Thursday, October 04, 2012

Long-winded Telling of Two Dental Visits That Went Very Well

I've written a lot about my adventures and misadventures with dentists, but this time, I'd like to write about my kids' dentists. I'm so thoroughly impressed with my experiences lately that I have to share.

First of all, my oldest daughter started to complain about a pain in her tooth. She mentioned it, then I didn't hear about it again for a while. I must have forgotten and pains don't usually stop for no reason, but she mentioned it again a week or so later. I asked, "Still?" And yes, same pain, hadn't gone away. Did she want to go to the dentist? Yes, but not during school hours.

We were busy, mind you. We were settling into our new school year. I called our regular dentist and found out that she had just had a baby! She was on maternity leave and her receptionist gave me a number for a substitute dentist. I called the new dentist, made an appointment, and got some mumbo jumbo about how they don't bill our insurance company and I have to file all the paperwork myself.

My daughter didn't want to miss school and rejected this appointment. I called back to cancel. About a week later, I remembered to try again and checked in with her Orthodontist to see if they could recommend another dentist. She called this substitute dentist and called me back. They would help me and I'm not to worry about insurance paperwork.

I called the substitute dentist again and they had no recollection of that first conversation and got us in right away. By this time, my daughter was going to miss some school, like it or not. That tooth had to be taken care of already!

When my daughter was at this dentist's office, he initially suspected that when one of the two roots on this tooth dissolved as the permanent tooth started coming in, the tooth itself sort of flapped up and got something stuck underneath, causing an abscess. Just to be sure, he did an x-ray.

It turned out that she had a massive cavity on the backside of that tooth, but that the root was also dissolving unevenly causing an abscess. He pulled the tooth. Sure, the massive cavity was a problem, but the root issue wasn't something we could have done anything about. The tooth was pulled immediately and she was out of there within 45-minutes start to finish.

A side note about this:

When my daughter was born, she had a defect in one of her valves. It was easily corrected by surgery. (And by easily, I mean the surgery was easy for the doctor, but one of the hardest days EVER for me as a parent!) Her bi-annual visit to her Cardiologist just the day before revealed that her biggest risk to heart would be an abscessed tooth. (I simplify, but you get the picture.)

So, the tooth was taken care of, lickety-split by a dentist who was substituting for our regular dentist. I was SO impressed, SO grateful and SO relieved! If I didn't love our current dentist so much, I would switch in a heartbeat. I may even check to see if they treat adults there. I don't need to get a prize when I'm done, but I love the professionalism.

But that's not all!

My youngest daughter had a wire pop out of her braces and it was causing her a lot of grief. As it turned out, the wire rotated, making one side longer, thus poking her painfully in the cheek, while making the other side was shorter, and therefore not long enough to stay in place.

I picked her up from school and she said she needed to get in right away. We drove over there, not even knowing if they were open. Sure enough, the door was locked and the lights were out. She wiggled the second door handle and someone opened it for us. I'm not sure what this woman's official role is, but while she sits at the receptionist desk, she comes across to me as the sort of person within an office who can do everything and runs the show from behind the scenes. I love her!

Even though she didn't have the skill-set to help us specifically, she offered up what help she could, even plucking out some tools in case I wanted to cut the wire until my daughter's scheduled appointment two-days later. When this wasn't going to solve our problem (I didn't cut a thing) she called in one of the dental assistants (again, I don't know the job title!) who came in on her day off to make the wire adjustment. She arrived within five-minutes of the call, and we were out five-minutes after that.

Amazing! Both my girls were taken care of so well and so quickly. And the professionalism and courtesy we experienced were absolutely outstanding. I'm so impressed!

Am I gushing? I don't care. I'd gush all day about this!


Anonymous said...

Awesome dentists and staffs! The quest for the perfect dentist has finally been achieved.

Except for this guy:

A dentist that makes a patient file the insurance paperwork - filing insurance paperwork goes hand-in-hand with being a dentist - maybe this dentist needs to go into another line of work.

Point of clarification: You weren't clear: Your daughter's tooth with the cavity that was pulled - was it a PERMANENT tooth, and if so, will you be getting an implant to go in its place?

FYI: With an abscess under a tooth, they can just do a root canal to alleviate the abscess lickity-split. Seems pretty drastic to just yank out the tooth.
Though I do understand your heart/abscess concerns.

BTW: Good entry aside: 4 out of 5 blog readers still recommend dental less blog entries.

ckh said...

You were serious about that?

Anonymous said...

Well, yeah, I'm still not sure from your entry if the tooth pulled was a permanent tooth or not.

"When my daughter was at this dentist's office, he initially suspected that when one of the two roots on this tooth dissolved as the permanent tooth started coming in, the tooth itself sort of flapped up and got something stuck underneath, causing an abscess."

From the above it implies the permanent tooth got something stuck underneath it - if so, will it be replaced by an implant.

Just wondering, as I've got an implant.

Or the baby tooth had a permanent tooth coming up to replace it and the dentist removed the remnants of the baby tooth?

It just wasn't clear.

ckh said...

It would be crystal clear if you were seeing the image in my head!

It was a baby tooth.

The permanent tooth was coming up underneath it but not how it should have. Which means to say that even though that one was just pulled, a new tooth is already here.

Anonymous said...

I actually had a baby tooth come out but no permanent tooth below it to replace it. And...

On the other side of my mouth I had a permanent tooth come in and underneath it was ANOTHER permanent tooth.

So back in 1975, they transplanted the original permanent tooth (the one with the duplicate permanent tooth underneath it) and plugged it into the spot on the other side of the jaw that had no permanent tooth. And the duplicate permanent tooth just rose up to the jaw line.

I had one of the first tooth transplants back in the day.

Postscript: I had a cavity in the tooth 6 years later and the Army Dentist went to town on it, I guess the tooth couldn't take the shock and it died, so for 31 years now I have a hole where a permanent tooth should be.

Now you know why it's just TOO painful for me to read about Dental visits.

ckh said...

I'm sorry. I found a baby tooth in my bathroom while cleaning today. If that would help, I'll send it to you.

My dental woes began in the Army, too. But I don't think you want to hear about that.