The Dentist Trip
We have been hard pressed to find a dentist who can deal with our son’s uniqueness.
My husband was the first to attempt a dental visit with Adrian. The dentist who saw Adrian was my husband’s dentist as a child as well. Our son was five. This is the age my daughters dentist agreed to see him at. They are a multiple dentist practice and the only dentist we could see since we had Medicaid at the time. The dentist stated that our son was too difficult and that he needed to be seen elsewhere.
My husband was angry. The clinic suggested we take him to a specialist who accepts Medicaid. The specialist was wonderful. Adrian ended up having to have dental surgery to remove an abscess tooth and caps on three teeth. It was hard after surgery. He cried and was groggy.
We switched to a different dentist in the same practice but Adrian also saw the mobile dentist at school. In May 2012 we went back to the dental practice after the mobile dentist sent home a note stating that Adrian may have cavities. Adrian had his first ever in office x-rays done and then his dentist said he had 3 to 4 cavities and that they would have to contract him out again for dental surgery. He could not see the specialist he had previously seen because he was over the age limit. They just could not handle him in their office he insisted.
I had to play phone tag with the new dentist whose office is 50 miles away from our home. After a lot of debating because we no longer have Medicaid they told us they could see him, but we would need to pay any costs after the initial appointment upfront. I scheduled an appointment. While the appointment came and we were without enough gas to get there. I forgot at the time about the money I had put aside in case that happened. I called the dentist to explain and they said well if you miss this first appointment we can not see your son for six months, policy rules.
After that I searched for yet another dentist. Aspen Dental. We took Adrian there once last month. They tried to do x-rays and had a different machine then he was used to. Adrian’s sensory issues were evident as he could not tolerate biting on the spoon shaped object. They sat us in a room where my son nearly fell of the chair twice because the chair had collapsable arms. I was ready to walk then. The very nice dental assistant than proceeded to tell me that they do not typically see children in their office. That was the first question I asked when I contacted them.
We then got referred to a pediatric specialist. I did not know there was one in our area. I had never heard of the place or the dentist before. I called as soon as we left Aspen dental to schedule an appointment. The person was very nice and said she would send me forms ahead of time so we did not have to fill out paperwork while there. That was a relief. I received the paperwork and the header to the dentist office clearly states Specializes in Special Needs. I was even more shocked when I looked at the forms. There was Autism right on the form. After years of dealing with dentists who handed him off because he was “too difficult” we found one who might be able to help without dental surgery or having to contract him out.
We went to his first appointment today. The dentist office is exactly what I would hope for. Sensory input everywhere. There were wall toys with mazes and cranks and toys. I think the biggest hit though was the Nemo look a like fish tank. There was a fish who looked exactly like Dory. Adrian kept telling me no momma her name is Dora. There was also one who looked like Nemo’s dad. We arrived at 2:15 and did not have to wait long. The dentist looked at Adrian’s teeth throughly. I was waiting for the worst possible news. The dentist said he has no cavities. He does need sealents to prevent tooth decay. I asked her of she was sure because I could have sworn the previous dentist had sealed his teeth. She said while if they did it’s gone now. Then I asked her about cavities. She said his teeth are healthy, they look good. She also could tell he sucks his thumb which he does and no one can break him of the habit.
His previous dentist told me at his last appointment that I could not possibly be brushing his teeth. That there was just too much plaque. When I mentioned that the mobile dentist said he needed an alignment possibly. He said the only way to do that is braces and I would never put braces on him with as many cavities as he’s had. I told him I personally pry his mouth open to brush his teeth twice daily and his suggestion brush after every meal and cut all juice out. I went home feeling like the worst POS mom on the planet. Hearing that you haven’t done your job is never easy and it always hurts. As it turns out our son does not have cavities at all. Sometimes I really hate people!!
Adrian loves his new dentist and the office. I am happy we finally have someone who is willing to work with him. His new dentist assured me that he would not need surgery. She will give him gas and if he wiggles she will wiggle with him. It is so refreshing to hear someone tell you they are okay with your child just they way they are. On the way home Steve looked at me and said I think this one will be great and at least she will try!