I knew it was something I couldn't just ignore.
And so yesterday, on our day off, I took a chance and called our (new) dentist's office. They could get him in at 2:00.
We had to switch dentists this year due to a change in our insurance. We had all visited this "family dentist's" office a few times. The boys had gotten cavities filled and loved that there were tvs in each room. I certainly wasn't crazy about the main dentist there, but figured most of the time we spend with the hygenists anyway, so who really cared about the dentist, right?
Turns out, Middle's tooth needed to be "extracted", meaning PULLED. Oh hi, thinking I would be in and out of that office in a few minutes, able to spend the rest of my day enjoying the unseasonably warm weather with my family. (That's foreshadowing right there, folks.)
Anyway, the tooth had to be pulled because a new tooth was pushing down (like 3 years too early, mind you) and one of the roots was already gone so food was getting stuck blahblahblah... (This dentist is sooo hard to understand--he's a mumbler.)
So novacaine was administered. And the tooth was pulled.
All very quickly and painlessly.
But then...all the remaining roots from that pulled tooth also needed to come out.
This was where it pretty much turned BARBARIC. Seriously, that's the only word I can think of to describe it.
First of all, I doubt the dentist even knew Middle's name. He was too busy barking orders at the hygenist about where to swab, where to blow air, where to spray, where to hold Middle's tongue. I could tell when Middle was fine (and numb and in no pain) and when the dentist would hurt him, because he would instantly cry out. I was the ONLY ONE reassuring him, trying to get as close to him as I possibly could, rubbing his legs, holding his hands, comforting him. The dentist was actually sweating. Scraping at the now-bloody hole in Middle's mouth with pointy instruments. Barking orders at the hygenist. He all but had his knee on Middle's chest, trying to get those roots. I felt nausous and weak-kneed and frustrated, wondering when it was going to end.
Finally the troublesome root came out. The dentist threw off his mask and walked out of the room without saying a word.
I got Middle up out of the chair to comfort him. He was sobbing and hysterical. The hygenist was still in the room, busily attending to the instruments and not saying a word to me. I got the feeling she was embarrassed.
The dentist re-entered and in his mumbly voice said that there was one more root to get out.
I requested that Middle be given some more novacaine to numb him for this last go-round. (Why did I even have to ASK for this??)
Thankfully, this last root was easier. Middle seemed unaffected.
When it was all said and done though, Middle had been in that chair for well over an hour. The back of his shirt was damp with sweat and his eyes were puffy from crying. I was pretty much a limp noodle.
The dentist gave me a prescription for Tylenol with codeine for him and said that I should give him some before the numbing wore off.
We were SO out of there. His appointment had been at 2:00. It was now going on 4:00.
I drove right to our local CVS to fill the prescription. They didn't have it on hand. Meaning, they didn't even carry it because it was so rare. They didn't think either of the 2 neighboring CVS pharmacies would have it either. They advised that they would call the dentist back and ask him to change the prescription.
Middle and I went next door to the grocery store to grab him some popsicles.
When I got back to CVS, no lie, there were 3 people waiting for me at the pharmacy counter with sympathetic looks on their faces.
"We called the dentist. He outright refused to change the prescription. He said that you would just have to find a place to fill it."
I'm so not even kidding.
(Thankfully, my CVS called around and another local CVS DID have that prescription.)
(So from the time we left the house, 1:45, to the time I actually was home with the prescription in hand, it was 4:30, almost 3 hours later. For a tooth-pulling.)
You guys, the whole experience was awful. I felt so bad afterwards. Like I didn't protect my child. I know hindsight is 50/50, but man, in that moment, I just honestly didn't know what to do.
We are just so ingrained to blindly trust medical "professionals". To respect them. To never question them. To think that they are always right.
Never again. Now I know.
In this day and age? What happened to Middle was utterly uncalled for and unnecessary.
I now know the value of a pediatric dentist practice.
And we will be going to one from now on.
Thankfully, when I ranted on Facebook, a number of friends gave glowing recommendations for the dental offices they use.
That dental practice will be receiving a copy of this blog post.
But all's well that end's well: the Tooth Fairy came last night and gifted Middle with $7.00. And even left him his tooth. So he could take it to school today to show it off.
The numb, brave boy