Dental dilemmas

Lee's Summit JournalMarch 5, 2014 

I know all parents go through varying degrees of anguish with their kids, especially where medical and other health issues are concerned.

A recent trip to the dentist elevated my blood pressure and torment to the point I could barely take it.

I admire any parent that has a child with a constant medical need. Seeing Addy in pain for only a millisecond was agony enough for me.

Of course, even minor dental work on a 3-year-old is a major ordeal.

And believe me, her mom and I have learned our lesson on this one.

The kid has a bit of a sweet tooth already, but revelation that she had a few cavities and had to have a tooth that had split in the front pulled certainly got our attention.

Another appointment down, and we learned the “laughing gas” wasn’t going to do anything to Addy except make her goofier than normal.

That was fun to watch; ineffective to do dental work, however.

So, anesthesia was the only route. And we all were dreading it.

The gas smells terrible. The notion of a stranger holding your daughter and having to, somewhat forcefully, hold the mask over until she goes limp sounded awful.

The reality was, in fact, worse.

I’m emotional to begin with and, while I understand the need to be in the room to comfort and support, I can certainly empathize with any parent that cannot watch that.

I can say the staff at this particular dentist office did do well feeding us information, including a step-by-step explanation of the above process. So at least we knew what to prepare for.

Addy didn’t, though. And it broke my heart seeing her scared.

And as unprepared as we were for the beginning, the “coming out” of the anesthesia was almost worse.

I know how confused and foggy I was coming out of my hernia surgery a few years ago. For a little one, I can imagine that is magnified a thousand times.

I guess life is one big cause-and-effect mechanism, though.

I always take her health seriously but will certainly watch out for any dental issues in the future, make sure to brush after meals and keep an eye on the amount of HyVee cookies this kid consumes.

Since then, our little toothless wonder has not been shy to show everyone the tooth up front that was pulled, or explain that she has to be careful with “crunchy food.”

She also wants to “pretend” pull a tooth out of my mouth so we can match.

I better keep one eye open at night.


John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail

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