Like many people, I developed strongly negative feelings about my dentist when I was a kid. Perhaps it was the time I had four teeth pulled and then went back to school with bloody gauze stuffed in my mouth, or the numerous fillings, or the 36 months I spent wearing braces. Whatever it was, visits to the dentist were always met with fear and apprehension.
So, I was particularly sensitive to A’s situation over the past couple of months. When his cheek ballooned back in March, I thought he might have the mumps. It turned out he had a badly abscessed molar, and on further inspection, he had a number of cavities.
I sat with him at our regular dentist and watched helplessly as this large man spent 45 minutes trying to save the tooth before finally deciding it had to come out. After several needles and having his mouth pried open by multiple fingers, pliers, and suction tubes, A decided he had had enough and refused to open his mouth again. The dentist threw up his hands and said he couldn’t continue.
Fortunately, we were referred to Kids and Teens Dentistry, and we couldn’t be happier. The dentists and staff are completely focused on making the experience as kid-friendly as possible, and I only wish we had something like this when I was younger.
The mood is set as soon as you walk in the door of the funky, modular office. The décor is whimsical, there are Xbox games to play, and a movie room where kids can hang out. The dental suites have themes, and kids can watch movies on the ceiling and listen through headphones while work is getting done. When the visit is over, they get a token to put in the Treasure Tree and get a little knick-knack to take home.
For the extraction of A’s molar, they used conscious sedation, a combination of oral sedative and nitrous oxide. He was awake for the procedure, but completely zoned out, and he didn’t feel a thing. We’ve been back a couple of times, and despite the extensive work that has to be done, he genuinely gets excited about it.
If you’re looking for a dentist for your kids, or if your current dentist isn’t that great with children, I highly recommend you give Kids and Teens Dentistry a call. I know they have a long waiting list so you’ll probably have to wait a few months for an appointment, but it’s totally worthwhile.