This was not Annika's first trip to the dentist. I had taken her to my dentist when she was about 18 months because I was concerned about build-up on her lower teeth. My dentist said they didn't do anything for such small kids, and referred us to a children's dental specialist. I took her to the children's dental place last February (a few months before she turned 2). I was NOT impressed. First of all, we had to wait almost an hour past our scheduled appointment time, which was not cool. Then, when the dentist was cleaning the tartar off Annika's teeth, she screamed the whole time. The doctor said it was actually good that she was crying, because then she'd keep her mouth open. However, she also started gagging because he didn't ever give her a chance to close her mouth and swallow. I was almost in tears at this point too. I didn't want to go back there, but I decided to give them another chance. Annika had tartar build-up again (the dentist said that her saliva may be more basic, which would make her prone to tartar, but it's rarely harmful for little kids) that I wanted removed. This time things went much smoother. We were in on time, and the dentist was really good with her. She sat on the big chair all by herself and was perfectly still and quiet while he cleaned her teeth (it was just on a few teeth at the front so it was pretty easy to get). She had no cavities and was so proud of her clean teeth afterwards (she's even been playing "dentist" this week with her toys). I was so glad that it was a good experience because I was really afraid that she'd remember the previous experience and it would scar her for life.
Now onto my appointment - or should I say appointments. I had a cleaning scheduled for a week from now, but I had been having a pretty bad toothache, so I changed my appointment to yesterday to get it looked at sooner. Everything went okay with the cleaning - no cavities - but when they looked at the x-ray of the tooth that was hurting, they couldn't see anything causing the pain. So they told me to come back for a different test, to see if the nerve in the tooth had died (what a lovely though, eh?). I also needed a night guard, since I sometimes clench my teeth at night, so I need to have impressions done for that. That appointment was today. And it was not pleasant. I'm not one that's normally scared of the dentist, but I was nervous going to this appointment. I remembered having impressions done when I had braces, and it's not very fun. Also, they didn't tell me what was involved in this other test, so I was a bit scared about that. They did the impressions first, and I'm sure the hygienist was a little worried that I was going to toss my cookies on her. The top tray made me gag really hard, and afterwards the muscles in my throat were sore from gagging so much. But I got it done without puking. The bottom tray was much easier. Then came the nerve test. The test was no problem, but the results were discouraging - the nerve was dead. I would need a root canal. The dentist said that because it was a front tooth, it would actually be relatively easy, but really, is there such thing as an "easy" root canal? I've never had one before, but they're not known for being much fun. So now I have that to look forward to. And the real bummer is that I could only get in for the root canal on March 23rd, so now I have 2 weeks to
So that's our experiences with the dentist this week. Stay tuned for more!