Friday, September 24, 2010

GB and the Dentist

GB has been going to the dentist regularly. She has had teeth pulled without a problem. About nine months ago, she has her first cavity. The dentist gave nitrous oxide. If I go to the dentist, that would be a good thing. The more the better.  I am not Bipolar. GB is. The dentist said GB’s Dad never told him. I wasn’t there. GB bounced off walls all afternoon and most of the night. Bipolar people shouldn’t use  nitrous oxide. Since that day, she had gone back to that dentist 3 times, and three times she refused to open her mouth. Forget about cleaning her teeth or applying sealant, GB wouldn’t even let them count her teeth. I left the last time with a referral to a pediatric dentist.

The pediatric dentist is expensive and  over an hour away. I bribed GB with lunch and alone time with me, and she somewhat unwillingly got in the car. By the time we got to the dentist, she had convinced herself that the dentist was a three-headed monster who ate kids whenever he wanted. I carried/ dragged her in (She is getting big). Once we were in the office, she stopped struggling.

The top floor of this house has a huge waiting room. Around the waiting room, an old fashioned toy train chugged around the ceiling. There was a HUGE HD TV, with all sorts of floor pillows, to watch. GB instantly spied a wall of junk machines and wanted quarters. The machines didn’t take quarters, and one of the three receptionists told her the dentist would give her tokens when she saw him. A corner of the room had two old arcade games from the early eighties; Galaga and Super Mario Brothers 2. Those two games had GB’s attention until  she had to go downstairs.

In this practice, all work was done on a lower floor, where parents never go. 45 minutes later the dentist called me over, showed me the 4 x-rays they had taken, one of which was panoramic, and pointed out two cavities he wanted to fill, on teeth that should have already been sealed. I told the dentist that GB wouldn’t open her mouth when they tried to seal them. He said that he already recognized she would need to be sedated.

Fifteen minutes later, GB came up with a smile on her face clutching her “report card”, a bunch of silly bands and two tokens. She told me this is the only dentist she ever wants to go to. She took ten minutes to pick which machines she was going to put her tokens into and left with a smile.

We go back Monday morning and they will do the two fillings and seal 4 teeth in one visit. I made sure I reiterated that she was Bipolar, so we should escape her bouncing of walls. At first appearances, it looks like we may have found a keeper.

5 comments:

In the Pink said...

Oh that is so wonderful! A good dentist makes it all easier!

colleen said...

It sounds like she made it alright!
The only concern is...that parents are "never" allowed? I know this is pretty common practice with dentists I had to shop aroundto find one who would let me be in the room at all, even after I explained RAD clearly. I am sure you feel 100% safe if you allowed it!

Here's cheering for the sealant!

GB's Mom said...

Colleen- you are right to be concerned. I would never consider taking Hope to this dentist. They also don't take kids who physically act out. GB occasionally exhibits RAD like behaviors, but the shrink says she not RAD. MK and Hope are and I see the differences.

marythemom said...

I'm soooo glad you posted this! I've never heard that about nitrous oxide and bipolar. Bear is going to have his wisdom teeth removed and he was telling the dentist he preferred to be knocked out. So I will now nix this! Thank you!

Glad you found something that worked!

Mary in TX

Struggling to Stand said...

MTM - "knocked out" and nitrous oxide may be different things (they are in my mind).

I love nitrous oxide. It gives me the most amazing psychological insights. Maybe that means I'm not bipolar. Or maybe I do well on it because I, um, "enjoyed" it while I was in high school. (Boy, did I! But I couldn't believe it wasn't also killing brain cells, so I stopped. Sigh.)