Thursday, August 6, 2009


You may be surprised to learn that our house can become a little bit crazy and hectic around bedtime. Between kids needing baths, dinner dishes in the sink, bedtime stories, teeth needing to be brushed, rooms in need of tidying, the endless questions, and the sudden life-threatening need for a sip of water right now, I sometimes find myself a little exasperated by the time the last head hits the pillow.

Which is why I often save a little piece of my sanity by simply instructing my kids to go brush their own teeth. Sadly, that little bit of time and sanity saved can turn out to be terribly expensive in the long run.

I took all three kids to the dentist yesterday for an overdue cleaning. I was aware, thanks to a quick house call by my dentist cousin in Georgia, that Josh and Lauren each had a cavity. I was not aware that Joshua had not one, not two, but three cavities. Nor was I aware that Lauren's cavity - and one of Josh's - was too advanced to be repaired by a simple filling. No, no simple fillings for my kids. These two needed pulpotomies.

A pulpotomy appears to be just a step-down from a root canal. The dentist removes the pulp or nerve tissue from the tooth (but leaves the root) and then puts a crown on it.

Because Lauren is only three, the dentist here in town thought she would need conscious sedation for the procedure. Of course, he doesn't do conscious sedation, so I had to drive her almost two hours this morning to see a pediatric dentist for her pulpotomy.

(He said that, being six, Joshua should be fine to have the procedure done in his office without sedation. His exact words were, "Six year olds can be reasoned with. They're more rational." Clearly he has not heard the legendary tale of Joshua and the Throat Swab.)

So, my daughter got to drink some happy juice this morning, and I have to say, it was a little disconcerting seeing her punch-drunk. She was in my lap watching a movie in the waiting room as the sedative kicked in. She started laughing at everything - cracking up - but she couldn't hold her head up. It just kept flopping backward or to the side. But she was happy.

I'm told she did great during the procedure, and though there were some tears shed afterward (the medicine makes them overly-emotional), she recovered very quickly and was eating, drinking, and having her teeth brushed and flossed by mom just fine by tonight.

Next week is Joshua's turn.

I wonder if they could give me some of that happy juice before they swipe my credit card.

No comments: