Jo’s first dentist appointment :(

Josephine has had some small cavities.  When we started her on more high-calorie foods to help her gain weight quicker, her cavities got worse.  Pediasure is such a sugary drink.  And of course, donuts for breakfast is not good for her teeth.  I try and give her ANYTHING that she wants out of desperation to get calories in her.  I am trying to avoid having her get a feeding tube.  

Even though I’ve switched her non-fluoridated nursery water to flouridated.. and even though I brush her teeth morning and night.  The cavities are growing.  So I had to get her in to see a pediatric dentist today.  

While waiting to see the dentist for a consultation to discuss our options, we explored the cute room we were in.  Josephine liked it, but she was nervous… wondering why she was there.

When the dentist came in, we talked and then he looked in her mouth.  She screamed of course, but I’m still glad he took his time to thoroughly look at each tooth.  She has 4 cavities :(  When he was done, I held her close.  She buried her head in my chest.  Her head was wet with sweat.  Those nerves just get the best of her.

She is too young to hold still and let them do any dental work.  The dentist said we have 3 options.  

One option is don’t do anything.  (Yeah right.)

Another option is go to the hospital for general anesthesia and have all her dental work done at once. However, my major concern is the fact that Josephine is underweight.  Being underweight puts her at a higher risk of complications when under general anesthesia.  This scares me to death.  

Another option is physically restrain her with some kind of papoose board which holds down her arms, legs and I think even restrains her head. No sedation, not even laughing gas (which would be the safest option since she is underweight.)  Open her mouth, numb the areas that need work and fix her cavities.  This would be done in 2 appointments. I would not be allowed in the room with her.

At first I thought I have no choice but to have them take her back into the office without me, strap her down, pry open her mouth and get the dental work done. After all, this may be the safest option because then her tiny body won’t be under the risk of sedation. But how can I do that?  

I remember the fear in her face and uncontrollable crying when she just had blood drawn.  How can I allow her to be taken out of my arms and have a procedure like this done without her seeing my face?  She would have no source of comfort.  She wouldn’t hear my voice or feel my hand on her.  Nothing.  No.  It’s just too much for her.  She is so young.  She’s not even 2 years old.  

I asked the dentist to call her pediatrician and ask him if Josephine would be ok to be under general anesthesia.  I was hoping and praying he would say she would be ok.  He did. He said, “I see no reason why she can’t be under general anesthesia for her dental work.”  Ok then.  I’m still nervous.  So much.  However, she will be monitored the whole time at a surgical center which is very much like a hospital setting.  The anesthesiologist will be with her the entire time.  Heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels will be monitored I believe… but I will ask again to make sure it is.  

Unfortunately, they said I won’t be allowed to stay with her until she falls asleep.  They said they will wheel her into the room, and apply a mask first so that she falls asleep.  Then insert the I.V. and begin dental work.  I’m glad that Jo won’t even have to experience getting the I.V.   I just wish I could at least be with her while the mask is placed on her face and she falls asleep.  I am hoping I will be with her when she wakes up.  

Her procedure is scheduled for January 9th at 9:30am.  Aaron will stay home that day and be with us.  Faith will be at school.  On December 22 Jo has to go to her pediatrician to get a physical done first to get the go ahead that she will be ok for general anesthesia.  I don’t think she will need blood work.  Just a general check-up.  I’m sure while we’re at the pediatrician’s office, he will check her weight to see if she has gained any.  I hope she has.  

Josephine also has a history of ear infections.  So when we go to see her pediatrician, I will have him check her ears again.  We have discussed getting tubes in her ears.  If this is something that should be done, the nurse at the dentist’s office said it can be done while she is under anesthesia for her dental work.  She said it’s common for children to have both procedures done at once so they don’t have to be put under general anesthesia twice.  So I’ll be talking with her pediatrician about this.  If he feels she does need ear tubes put in,  January 9th would be the time to do it.  

I’ll keep you all posted.  


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