Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Fill or not to fill...

that IS the question.

You may remember that at Gabe's last visit to the dentist, they found three cavities on his xray. These are on baby teeth, in the back, not even visible yet.

Of course, they wanted me bring him back three separate times to get each cavity filled.

Now, I love my dentist. I don't feel like they do unnecessary treatments, so I made the first appointment for last week.

Then we got five feet of snow and the visit was cancelled (maybe a brief exaggeration, but still...).

We rescheduled for today. Gabe was nervous, in and out of tears all morning. I explained how he would get "silly gas" to make him sleepy and more comfortable; he was not falling for it. But he put on his brave face and to the dentist we went, without a fit or even tears.

We waited for about fifteen minutes to be called back. At which point, the hygienist came out to tell me they were all out of nitrous.

Come again?

She wanted to know if I thought the nitrous was really necessary. For my five year old who has never had a filling before. Um, yeah, I'm thinking it's really necessary.

Unless filling unseen-except-by-xray cavities isn't really necessary. And in that case, we'll just see you in six months at our next check-up. Seriously.

So, what's your opinion? Do I traumatize the poor boy and get these fillings done, one at a time, on baby teeth, or just wait and see? I'm in a quandary here. Help!


Kay Kelsey said...

WAIT. Waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait!
That's my opinion! Love, Mamaw Kay

brainella said...

Um...if those teeth are just going to fall out, I'd wait. I'd wait until the teeth fell out because you'll just be paying to fix teeth that will fall out. Just my opinion... :-)

stephanie said...

i'm not exactly mom of the year over here or anything, so you may not want to take my advice... but baby teeth? do those actually need to be filled?

hmmm... if it wasn't bothering him, i wouldn't do it.

but then again, i'm cheap.

or maybe i just like to spend money on something besides the dentist office.

CaraBee said...

Not having been in this situation, and having limited knowledge of dentistry or teeth in general, my opinion would be to wait. He's 5, so he's going to be losing those teeth before too long anyways. And I would definitely NOT do it without the nitrous.

Btw, funny story about that. When I was four, I had to have a tooth pulled and they gave me nitrous. When the dentist was done, he gave me a mirror to look at my newly toothless smile and when I looked at my reflection I saw Petunia Pig. I was Petunia Pig. True story. That's good stuff.

Rebecca Jo said...

I totally would wait... especially if its not bothering him. If it was aching or giving him pain, then you'd feel the need... but honestly, I've had cavities on my ADULT teeth that arent' filled & still dont bother me... those babies are going to fall out soon enough anyways... & even if they get worse down the road, at least its down the road - then you can probably just have the thing pulled. Good luck to you & to little Gabe... I bet he was a nervous wreck!

Kat said...

I don't think it's a big deal to wait for the next appointment...but you don't want to wait till it pains him. Unfilled cavities can lead to root canals! And when are those molars expected to fall out? If it's a few years, you'll want to get them filled. Be sure to get the sealant on new molars so that he doesn't get cavaties in the permanent teeth.

Suzann said...

As a girl I had horrid dental trauma and spent the remainder of my life in utter fear and dread. Even the smell of the dentist office sends me into anxiety.


Now, I have learned that filling baby teeth is necessary simply because of the impact that they can have on the adult teeth. Not sure if it's bull or not, but I went with it.

Again, I say WAIT.

Make the procedure as painless as possible.

My kids have never had the happy gas for any of their work, but they are not afraid of the dentist. They never have been either.

Listen to your heart.

You know what is best.

VKT said...

Wait said the Kindergarten teacher who has seen many a baby tooth fall out or get swallowed!

mep said...

I'd recommend visiting Dr. Internet, DDS, for a second opinion on wait or not wait.

But to do it without the nitrous? No way!

Shelley said...

I have issues with filling teeth that are going to fall out anyway. However, I'm sure they are worried about the cavity going through the baby tooth to the permanent teeth. I have two that have a "small" (try unseeable) crossbite problem they want seen at an orthodontist. Can you say cha-ching?

mama's smitten said...

I'd probably wait!

Momisodes said...

I would definitely wait. I had plenty of dental work and fillings done from the age of 5 to 12. None of it was done under nitrous, only local novacaine anesthetic.
Heck, I'm 30-something, and getting a filling is still traumatizing.

Shannon said...

Both of my girls had to have those silver "caps" put on a few of their baby teeth. I think they were both age 5 when they had to have this done.

Michaela? No problem. Yes, she had the gas... and was even given some anti-anxiety medication about an hour before the appointment.

Hannah was a different story. She had the same Rx... was given the gas... and then when she got in the chair, refused to open her mouth. We had to schedule to have the procedure done in the HOSPITAL. While she was under GENERAL ANESTHESIA.

Ok, I totally didn't mean to freak you out. But I say if you do it, definitely wait until they have the gas.


thanks for the comment on my blogtrotting post! :)

idaho is beautiful, but i'm probably biased ;) haha. hopefully you do get over to see coeur d'alene someday. you won't regret it

Brandy said...

Tough one...but if it were me I would wait. Especially if you are going back in 6 months.

Betty said...

Girl I would wait! Unless the cavities are so deep they are going to affect the permanent teeth. Otherwise I wouldn't put him through that trauma.

Angie's Spot said...

Wow, I think I'm going with the majority here and saying wait. As someone who was traumatized by the dentist at an early age and even now has been known to cancel a filling appt 3 times due to anxiety (ahem), at the very least, I would wait for the nitrous. Poor Gabe! And poor mom!