Tag Archives: dentist

that blasted tooth

6 Jun

for over a week we’ve known that jillianne has needed a root canal on that front tooth (which i now know is #9 {#9…#9…#9})

after her 2 month check up on the #9 tooth, it was clear that she had to have a root canal. we called the referred endodontist who doesn’t happen to service kids under 12, but they referred us to another office in their group who does work with 8 year olds.

referrals: 2, root canals: 0

we went to that appointment on tuesday, where the endodontist confirmed that the nerve was dead and she did, indeed, need a root canal. BUT they don’t premedicate, so they referred us to another office that is 45 minutes from our house.

referrals: 3, root canals: 0

did you know it was this hard to find a pediatric endodontist? in a city with 4.3 million people? and did you know that some endodontists (you know, those people who drill into the center of your tooth? where the nerve is? repeatedly?!?) don’t use any pre-medication?

on kids!?!?!

we decided to call our dentist and see if they had any other recommendations since we were going to have to go to the really-far-away endodontist for yet another consultation before we could even have the procedure done. two days of driving, just driving for an hour and a half is just too much.

they gave me a number. i called. no dice. they see kids, but don’t use pre-medication.

referrals: 4, root canals: 0

when i called our dentist, yet again, the lovely gal at the front desk got on the horn for me and called around. she called me about 30 minutes later with a referral who worked with kids (score!) and, more importantly, uses nitrous. (double score!) the best part was that they could get us in that afternoon for a consultation and possible root canal. (triple score!)

referrals: 5, root canals: 0

this endodontist told us that, not only, was the nerve dead, but there was an abscess, as is evident in the x-ray:

x-ray on #9
that’s a big abscess

he said we could start today, but it may take 2 visits. i wasn’t sure why, but went along with him, hoping that we could have this behind us as quickly as possible.

yea, right.

the hygenist quickly set her up with the nitrous and we waited patiently for a very scared 8 year old to be in a frame of mind to have someone drill on her tooth.
ready as she'll ever be
here she is with the mask on.

and here’s her tooth isolated so they don’t fool with anything else. it’s kinda cool that they can do that.

the tooth is isolated
ready to get to work

he used approximately 472 different drill bits to work on cleaning out the canal and explained it to her by saying it was like brushing the inside of her tooth. she was clearly uncomfortable and kept flinching ever so slightly when he would drill. when she moved he had to stop so he didn’t hurt her, but we got her to keep her head still finally. she still had some pain when he drilled deeper into the root, which was a little troubling. he gave her a third shot of novocaine directly into the root canal and told me that if that didn’t work we’d have to finish another day. while we waited a moment for the meds to kick in, he mentioned that she was possibly having a panic attack, which i didn’t pick up on. was she scared out of her gourd? yes, undoubtedly, but i wouldn’t have thought she was on the verge of a panic attack. then again, i’ve never seen anyone having a panic attack.

he kept working and we quickly realized he was going to have to wrap up for the day and reschedule for another day. her pain just couldn’t be managed.

once they took another x-ray on the hollowed out canal, we turned off the nitrous and i thought she was going to pass out. her eyes rolled back 3 or 4 times and she told me she was really sleepy, but it quickly went away and she was just dazed.

we checked out with a new appointment in 2 weeks and a prescription for a strong antibiotic for the infection. turns out the abscess is so infected that the novocaine wasn’t working. we’ll try to get her healed a bit and come back when the infection has had time to calm down. we will also pick up a mild sedative the day of her next appointment which should practically put her out so that they can work without worrying about her moving.

i’ll be asking for a liquid sedative since we’ve had a horrible time with the penicillin in pill form.

she’s been chewing them up.


she refuses to swallow them with water or food, so i let her. i just need them in there so she can get better and we can put this behind us.

and while we might not get this smile back

teeth before

we’ll get a healthy one that won’t need anymore work done on it.

until she gets braces.

oh, yes. she’ll need braces to line up the tooth someday. the endodontist told me so.


referrals: 5, root canals: 1/2

to be continued…


timeline of the tooth

22 Feb

wednesday night was the first time i had a chance to shove my camera in jilly’s face. i’ve got some kinda close-ups of her mouth here, so if you wouldn’t like that, don’t look.

day 1, no tooth
the mouf

day 1, smile
at least she’s happy, right?

day 2, duh
after the dentist

day 2, close-up
the gaps crack me up.

day 5, gaps
and yesterday

day 5, grin
all better (at least, i can tell myself that)

things could have been much much worse & i thank my lucky stars we lost just a tooth.

update on the toofless wonder

18 Feb

first of all, i want to say how proud i am of my daughter. she was so very brave today and i expected her to fall apart at the seams. she was a real trooper.

we went to the dentist this morning to see what we would do about jilly’s poor mouth. we had a few options, but he decided the fragment that broke off wouldn’t bond well with the stumpy tooth so he wanted to build up a tooth with composite material. he didn’t think there was enough stump to use a crown, so she was gonna leave with a funky looking man-made tooth.

she picked out a movie and got the laughing gas strapped on to her nose while she watched scooby doo 2 on the ceiling. to say she was scared shitless is an understatement. she’d been in a state of shock for just over 24 hours and had no idea what was about to happen. i’d even been frightened she may have had a seizure because she walked around with huge glassy eyes for a day.

now, i have a mouth full of fillings, crowns and a root canal, so i know from pain when it come to teeth. i can still feel the work being done and it is often still painful, even when i’ve been fully numbed. i was afraid the same would be true for my baby.

and it was.

the dentist was really great about explaining everything to her and told her she’d get some sprinkles in her mouth. he was careful not to show her the syringe, but she still didn’t like it one bit. and it only got worse each time he poked her.

once she was as numb as she was going to get, he scraped off the temporary filling that was placed yesterday to protect the nerve and, whoo boy! did she feel it! she was squirming out of her seat, so he decided to give her a few more shots of numbing juice.

he, then, cleaned her stump, added some antibacterial goop and a bonding agent. he took out the teeniest, tiniest offset spatula to start building up the composite on her remaining tooth. once he got started icing her tooth, he realized he could, indeed use a crown, so they picked one out, squeezed in some composite and braced jilly for what was to come.

the entire time, i was sitting between her legs and holding her hands. the poor dear kept fidgeting as could be expected. once dr. rob started putting the crown on, she couldn’t hold it in much longer. she started sobbing and squealing, moving her hands back and forth. i just kept telling her i thought she was doing a great job and that we were almost finished.

a few minutes later and we were done. he even took out the tooth that was originally loose yesterday morning. i pulled her up and she sobbed and sobbed into my chest. she cried all the way home and didn’t calm down until she got into a bubble bath.

she is still eating soft food and may for a week or so. dinner included mashed potatoes, pudding, and yogurt. snack was a thin mint milk shake. i don’t think she’s complaining.

my girl is looking for the tooth fairy to come again tonight. she showed up this morning when jamison woke her mommy at 5:30am. she forgot her fairy dust didn’t want to sprinkle fairy dust on jilly, in case it got in her mouth and couldn’t find the tooth in the pillow’s corner pockets. good thing i found it for her later this afternoon.

jilly has asked the tooth fairy to sprinkle her dust on scout’s bed and to draw her a picture. i’ll have to go get started. first, to find the fairy dust. then, whip out my mad drawing skillz.

in short, she’s better, but had a traumatic day for the 2nd day in a row and wants the tooth fairy to pull some magic out of her butt.