Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bubby's teeth

Wow, four posts in two days!  Don't get used to it, folks :-)

So I just got back from taking Bubby to the dentist.  You may recall that just before his first birthday one of his front teeth started chipping away until there was a huge omega-shaped hole in his tooth--his tooth, what was left of it, looked like tiny little fangs hanging down.  Called the dentist, and they basically said it happens all the time, there's nothing they can do, you're an over-reacting, hysterical mother but we still like you (they didn't say that, but I know they were thinking it), but I insisted that this was no normal baby tooth chip, and managed to get our dentist to agree to see him.  Dr. H took one look and said, I'm going to refer you across the river (to the pediatric dentist).  So Dr. H's office manager gets on the phone with the pediatric dentist's office, and they said the same thing, that it happens all the time and there was nothing they could do.  She finally convinced them to see Bubby.  The dentist took one look and started grimacing and making serious sounding noises (that's right--I'm not an hysterical, over-reacting mother, at least in this case, I wasn't).  Dr. M patched the tooth and told me it was a stop-gap measure that would hopefully last long enough so that Bubby would be old enough that we wouldn't have to give the poor kid general anesthesia to put in a better patch.  Dr. M. also said that he couldn't tell whether or not the nerve was dead, but if it was, we might have to pull the tooth.

Fast forward almost 2 years...we've been seeing the dentist every 6 months to check on the patch, and it's been holding up well.  Bubby had his first X-rays today, and the hygienist did a little mini-cleaning.  He did so well!  And today, Dr. M. discovered an abscess above Bubby's tooth, which means the nerve is dead, and it's infected (and now it makes sense to me why Bubby has felt warm to me every time I've picked him up in the last week or so).  Really there was nothing that we could have done to prevent this from happening, and it's amazing that it took this long, but now my poor little Bubby needs to have a pulp treatment, so that hopefully we can save the tooth. That's right--my not quite 3 year old is going to have to have a procedure similar, but not quite as complicated (according to Dr. M) as a root canal.  Yikes! Why are we going to so much trouble to save a tooth that's going to fall out in a few years anyway?  Because the baby tooth acts as kind of a place-holder for the permanent teeth, and it's so much better to have that tooth stay in until the permanent tooth is ready. 

So he's scheduled for a cleaning at the end of July (the 27th, I think), during which they're going to do what they can to prepare him mentally for the pulp treatment on August 17.  Ah, poor Bubby!  It's not all bad news, though: we got a free toothbrush, 2 sample-sized toothpastes, 3 sample-sized flosses, and a little pull-back truck out of the deal :)

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