Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Trip to the Dentist: Reflux Strikes Again

I took both kids to the dentist today, and Nolan chose to go first. He climbed into the chair and let the hygienist clean and count his teeth. He is amazingly good at the dentist, probably because having teeth cleaned is a walk through the park compared to some of the things he goes through at the ENT's office. The dentist came in for a look, and both discussed a "soft spot" on his enamel that looks like acid damage.

"Does he have acid reflux?" they asked me.

Boy, does he ever. Words couldn't convey how severe his reflux is, so I just nodded my head.

I'm actually surprised that he's avoided dental issues with the level of reflux he has. Fortunately (for dental reasons) the airway reflux is less damaging to teeth. Still, his very breath has acid droplets in it and that eventually causes damage. He's also a tooth grinder, so his teeth are wearing away in the back. Lovely.

I get to take him back in tomorrow for his first "filling." They're actually billing it as a "sealant" because that is cheaper - we don't have dental insurance and the drilling will be minimal. They may be able to get away with no drilling, and simply seal over the soft spot. I am fervently hoping they won't need to drill. Fortunately, we caught the small area of decay early before it had a chance to do any real damage.

Of course, Matt was next. He was NOT so easy. They wanted to get his first set of dental X-rays, and Matt refused. This was as close to the machine as he would allow himself to get.

He would back off, talking constantly. He wanted to know where the wires were. How the machine worked. Why he needed X-rays. Why he had teeth.

He balked at the machine for a full forty minutes. Forty. Minutes.

I would have given up long before those hygienists did. I'm pretty sure they're angels or something. They finally got Matt to bite the yellow stick and hold still for 15 seconds. We got the X-rays. His mouth is beautiful - no cavities! His adult front teeth are right there and should start to pop through soon. He has something they called "buckling," which I had as a kid, too. His adult teeth are coming in BEHIND his baby teeth. Mine did the same thing - I walked around with a double row of teeth for a while. It was kind of cool in the "I have shark teeth" sort of way.

They may have to pull his baby teeth if they don't loosen on their own - hopefully that won't be necessary. Because after the trauma of the dreaded X-Ray machine, I don't think any of us would live through a Pulling of the Teeth.

I think I owe those two hygienists chocolate. Or dinner out. Or a vacation to Hawaii. They put up with a lot today.

Nolan goes back in at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon. Matt, fortunately, doesn't have to go back in for another six months.


Kyla said...

BubTar has a dentist appointment this afternoon. It must be that time of year! I canceled KayTar's because her previous two appointments have been epic, traumatic failures...so we're going to see a dentist at the children's hospital so they can sedate her for a cleaning (hopefully). That is the only way they are going to get in there. KayTar would literally rather have surgery (or a shot or ANYTHING else). It is the worst. She is a tooth grinder, too, and gets tartar incredibly fast, so she really needs someone to get a good look in there.

I've never had a real cavity, but when I was younger I had a weak spot like Nolan that they were able to put sealant over to fix up and it didn't ruin my perfect record. ;) Hope that is the case for Nolan, too.

dlefler said...

It was a piece of cake, thank goodness. No drilling and no trauma - they just cleaned it out and put sealant on it. $25 and we were out the door (they were exceptionally nice and gave us a discount because it is a baby tooth that will eventually fall out, anyway).

I am terrified of the dentist (traumatic history - I had a dentist who was addicted to prescription painkillers and didn't seal any of my fillings, leading to root canals and all sorts of horrors). The dentist skipped town and left his hygienists, everyone! It was horrible. I go to a good dentist now, thank goodness, but it was a nightmare in the beginning! I don't want the boys to EVER have to go through that!

Timothy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sonic Toothbrush Review said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jamar Schaffer said...

Poor Nolan! My cousin had the same thing when he was younger. I’m not sure how he kept his acid reflux at bay, but back when he couldn’t, his teeth suffered quite a bit. It’s a good thing you had his teeth checked when you did, and were able to catch the damage before they could be even worse and spread. I’m sorry that you had quite a bit of trouble with Matt and the machines. I’m sure it’s just his natural curiosity. Hey, it could be worse! At least he didn’t throw tantrums, haha! It’s good that the hygienists were so patient with him. I’m sure they’re used to all kinds of children’s behavior in the dental clinic by now!

dlefler said...

Reflux is very frustrating.. and Nolan's teeth are worsened by his grinding (he has sleep apnea and grinds his teeth at night). He had to get a proper filling in that tooth this year - hopefully it will hold until that tooth falls out. We make frequent trips to the dentist to make sure his teeth are well!