Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Dentist

Today was Sweet Boy's first visit to the dentist, a pediatric dentist who was recommended by my hairdresser. (I know...first mistake.)

Sweet Boy loved it. Nonstop Nick Jr. playing in the waiting room, fancy chair to ride in, grape-flavored toothpaste, sunglasses to keep the bright light out of his eyes, prize for being a good boy, a new toothbrush with dinosaurs on it, and his photo on the "no cavities" wall -- what's not to love?

Mommy, on the other hand, did not love it. We had to wait over 30 minutes just to get into the exam room, which of course sent me right into my snappy-huffy place. The hygienist was good about explaining everything to Sweet Boy before she did it, though, so she gained a couple points back.

But I have met DMV clerks with more personality than this dentist. When he entered the room, he didn't even say hello or introduce himself to either of us. Then he proceeded to chastise my child for not sitting still while he picked at his teeth with that curved pointy tool (btw, the Boy was very well-behaved and really only flinched when he got jabbed in the cheek with said pointy tool). "Who brushes this child's teeth?" he asked. "Must be a two-person job; he's so unruly." Get bent, Doc...he's three, this is his first dental exam, and you just stabbed his gums with metal!

He then told me my son's jaw is crowded, and he would most likely need braces someday. Gee, big surprise -- I discovered upon walking into this doc's office that he's not only a pediatric dentist but also an orthodondist. Braces are his life blood, so of course my child's jaw is crowded.

The highlight of the 2-minute exam, however, came when he informed me that my son's frenum (that little piece of tissue underneath your tongue) is "restricted." Here's the convo:
Doc: Hmm, he's a big restricted under here.
Me: Oh?
Doc: Does he have any speech problems?
Me: Not that I've noticed...
Doc: Hmph.
Me: What does that mean?
Doc: silence...

And then he just left the room. WTF? So I'm sitting there wondering what the hell it means to be restricted, so I asked the hygienist once more. She said sometimes if a child has a restricted frenum, he might have trouble pronouncing certain sounds, but 9 times out of 10 it's not a big deal because he can learn to pronounce them with practice. (A little bit of internet research this afternoon confirmed this, too.)

Would that have been so difficult for Dr. Dickwad to tell me?

His "hmph" sounded like he didn't believe me that my son doesn't have any speech problems. Just like he didn't believe me that I brush Sweet Boy's teeth by myself without strapping him into some sort of restraining device.

Regardless of my perceptions of the exam and the dentist, Sweet Boy was so happy with the whole experience that he asked me at bedtime if we could go back to the dentist tomorrow. Not likely, darling, not likely.


Christy said...
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Meg said...

I can give you our people, too. They aren't specifically a ped. dentist, but they have toys in the waiting room, and the wait is reasonable. The dentists and hygienists are all very nice. The only one I don't like, is the lady at the front desk. She's less than pleasant, but I just try and ignore her.