Saturday, February 17, 2007

trips to the Dentist

In April, Sabi needed dental work. Her dentist said that she was too squeamish during her regular visits to have a filling put in the regular way and that she would need extra medication to relax her during the procedure. The dentist also informed me that the medicine was so special that it would erase her memory of the event after it was over. (that made me worry) Oh, the "special" medicine was not covered by my insurance either. It cost $290! The dentist also said that she might need to be strapped into the chair for the procedure.

I didn't think that she was too squeamish during her visits and I also worried about the medication that was reccommended but I thought - "I am not the professional here, the Dr. knows best." When we arrived for the visit, Sabina was given her special medicine. This special medicine that was supposed to make her relax did just the opposite. She was unable to control her arms, and other body parts. Her head and arm kept slipping off of the chair. She was stressing out! When the Dr. arrived to do the work he started to scold her for not sitting still. Well, she couldn't control her body movements due to the drugs! He then said that since she wouldn't control her body he would have to strap her in to the chair. I was watching all of this mayhem in the corner of the room where I was told I could sit but not be heard. I was also warned that I might have to leave if I sopke. The dentist went on with his work. He didn't tell Sabi what was happening as he was working and he scolded her many times and threatened her with more drugs and more work if she didn't behave. I wanted so badly to yank Sabi out of there and tell the Dr where to go but I was afraid to do that in the middle of the procedure. I didn't want to have to break that procedure up into two visits. The experience was horrible. Sabina cried throughout the entire procedure. The medicine that she had was horrible. She was painfully aware of everything going on and she could do nothing about it. When we got home, Sabina was still pretty drugged up. At this point though she was different though. She was high on the medicine and feeling very powerful. She still had poor body control but she wanted to get up and run and dance and be wild. I literally had to hold her on the couch for at least an hour. This was no easy task since she struggled with me and tried to figure out a way to get out of the hold. A few days later, Sabina developed a pretty bad rash that lasted for about a week. Apparently, Sabina is allergic to the special medicine.

I was so angry at the dentist and I was angry at myself for not doing anything during the procedure. I was also worried about her next denatl visit. Where would we go? Who would we see? Would Sabi be scarred from the visit?

I ended up taking Sabi in November to a dentist whose father had been my dentist when I was a child. Sadly, he was no good either. When he examined her he barely spoke to her. He didn't even introduce himself to her. The hygenist told him that Sabi had some questions for him. He just looked at her and said "well..." Sabi asked him if she would have to get braces because her two front teeth are a bit crroked. He just said "Yep." I was floored! He later told me that her sealants were going to need to be re-done and that we would have to schedule another exam. I was ok with sealants. We have done that before - no problem. Then he told me about the medication they would have to give her. I then questioned the medication. At this office, they apparently use a dental dam to do sealants. Crazy! Sabina has had sealants before and my students have sealants put on at school by the local dentists. You don't need any medicine for that at all! I figured that I would need to find a new dentist.

This time, I wanted to find the right dentist. I asked around and called around. When I found a dentist that seemed to be a good fit, I went to the office and asked for an office tour and to speak with the dentist. They were kind of surprised about that but granted my request. When I spoke to the dentist, she told me about their procedures and practices. She was nice, seemed very knowledgeable and spoke Spanish! I then made an appointment for Sabi to be seen by this new dentist.

Sabi was nervous when we went to see the new dentist, Dr. M. That soon wore off because Dr. M won Sabi over with her frankness and openness with Sabi. Dr. M talked her way through the entire exam with Sabi showing her the different tools she would use and the reason for doing so. She treated Sabi like the smart and mature young lady that she is. She also talked to Sabi about her responsibility in keeping her teeth well. As it turned out, Sabi would need to have the sealants put in but she also needed a filling where a tooth was calcified. She explained to Sabi that she couldn't help that the tooth was calcified, that it just came in that way.

We went in for the filling and sealants appointment yesterday. I was so nervous that when we arrived at the Dr.'s office, I could barely move. Sabi was a bit nervous too. We had no need to worry though. Dr. M was just fabulous with Sabi. She sat Sabi down in the chair and showed her all of the instruments that she would use. She also gave her a hand held mirror that she could use to watch the procedure anytime she wanted to. Dr. M. was quick, efficient and so very kind. At the end of the visit, she reminded Sabi that she couldn't help having the cavity that she had but the rest could be prevented. She quizzed Sabi on good dental hygiene practices and thanked her for being a good patient. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for Dr. M. I couldn't believe how different our experience was with her. I was close to tears and I wanted to run over an hug her for being so wonderful with my baby. I ended up only having the chance to thank her from across the room because she had another patient to tend to .

Right now...Dr. M is my hero. Thanks Dr. M!


Shelli said...

That dentist from April? Should have his LISCENCE REVOKED!

Seriously. I'm in SHOCK at what he did. Wow. You should persue something.

And I'm SOOOOOO glad you found Dr. M. She's my hero, too.

RT said...

You should really publish Dr. M's name. Remember more and more folks search on the internet for health care providers. You can help them. Dr. RT

Xolo said...

It is amazing how poor people skills so many in the medical field have. I have many theories as to why that is.

Any doctor or dentist should be willing to speak with you about your care (or that of your daughter). If they don't, it is time to find a new one.

You should definitely file a complaint with the state board and the BBB about the first dentist.

And you (and probably Sabi) definitely should send a short note to Dr. M. It is obvious that she cares about her patients and she will definitely appreciate knowing that she made a difference.

Dree said...

Glad you found your daughter a doctor who understands children. That will surely turn the once-dreaded trip to the dentist into a more calming experience for both of you. And I agree with the idea of sending a thank you note to Dr. M. :)