Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Zack goes to the Dentist

Zack and Aliza had a dentist appointment this morning.  I had assigned all the kids' dental needs and responsibilities to Mark, but he's been busy with other things lately and so I took a turn at bringing the kids in for a teeth check.

Aliza just had sealants put on, and she was a trooper as usual.  She was completely unblogworthy, no story there.  She got through it without so much as a whimper, selected her prize for being a good patient, and was outta there.

Zack was confused as to why we got into the car in the morning and backed out of the driveway without his brother.  "AJ?  AJ?" he asked as I pulled out.  I told him AJ went to the dentist last week and this time it was his turn.  He hasn't been able to say his brother's name all that long so it's like music to my ears, and at the same time I felt bad for him.  I don't know if I realized just how attached to AJ he is.

In the waiting room Zack paced and bounced nervously by the exit.  I asked him to come sit by me but he just shook his head and said "no," very politely.

They called us back and I sat on a bench with Zack facing me on my lap.  The dentist sat opposite me and then we bent Zack back so he laid his head on the dentist's lap.  I tried to hold his hands down.  He fought like a rabid monkey.  He screamed and cried.  I managed not to.

When we were done I held him, and he waved through his sniffles and tears and said "buh-bye.  buh-bye." to the dentist.  He was sooooooooo done with her!

In between his continuing screams, the dentist told me his teeth looked fine, but now that he's lost a tooth, his 6-year molars will be coming in and the next appointment will need to include a good teeth cleaning and x-rays.  He'll need to be sedated for it. 

Also, since he's getting so big and strong, for the next regular appointment we need to consider strapping him into the dental chair.  I knew this was a possibility too, but had conveniently managed never to think about it.  I hate the idea of that.  I don't know what is worse, though; sedating him so he's a zombie and sits still for it, or strapping his arms and legs down so he can't defend himself.  He'll be terrified, no matter how much I prepare him for the experience.

And of course it's not just him.  AJ will go through the same thing.  I guess I have to start thinking and researching how to make this a less terrible experience for them.


Kristiem10 said...

A rabid monkey?! lol. Poor fella. The dentist is traumatic for my kids, too. I think I'd go with sedation over strapping him to the chair. At least if he's a zombie, he's less likely to be scared.

Also, I am so glad you are going to try practice visiting the kids' school. I hope it helps them as much as it seems to have helped my kiddos.

Len from MA said...

I assume your dentist has some experience with special needs kids? I'm not sure how much it will help but we decided to switch to one that did now that my FX son needs to start going.


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