Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Best Dentist Ever

Haley's history with the dentist has not been good.  At one of her early appointments the hygienist tried to put the bite wings in her mouth first thing and Haley wasn't having it.  They really couldn't do anything else with her after that.  The next time I asked them to clean her teeth first because of the previous experience.  They tried to sit the chair back.  No.  I sat on the chair and held her on my lap, we tried to lean the chair back.  No.  Haley does not like to lie back for anything.  Not for a haircut and not for the dentist.

I thought that she would like the cleaning because she used a tool that vibrated around her mouth in speech therapy and she seemed to like that, but even though they tried to clean her teeth with her still sitting up she really wouldn't cooperate.  The dentist came in to look at her teeth and told me that her constant drooling was keeping her teeth very clean.  I took comfort in that. 

True confessions:  She didn't see another dentist for six years.  I didn't do that intentionally.   I never said "Well she will not be going back to the dentist and that is that."  Time got away from me.  Next thing you know it was six years later and she hadn't seen a dentist and I panicked.

Luckily I was talking to a friend of mine about teeth and dentists and she recommended me to the dentist she takes her kids to.  Dentistry for Children.  I called them and explained our situation, Haley is developmentally delayed, Haley will not sit back, she probably won't even open her mouth, but she hasn't been to a dentist in six years and I know she needs to go.  They made an appointment for early in the morning before anyone else would be there.

We walked in to the office and Haley bee-lined straight for the Thomas the Tank Engine layout.  The place was full of toys and Disney music was playing from the overhead speakers.  They showed Haley around the office and let her look at each cubicle.  Each one was decorated differently; some with fish, some with woodland creatures and one with a pirate theme.   They also had a train set that ran around the office near the ceiling.  Haley loved the place.

They were very patient with Haley.  They tried to get her to sit back, but didn't push it too much.  They used a lot of cute techniques to get her to open her mouth.  The first couple of visits were just to get Haley used to the idea of being there.  I think it was about the fourth visit when they finally cleaned every tooth and got some x-rays.

The x-ray experience amazed me.  They could hold something in her mouth that was connected to the computer and in seconds the images were on the screen.  It was so efficient and quick.  Some of the hygienists are better than others at getting her to cooperate, but they are all so sweet.  They really love her there.

Haley had a appointment this week for a cleaning.  She has lost a lot of her baby teeth, but one is still hanging on.  She did pretty well getting her teeth cleaned and letting them check them over.  The hygienist that worked on her was a little timid and Haley can sense that.  She does better with someone that has a gentle but firm hand.  The doctor came in a checked her teeth and told me that he would like to see what they called a "pano" which would give him a better look at the state of her whole mouth.

Haley needed to stand still in a machine and put her chin on a rest and hold something in her mouth and bite down, the machine circled around her to take the picture.  I was dubious that she would do all of that, but she amazed me once again.  The picture was very interesting, we forgot to take her glasses off so on the screen was what looked like a giant grin wearing glasses.

The thing that stood out the most about the x-ray is that above the canine that had not come out yet was a tooth that sat at a right angle to the rest of her teeth.  The dentist said that the baby tooth would have to be extracted so that the rogue tooth would have a chance to come down.  He said that it might just come down on it's own and it might not, but if that baby tooth didn't come out that it would most likely not come down.

So I made an appointment to have her tooth extracted.  Tune in tomorrow to find out what happens next.

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