Ada is undergoing her second surgery—or second time being put under general anesthesia today, about one month after the turned three. She has officially surpassed the number of times Payman or I have had a surgery.
The first time she was 22 months old and we only decided to do the dental surgery route because she needed that and an endoscopy might be telling about the situation of her distraught little tummy. She wasn’t eating gluten at the time, though she was most definitely reacting to cross contamination at the time, and she did not have any gut damage, or esophagus damage either.
On the teeth side of things, she ended up with four crowns on her molars, three pulpotomies (root canals) with resin filling over top and one tooth with resin filling but no pulpotomy.
Since that day, 14 months ago, Ada has broken two of her resin fillings (it seems they just broke off—there was no noticeable injury and erupted four more molars. Her canines have decently deep cavities that have been scraped away (and I swear her tooth just crumbles) at least twice.
I remember going back for an appointment last September and the dentist said it looked liked we were keeping them very clean. We brush and wipe them with a cloth, but admittedly, it is very difficult to floss her.
Then we went back in November and all that was out the window. Her teeth were getting worse and worse looking, and she had food in stuck in them… a huge chunk of something she ate for breakfast, which the dentist insisted was there from the night before. We do not agree. I just don’t think its possible I missed a chuck of food *that* size.
Anyhow, the dentist’s unyielding opinion is that we don’t brush her teeth well enough and that is the problem. She repeats over and over—though *I* no longer bring it up, that there are no enamel defects in her teeth and they are extremely rare. I could add, though I’ve stopped, that they are not rare among the special population of those with celiac disease.
This morning, as we prepped for surgery, she told us that she wants to be “aggressive” with her treatment—which I actually agree with b/c I don’t want to be here a third time and have resigned myself to the fact that she has metals in her body—and do as many crowns as we need, after she takes x-rays and determines how bad the decay is.
But she always takes it one step too far, and Payman sometimes thinks I’m being too sensitive and sometimes agrees with how I feel.
Minutes before I have to sign a paper that says I understand the risks of anesthesia—including brain damage and death—she says we must be aggressive because she isn’t convinced that Payman and I will be able to keep her teeth clean enough to keep this from happening again.
Thanks, lady, really. I am risking my child’s life and putting her body through something because I’m just not able to brush as well as everybody else.
Okay. Maybe I’m touchy, but damn. She also said that Ada’s teeth have been dirty every time we’ve ever come in, so could we possibly “really” commit to the flossing this time? Payman makes the valid point that, as a doctor, if she *truly* believes this is all our fault, she has an obligation to drive home that point for Ada’s benefit.
It’s annoying that her memory of how dirty Ada’s teeth are at *each* visit and my memory of being told how I’m doing a good job at least once are different.
So an hour into the surgery she calls us in the waiting room, as we knew she would. Goods news—the decay in the newest molars is not as bad as suspected! She tells Payman, but not me, that she doesn’t understand, after reviewing Ada’s records, how the molars have the decay they do. I swear, that’s all I’ve ever wanted anyone to say. *&^%
I guess she saw less decay than expected from the x-rays and must have reviewed her notes from each visit, notes that *should* show that her molars at least have been decently clean at most visits. I freakin’ scrub the hell out of them. But I am bad at flossing—apparently my largest downfall as a mother of a gluten-intolerance child. (I made a joke the other day that bad teeth is just another way gluten says “F You” to people).
Not that gluten has anything to do with it according to the dentist, who has never studied gastroenterology or celiac disease.
So back to the point. Sorry for the bitter tone and language of this post. I’m a little raw at the moment .
These molars are less than a year old, and coupled with Ada’s records, the dentist admitted she doesn’t understand why they are decaying the way they are.
However, good news is she is now suggesting no metal crowns on the molars! Just resin fillings, and maybe very close visits so that tiny cavities can be filled with resin without totally traumatizing Ada each dental visit. And, “Can you agree to really devote yourself to the flossing?” Yes, God woman. I’ll force her more than I do now. She does admit that she understands why it’s hard for us to do it—b/c Ada protests so much. She cries through brushing as it is.
She is losing all four front teeth, and getting crowns on the two canines. Those top four caused most of the problems… they have the root canals and the decay… they probably breed the bad bacteria. She’ll have a toothless little grin until she’s eight at least, but what else can we do?
Dental work feels drastic to me as a reason to put your child under. But with all of Payman’s dental work the past year, even as an adult, he is developing a deep-seated dread of dental work, and we don’t want to do that to her.
Okay—rant over! A few more hours and I’ll see my swollen lipped little angel!