth.  He was still very upset when the dentist was working to pull the tooth, though it was done VERY quickly.  When it was out, the dentist said it was all done.  I no longer held him, but tried to comfort him.  I nursed his bloody numb mouth for just a few moments and then he didn't want to nurse, but was so upset.  That is when he was free to move and he needed to thrash around.  There was concern  from the helper that he might hurt his head on the chair and so I moved to the floor and let him stand and tried to comfort him there.  He began to move in upsetness again and I sat indian style and tried to comfort him or just Be there with him letting him get out what he needed to.  But the dentist started to yell at him to "stop it now" - and I think she truly just didn't know what to do and maybe thought that would help or isn't used to that much upsetness being allowed and most of all she probably didn't want him to hurt himself or her equipment in the small room - and I did get that and immediately and simply asked if she wanted me to take him outside. She agreed and as I picked Kanoa up into my arms he began to relax.  Perhaps the act of standing up and holding him was comforting (and I should have realized that as I know this about him but forgot in that moment) and as we were heading out of the room Jim and the kids were there and I asked Jim to get our stuff and I went out the exit doors that the helper opened for us right to the sunshine.  The dentist came outside and the helper and they sat on the steps and we briefly talked.  She told me that I did great in handling it and that she agreed with my concerns regarding safety of anesthesia.  I asked a question about how to care for the missing tooth area and the healing process.  Jim got the how to care for him paper and she said she'd bill us and that if we ever needed her services again to let her know.  I asked her if we could take the tooth home and she said it was full of bacteria, but we could take a picture of it.  Jim went back in to take a picture of the tooth.  I would have spoken to her more about WHY we couldn't take the tooth home, but Kanoa started to want to go to the car and that took my attention.  I gave the dentist and one of the helpers a hug and thanked them again and off to the van we went.  On to get ice cream!!  We brought our pictures of the ice cream dishes we drew with us.  Phew!!!!  A zillion times phew!!!  So glad that was over with.  My stomach was in such knots in the morning and I ended up with a headache till the next morning.  I wonder how Kanoa felt as he isn't able to say how he feels very much.  I know some three year olds could, but Kanoa is Kanoa and doesn't express himself as clearly or as much as others might.  So, I wonder how he was feeling beforehand and during and after.  Oh...and with the mouth opener, they used it when they needed it, but took it out when they didn't HAVE to use it as they could see that was difficult for him.  I was grateful that they really paid attention to what worked and didn't work for him.  I would recommend that dentist to someone for sure!  They made this experience pretty darn good in spite of it not being easy for Kanoa.  I am grateful.

Getting out of the car to go get ice cream.  

Things are looking a little better.

Trying to enjoy what normally seems good.

Sigh.....wish it had been easier for him.  I love him so much.

The other kids got sundaes which we don't normally get.  

Blood on my shirt from his mouth.

He did bounce back to normal quite fast.  We went home and he watched silly videos with Makana and laughed big belly laughs.  Then Kanoa and I watched Land Before Time IV while snuggling on the couch.  He ate some quesadilla while we watched.  By evening he was playing Just Dance III with Katie and Makana.  Dancing around like he felt great. 

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