Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thoughts on a First Filling

Today I took Max to the dentist for his first filling. Now, one thing you have to know about Max is he has little or no fear. He's a worrier, but has no fear. Meaning, I guess, he thinks about stuff... but when it comes to adventure, or the possibilty of pain... nope.

Also, these visits - doctor, dentist, whatever - are social visits. He has chats with all the people there, talks about stuff going on, whatever. He's totally relaxed.

So, at the last appointment I asked the dentist if they put the kids out, or what. He looked at me and said "DO NOT TELL HIM A THING! DO NOT call it a shot! DO NOT tell him anything!" Ok, ok, phew! My usual modus operandi (how often do you get to use THAT expression?!) is to prep my kids. Tell them exactly what to expect -- but I fugured this guy is a pediatric dentist.... so.....

So, we go in & Max is all "dum, de, dum... I'm at the dentist." And I'm all: "yikes, look at that tool, wonder what that's for! Look at that big needle!" (To myself!)

THe dentist comes in, Max puts on his shades (they give the kids sunglasses because of the overhead light) and they're ready. The dentist puts the initial numbing stuff on, and then tells Max he's going to feel a "tightness" and that his tooth will feel funny. I say nothing. He gets out the needle. I say nothing. He pokes Max. NOthing. He pokes again. Max: "ow!" I'm poised. Ready to pounce. But I'm looking at Max and he's still really totally relaxed. I don't see his feet moving, his hands clenching.... so I relax.

He gets the shots, they put this rubber sheet thingy around his mouth - that I've had before. That I HATE. But Max seems fine. Ok, well, he's fine... but MAN, I do so hate that rubber sheety thingy.... How could he not hate it? Isn't he miserable?!? Why is he ok?!?

So, they do it. I watch the drill going in, I see the tooth bleeding, and I see my son sitting there, totally calm, relaxed, and at one with the world.

So, the dentist finishes & then he starts to look at Max's loose tooth in the front. (This is a looose baby tooth that needed to come out - was sticking out in a funny way...) Now, it had been MY understanding that if this tooth did not fall out of it's own accord the dentist would take it out at the LAST tooth filling. Not the first. He gets some BIG plyers, and starts moving the tooth around. Max reacts: "OUCH THAT HURTS!" I am up. Out of the seat. Max is starting to squirm and is yelling. I"m about to belt the dentist & the tooth is out.

Max is fine. Wants to look at the bloody gauze, and it's SO COOL that the tooth has a really long root. And oh, the rubber sheety thingy - is SO COMFOTABLE. It's almost as comfortable as Squishy Pillow. (THe ultimate in comfort.)

So, what did I learn from this? 1) That my child is an absolutely separate person from me. 2) Gotta be quicker with my right hook.


Gwen said...

I miss my Xanga!

Charlotte is also far less scared of the dentist than I am, or used to be. I think dentistry has come a long way since we were kids and so our children aren't going to have the same residual fears that we do. She's had 3 fillings already with no pain killers at all. Astounding!

So what did the tooth fairy bring Max?

ALM said...

After much deliberation the tooth fair brought Max one dollar. But he really has no appreciation/concept of money. (Although he did say the other day: "That house has a dentist's office in it - they must be rich." Appalling!!)