Dental Drama


See that cute little perfect smile?

Yeah, there’s a cavity back there. (WHICH I am totally mortified about, but that’s beside the point.)

So, my sweet, sensitive boy – you know, the one who’s afraid of his own shadow? – is gonna have a DRILL up in there on Wednesday!

I am fairly sure I am going to have to hold him down for this to happen.

I myself have never had a cavity {cue twinkle as I grin} so I really don’t know how to prepare him. I want to tell him what’s going to happen, without scaring the bajeebers out of him.  It’s bad enough how he fusses about the noise his battery-powered toothbrush makes (related: is there like a boot camp for 2nd graders where you can send them to toughen up?), I don’t think he’s going to *sit stoically still*  for a drill.

Anyone been through this lately?  I sure could use a play-by-play of what to expect so I can explain it to him in terms he can bear!  Insert advice below!  (Pleeeease help a mother out!)

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13 Replies to “Dental Drama”

  1. Oh yes, we’ve been there. It wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. The only thing I can think to tell Joshua is that they’re going to put a rubber thing (like a balloon stretched out flat) around his tooth to keep everything else dry. You have my sympathy!

  2. Do they give him laughing gas? When I was a kid, they gave me laughing gas and I was so out of it that it was NO big deal at all. I’m not sure if that’s still standard practice (or ever was) for a pediatric filling.

  3. Pediatric Dentist. Don’t go back with him. I know it sounds heartless, but James did way better without anyone with him cause there was no parent to whine to.

    1. Beth is so right. Send him in there like a little trooper. Heay surprise you. And if that doesn’t work tell the doc to crank up the gas.

      In all seriousness, it’s not the first time the dentist has dealt with a sensitive child. I’m sure he can help Joshua get through it just fine.

  4. No advice to prepare since my 5 year old LOVES the dentist HOWEVER, watch him like a hawk afterwards. Mine chewed her lip while it was still numb and it swelled to 3 times it’s normal size! Keep those cotton “tubes” in the lower front part of his mouth no matter how much he complains because the swollen lip is so much worse (gross-wise & pain-wise) than the filling itself. Good luck 🙂

  5. Depends on where you go. We go to Wright Smiles and they give them gas from a scented mouthpiece. My son selected strawberry scented. He had three shots and could have cared less. And I agree, don’t go back with him. They treat him well but don’t let him have a ready made audience.

    In fact, it was so drama free that he thinks nothing of properly brushing his teeth. He loves the dentist. He doesn’t care for the orthodonist.

  6. Would he be able to listed to an iPod or other music player while he’s having the work done? It may help him with the noise.

  7. Totally concur w/the laughing gas. Makes all the difference for kids who are nerved up. My daughter has had 2 cavities filled and she does well w/the niitrous.

    Also concur with the “don’t be back there with him” — at least not unless totally necessary (like raving child maniac necessary). Both for your sake and his…and also because it’s a big deal for him (afterwards) to be able to say he got his cavity filled all by himself. Consider it his war story for elementary school. 😉

    Good luck!

  8. I didn’t even know that laughing gas was an option these days!! But the first time I had to have a cavity filled, I was so scared of the needle full of novocaine, that I said I didn’t want it!! And they LISTENED to me?? Are you kidding me people? I don’t know where my mom was. I assume in the waiting room. Some adults seriously let me down that day. So, yeah, I felt that drilling. Pretty sure it’s why I’m terrified of the dentist still at the ripe ol’ age of 34. Make sure he doesn’t feel a thing, no matter what.

  9. I agree with lots of the above advise. He is old enough to go it alone even if you think it seems cruel. My older 2 do it alone and have no problems my youngest has the worst teeth though and I have to go with him to temper him down he is stubborn as a mama bear and has a temper the size of Texas. The Ipod does help, at least it helped my youngest. For my temperless children the numb lip afterward was the worst. The baby he hates the needle and the numbness afterward so bad the last two times we did it with just the gas and it has gone way better. The needle always made him so mad he would then scream thru the hole thing even though it didnt hurt. Good Luck!

  10. Unlurking here. My son just had his first cavity filled last week. Call his dentist and ask what to say. (And if it’s not a pediatric dentist, find one!) My son sounds just like Joshua. His dentist was awesome! She told me not to say too much/ make a big deal out of it. Their imaginations are so active at this age that they imagine something worse than what will actually happen. If you say drill he’ll think jackhammer. Our dentist put a numbing gel (she called it sleepy gel) in his mouth where they were going to give the novicane. Then she shook his check while giving the injection to distract him. I know it sounds weird, but it totally worked!!! She did it in such a way that he never saw the needle/shot. Then she called her drill something like her “tickle instrument.”. Her office also has TV screens in every room where she plays movies to distract the kids. Parents are welcome to come back to the procedure rooms with their kids. No laughing gas needed. Good luck!

  11. It’s too late now, but in the future, you might want to look for a dentist that can user lasers instead of drills. I don’t like Novacaine shots, so that’s what I did. The laser doesn’t require any numbing and it doesn’t have that scary drill sound. It makes dental visits so much happier!

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