stuck between a rock and a hard place

god i hate it when life happens like this. i get stuck in this cycle of worry and stress and feel the world is spinning. i know we’ll make it through this, and probably everything will be fine eventually…but in the meantime i’m so friggin scared and stressed and it SUCKS!

my baby boy has cavities. not a surprise…he fights tooth brushings tooth and nail. we’ve been very lax about it til recent months. we still at least once, often more times, a week have to literally sit on him and pin his limbs to brush those teeth. *sigh* it seriously sucks. we’ve tried everything we can think of…this boy is really stubborn. we really have tried to make it fun…we’ve tried SOOOO much! but it comes down to pinning him down so often. sometimes we can distract him and sometimes he’s mostly fine…never easy, but he’ll open his mouth for short periods sometimes…i think he’s getting better. he has to. because now he has cavities.

and the dentist wants to send him to a clinic an hour away and be put under general anesthesia and that SCARES THE CRAP OUTTA ME!!!

we took him to the dentist for the first time last week…and for some reason he tolerated the xrays (maeven had just gone before him and he was still sorta figuring out what was going on, i think)…but after watching maeven finish getting her teeth cleaned and it was his turn, he flipped out and would NOT let them touch him and started hysterical crying. darn near broke my heart.

and i couldn’t process what they were telling me at the time…they backed off the cleaning and said he needed to be referred out anyway…because of his age and the amount of cavities (they still haven’t told me how many, just that its “at least 3” because they “refer out once they hit 3”) and because of his anxiety. they didn’t even really try. they just immediately backed off, which i was sorta glad of but the more i think of it, i wonder if there might have been a better way to approach him. to try to gain his trust. well but my son IS stubborn and once he’s worked up its hard to calm him…i don’t know…

anyway so the dentist never even met him. he was busy with another patient…i got the distinct impression they just wanted to send this crying child “problem” quickly elsewhere. dentist couldn’t even come meet him! he’s never been particularly friendly though, so doesn’t surprise me.

i took my crying son and went home and he told me over and over for the rest of the day that he didn’t want to go to the dentist anymore. but the xrays showed he needs work done. *sigh*

i really hoped that we could ride out things until he was old enough to brush himself. i really hoped that we would just luck out. but we didn’t. so now what?

well i’m going round and round with all kinds of options…and none feel all that great.

so i asked my friends on the apmommies list for advice and another dentist was recommended to me and i really wanted a second opinion. my husband feels like he just doesn’t like the idea of having to drive an hour to a place we know nothing about…but for me i’m hoping that we don’t have to do general at all…i don’t know i guess i want a miracle or something.

called and made an appt with the 2nd dentist, called the first dentist to see about getting the xrays sent…was told sure, fine, get a second opinion but then don’t come back. shock. disbelief. i was like, “uh, excuse me?” so basically sure you can get a second opinion but you cannot come back once the records are sent out. i told them that was screwed. they told me that was their office policy. talked to the supervisor, she went around with why i should just do this and that he won’t remember anything (and i’m thinking, that’s not what i’m asking), and finally says that the policy is in place to help prevent parents from doctor hopping, which will stress the kids out more. yeah bullshit. this is nuts! so now i don’t want to go back anyway!

but here’s the catch…they take healthy families…this new dentist doesn’t. *sigh* but i took tyr there anyway, to see if he could see anything that might make things better or something, i don’t know. found out that the new dentist thinks that policy is weird too…and no, they don’t have a similar policy…they think parents should be able to get second opinions.

took tyr to the new dentist and tyr freaked out again and wouldn’t even let the doctor look at him, much less look in his mouth. no way no how. freakazoid city. NOTHING would distract him.

so now what? well the new dentist is saying i could look into local options that take healthy families…i don’t really like this option because the hospital that does it is a really icky one. its where you go if you have no insurance and they treat you like cattle there…i know because i had to go there a few times years ago when i didn’t have insurance and i hated every minute of it. the place gives me the heebie jeebies. don’t want to take my child there.

the other thing that gnaws in the back of my mind is why this first dentist referred us out of town…he said he doesn’t like to refer to anyone local because he’s not been happy with their work. great.

well this new dentist does work under general at children’s hospital and i do feel more comfortable with this option. but money is a huge issue. he says it will be at least a thousand or 2…or more, who knows? they won’t know til they get in there and look. which right now isn’t going to happen without drugs.

well, needless to say i’m pretty freaked and have been quite unable to focus on much of anything else. i’m going to be a basketcase until this is all over.

looking into getting tyr books and videos on going to the dentist and toys to play dentist…going to work on brushing him after every meal (was only doing it at night before) to get him more used to having his mouth handled…and going to play lots of pretend dentist. start getting him less fearful. and then hopefully we can attempt another visit to this new dentist and get that second opinion that we’ve not gotten yet.

i keep hoping there’s something that can be done to stave off worse damage while we buy some time for him to mature a little more and hopefully go into a new, less fearful phase.

until then, i’m going to be a ball of nerves…potty training is on hold for now. i can only handle one thing at a time.

  1. Rhonda


    I’m going to suggest something that probably sounds drastic so take it for what it’s worth.

    Is he in pain? If he isn’t and it were me I’d leave it alone. Yes I know the dentist will tell you that’s crazy. But IMO you have a much better chance of setting up a life long dentist anxiety {I’ll tell you MY story some day!} than you do causing life long harm from those cavities. Yes he may need more work when he is a bit older but at least he will have had time to mature and tolerate it better.

    I would just keep encouraging the brushing and get him xylitol. Xylitol can actually reverse some decay, or at least halt the progression. If he is eating things that are bad for his teeth then stop letting him have it. Stubborn or no if he is not willing to brush and take care of his teeth then he cannot have the things that encourage decay. It will be hard and it will be tempting to give in but this is the one thing you can control to promote healthier teeth.

    Also…I have not been happy with Dr. Lee lately. I’m beginning to think his work is crap. Laryssa has had THREE fillings fall out and when I took her back a while ago suddenly she needed all this new work done. I know there are honest dentists out there but I have been dealing with this stuff so much with all my kids and I really do think a lot of them are more in it for the $$ than anything. If you find an honest dentist you need to stick with them!!

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