I took Kaeden to the dentist for his appointment on Tuesday. It was supposed to be a routine filling at a new dentist, because our previous dentist couldn't numb Kaeden and he felt the entire procedure. I don't think it's so much he can't be numbed, as I think he can't handle all the noise from the drill and sucker and other machines. The new dentist is awesome with him. She tells him calmly every step she's doing and tells him "Kaeden, after the count of three, I'm going to stop." He knows exactly what's happening and for how long he's going to have to endure each step. I am completely impressed with her, and relieved that we were referred to her. She is a child specialist, and as soon as I told her he had autism, she knew what his issues were and was willing to go the extra mile for his dental health. But, as she was working on his huge cavity, she suddenly stoppped and said "Oh, darn!" as she quickly reached into a drawer and produced a ring. His tooth had broken and she needed to do an emergency root canal.
I was watching every step of the way, letting Kaeden hold my hand and dig his fingers into my flesh. It was a long two hours...and about 3/4's the way through I realized I wasn't going to be able to make it to the end. I was starting to see the room spin, felt like I was going to yak all over, and got extremely hot to the point I was dripping sweat. I knew I had to get out of that room. So, I told Kaed I would be right back and left the building to suck in fresh air and get a grip. This is the second time I have felt this way, the first being last eyar when I was with Kaeden during his bladder tests. I never realized I was a queasy person, but having that happen twice now, I understand those shows that show husband's fainting during childbirth, etc. It was very strange to me, and I felt bad that I couldn't be there for Kaeden when he really needed me to be. Whe I went back in a few minutes later, he immediately latched onto to my hands again as I pulled a chair next to his and kept my eyes off of the procedure the dentist was doing. I was still not feeling 100% and was getting frustrated by how long it was taking. I was never so relieved as when the dentsit said "Okay, we'll stop for today and finish up next week!"
So, my tweleve-year-old son has a root canal. It makes me feel utterly guilty. Kaeden has had problems with his teeth since he was a baby, undergoing his first procedure at 2 years old. But, he also does not take good care of them, no matter what we try to enforce. He hates brushing, he refuses to let me help, and his teeth are rotting away. He's only a little kid. And he needs his teeth for the rest of his life. How can I make him understand the importance of good dental care?
Our new dentist asked me to bring his electric toothbrush to our next appointment. She's going to teach Kaeden how to properly brush. She's going to aide him in understanding the importance of this twice-daily chore. And I'm grateful that she's making this effort, and I'm hoping Kaeden will understand the importance of her words. Or we'll be looking at more than just a root canal when he hits the ripe ol'age of 13.