Friday, February 09, 2007

tooth ordeal, the final chapter (I HOPE!)

Today was the day! Jacob got his 2nd (and last, at least for the present time) cavity filled.

He was very calm going in -- we'd been discussing the fact that the dentist wanted him to switch to a "big boy "toothpaste (something with fluoride, he's still using the same Gerber baby toothpaste we started him on at 5 months of age), so the first thing we did was talk to the hygeinist about it, and she got him a tube of Colgate kids' toothpaste. He brought it out to me to hold onto for him, and went willingly with his "friend" to the treatment area. I heard him chatting with her and the dentist as he climbed in the chair.

It didn't take long for things to go bad, though. I heard the dentist tell him that he was going to give him a ride (tipping the chair back), and that was followed almost immediately by sounds of distress. I'm not sure if Jacob caught sight of the needle or what exactly happened, but things went from totally calm to screaming and threatening in about 5 seconds flat. The dentist was being firm and telling him what he MUST do, the hygeinist was begging him to hold still, and Jacob was pleading to be let out of the chair. This was followed by general anxiety sounds, then the loud, escalating repetition of "are you done yet, are you done yet, ARE YOU DONE YET??" I heard the dentist, in a soothing voice, say something to try to calm him (obviously the novacaine was already injected at that point), telling him that they needed to rest and give his tooth time to go to sleep. I heard Jacob yell back "I DON'T WANT MY TEETH CLEAN!" His voice returned to a lower volume soon thereafter and I could hear him nervously answering questions. Eventually I heard the dentist inquire if he could feel something (probably a probe to see if he was numb enough), followed shortly by Jacob shrieking "NO NO NO NO NOT THE WHISTLE I DON'T WANT THE WHISTLE I'M AFRAID OF IT!!!" as the dentist turned on the drill. A tussle apparently ensued, I was on my feet in the waiting room, on the verge of dashing in, when I heard the dentist's firm, commanding voice say "Jacob, you HAVE to hold still or else we will have an accident". He then spoke in a softer voice asking Jacob about trains and train whistles (apparently they call the drill/polisher a "whistle" with him) and after that Jacob calmed down tremendously. I'm not sure if it was the firmness in which the dentist dealt with him, or if he just gave in to the inevitableness of the situation, but I didn't hear a cry, a wimper, or another sound from him, though I did hear lots of praise from both the hygeinist and the dentist at how good he was being. I suspect that someone finally thought to tell him that this was the LAST time he had to have this done, so he just needed to hold still and he wouldn't have to come back for this again -- that would have been motivation to "suck it up" and just get through it for him. I settled back into my seat, and nervously flipped through a magazine without ever looking at the pages.

Finally it was done. The dentist hollered for me to come on back, and there was Jacob sitting on the edge of the chair, picking through a basket of toy "prizes". His face was flushed, but overall his composure was good, much better than after the first visit. I guess something can be said for understanding what's about to happen -- even though it was something he really hated, at least he knew how the whole thing was going to go and that he WOULD get through it. A big hip hooray for RDI for that one, that most certainly would NOT have mattered to him before. I assured him that the next time he came in, it would NOT be for this, it would just be the cleaning that he likes to do, and he said "Yeah, I know, they told me that". And with that he trotted off to the waiting room to play Pac-man until I convinced him it was time to go.

THE END. I hope. You know I'll be scrubbing and flossing the heck out of his teeth from this point forward.


At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OH my goodness, if Jacob can make it through that with a feeling of
competence and proper perspective
he will be able to make it through
lots of other "problems" in the future. WOW nice job Jacob, yea
RDI. Shelley that MUST have been
hard to sit and listen to. EEK!!
thanks for sharing Rhonda (poohder2005)


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