Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gingivitis (updated)

Evan started having foul breath and pain while eating this weekend. I scheduled an appointment with the dentist that is going to be doing his massive mouth overhaul in June since I was worried that he had an infected tooth or something. It turns out it was bad gingivitis (I had also noticed the gums bleeding but had attributed it to a high INR since his levels have been high for three weeks). He is going to have a strong antibacterial mouth wash painted in his mouth after brushing (fun times).

We are using a dental school for this major tooth undertaking (don't worry a real dentist will be doing his work) because I felt it would be best to have the option of Evan's cardiologist being around and this place is the only one that works at the hospital Evan goes to. The school deals with a lot of lower educated folk that need the cheaper services of a dental school. What bothers me though is that they just assumed that I had no idea about basic dental care.

Yes, I know that Evan has several bad cavities. Yes, I know it may on the surface look like I was being a horrible mother since his mouth ended up so bad, but really I am not. No, he does not eat a lot of candy. No, I do not give him juice all day. No, I never gave him a bottle to take to bed. Yes, I know a healthy diet means fruits and veggies. Flossing is important, I know. It is just really hard if he is not very willing. Yes I brush his teeth myself, if I let him do it he would only chew on the brush a bit.

Another creepy thing was the real dentist talking with the student dentist right in front of me and telling the student dentist to go over brushing with me. I wanted to raise my hand and let her know that I was listening and understanding what she was saying right in front of me. It was not like I was speaking a different language and could not understand her (not that it would excuse that). i guess I know how little kids feel sometimes. I am just happy that once this is all over we can go back to our really nice pediatric dentist that is near home.

Laura's comment reminded me of something that I forgot to write about. Real dentist took the time to explain to little ol' me why were were putting him under general anesthesia. She explained that it would be very traumatic to him if they had tried to simply restrain him while they were working on his teeth. I was shocked with that one. Does she really think that I would have preferred the cheaper option of tyeing down my son letting him scream an cry for several house while they worked on him. How sadistic did she think I was? If they had not offered the option of knocking him out I would have insisted on it plain and simple. Maybe if he was a lot older I would have told him to buck up and inhale laughing gas (my first few fillings I had to have it since I was so anxious about the process too) but a three year old just does not have that kind of understanding.

12 comments:

chichimama said...

Ulgh, so sorry. Some folks just don't have a good bedside manner...

Anne/kq said...

Grr, it bugs me too when people assume you know nothing, but you have to just keep biting your tongue and thinking, "This probably helps a lot of people."

I got my TMJ treated at a dental school as a teenager and it was a good experience-- except when they put something on my cheek I was allergic to, and then ran around trying to figure out what to do! Luckily my mother the nurse was there...

I've looked into rates and I guess I'm going to have to have my wisdom teeth extracted at a dental school (maybe next year when we get our tax return) because that's the only way we're ever going to be able to afford it.

Pendullum said...

My singing dentist, has told me that cavities are on the rise and they do not know why.
It is not because of lack of brushing, or flossing,or fruit drinks or bottled waters... There is no real rhyme or reason to it... But he has seen an increase over the years and it is not due to 'poor education'.


I do not know why your dentist would tell the student such bogus stuff... Except to emabress you.. and that is just pathetic...

Poor Evan, poor you...

Magpie said...

It's really wrong when doctors talk down to people, it's so damned patronizing.

Midlife Midwife said...

Just having a child with bad teeth doesn't mean you aren't a good mom! My son with the worst teeth (he teases that he is a professional dental patient) was my one who refused to eat anything with sugar and never drank soda. He was the one with multiple cavities at each visit. Come to find out he has very thin dental enamel. Genetics got the better of him.

However, he is also the one with the leaky heart valves, so keeping up on dental care was important to decrease chances of endocarditis. Kuddo's to you for getting Evan the care he needs!!!

Next time the dentist (or doctor) talks over your head as if you weren't there, don't be afraid to speak up and ask them not to do it. Students don't just learn from their instructors, they learn from every patient. So speak up and teach them. Educate them on Evan, talk to them about how difficult it is to brush his teeth (make them really work by asking them if any of Evan's medications have an effect on his dental health). Tell them you resent being spoken down to. You are one of the best teachers.

Laura said...

i'm cringing
i believe we are finally in a place to take our boy (after all the years of dealing with his oral aversion issues)to the dentist. every pediatric dentist i have interviewed seems to believe the only way to deal with an anxious, uncooperative child is restrain them....not acceptable imho.
still as we ready to take our 5 y/o to the dentist i know there will be much to discuss: gums, crowding, palate, plaque and potential caries. frankly, i don't think i could be as gracious and patient as you.

Her Bad Mother said...

As someone who is terified of dentists and terrified of passing on her terror to her children this post terrified me.

But it was important for me to read. Cuz I'm gonna be there, someday.

Zephra said...

I got the same crap from my dentist when Zain (my enthusiastic brusher) had 4 cavities and Sara (only brushes when ordered) had none. Ironic huh?

chelle said...

aww poor little guy ... I so hate "professionals" that treat mothers like we are dorks!!!

Gina said...

I read somewhere that it has little or nothing to do with brushing your teeth, that some people are just susceptible to cavities.

I'm sorry they were so durn rude.

ami said...

You know, it is my best brusher that has the most cavities too. When she was only 18 months old she had 13 cavities. She's 12 now, and we are taking her to the endodontist tomorrow for a root canal.

She is also our most anxious child, and had a very bad experience with a regular dentist. So we found a great pediatric dentist. For very anxious patients, he had them take oral sedation. It worked pretty well. Sometimes the kids got upset, but it also caused amnesia, so that their memory of the event was fuzzy if it was there at all.

Dave said...

This story bugs me a bit too. It is disturbing to be accused (or feel like you are being accused) of not taking care of his teeth properly.

Dentists should be fully aware that that many times regular brushing and flossing are not enough to prevent gingivitis.

They should know this because the stats show that up to 80% of adults have it or even worse, gum disease. If brushing and flossing were enough, that shouldn't be the case, right?

I wonder if your dentist would approve of using a HydroFloss with him on a low setting?

It might help tremendously - I don't know. Maybe worth a try?