We will actually be going through with this whole she-bang with Ada. She will be going under general anesthesia on Friday. The original impetus was because her teeth were decaying rapidly. They may have slowed now that we realize how weak her enamel is, but the front four will most likely abcess and have to be taken out if we don’t get them filled or crowned.
We were pretty wary of putting stainless steel crowns in, as well as just putting her through being put to sleep. It’s a scary thought to have one of the most precious things in your life hooked up to a machine to help her breathe, even if it is for 3 or 4 hours. Three or four long long hours that will be, I suppose.
But I’ve made my peace with that. This is something that the medical world is well-practiced at. And having it done at Duke is even more comforting. Yesterday was a long day, but they gave Ada a physical and then talked to us about the procedure, and then take us on a tour of the rooms where Ada will be and the parent’s waiting room. I don’t think we are ever farther than 50 feet from her.
And unlike moms I spoke to who went through general anesthesia with their toddlers at Cape Fear Valley here in Fayetteville and at WakeMed, (well I’m not sure about WakeMed) we get to be there when she wakes up. They call us right after her procedures are done and we get to wait with her as they remove everything.
So, even if we are okay with putting her under, there is the issue of using stainless steel crowns. Just like any other medical vs. holistic issue, the mainstream dentists tirelessly assert they are completely safe while the holistic dentists shudder at the thought. There is aluminum and nickel underneath the stainless steel, and nickel is a known carcinogen, from what I can glean.
But holistic practitioner’s websites haven’t exactly said *what* will go wrong with nickel. I don’t think we know that, just as much as we don’t know that it is 100 percent safe. Neither side knows, and Ada is stuck in the middle. True, LOTS of kids get these crowns each year. But also true is that we have a lot of unexplained mental and physical health issues rising while we have more technology, knowledge and money than ever before.
I think the risk of the nickel is simply that a metal or toxin in the body taxes the immune system, and Ada’s immune system is already compromised with the gluten intolerance and the fact that our air and furniture and food have become a chemical soup.
We met with the dentist yesterday who practically forced us to sign off on stainless steel crowns, promising that she would try to fix the teeth with the resin, more like a plastic, but that if that just wasn’t possible, she couldn’t ethically do that instead of the stainless steel crowns. She seemed a tad irritated by all our questions. It made me feel like I was pregnant again and advocating for my rights and sharing my opinion and getting that annoyed “I’m the doctor. Don’t read anything else. Take what I say as Gospel” attitude.
But I’m advocating for Ada. And she has no one else to speak for her, so the doctor can get as annoyed as she wants. Maybe most other people are fine taking things that are commonly done as evidence that they are the best choice, but we aren’t like that.
All that being said, Ada may end up with two crowns on the front teeth (with white veneers, thank goodness!), and I think the dentist’s mind is pretty made up but I have to be fair to her, she said she would go with our opinion of what is best and not her own, even if she didn’t agree with it. Her irritation may have been more at our insistence on our point of view even after she agreed to take our wishes into consideration. Maybe if she seemed more sincere we wouldn’t have kept re-iterating it though!
Either way, Ada may get two stainless steel crowns on the front teeth that are quite decayed, but won’t get them on the backmolars and other teeth. She will have a total of like 8 or 10 teeth worked on. The dentist in Fayetteville was going to put a metal crown on every single one of them, and when I started asking questions, acted annoyed and sent me to the Duke pediatric dentist.
So I think I can feel good about that. Surely, if it *is* bad to have different metals in a child with a suspected autoimmune disorder there is a big different from 2 to ten. And the dentist we are using is probably more skilled with the resins then the one in town.
So assuming is takes ten to 15 years for the crown to degrade enough to release nickel, and she has two on the first two teeth that came in, I feel that they will probably fall out and be replaced with adult teeth before she’s at much risk of anything. I really do think it’s going to be okay, but I feel good about stressing out about it, calling holistic dentists across the state for their opinion, talking honestly with her dentist about it. I’d want someone to do that for me.
We were going to put off Ada’s endoscopy until she was much older and could decide for herself whether or not to eat gluten and be sick long enough to have a “celiac disease” diagnosis rather than gluten intolerance confirmed through symptoms.
But since she is being put under anyway, we are doing the endo. We didn’t feed her gluten though. I can’t put her through that. We did however, relax all the cross contamination worries. Sunday, she ate two pieces of bread made in a regular bakery that tests their GF bread and it does test positive for some gluten, like 10-20 ppm. She has thrown up three times since then.
You all know my theory on as to why. Will it damage her stomach lining enough to look like a celiac’s is anyone’s guess.