My First Cavity: A Dental Caries Story

My five year old son did a really great job getting his first "cavity" fixed!  Here is how the experience went. 

Our crew (me, my preschooler, toddler and baby) walked in.  Our dental office has an area for the kids and tons of toys, which my boys think it is the best!  They just drop their coats and start playing!  

I went to the window to get us checked in.   

We only had to wait a few minutes until we were called back.  So, I picked up the baby, strapped him in the stroller, gathered coats and headed back to the treatment area. 

Unfortunately, they have a strict "no photo" policy so I wasn't able to get any good pictures. However, I had three kiddos with me, so I likely wouldn't have gotten many anyway! 

My son has an intense gag reflex, so we knew he was going to need something to help with that before the procedure.  They offered nitrous oxide for him.  I was a little nervous at first, but after seeing it, I'm glad we did it.  As soon as he got on the chair, they placed a mask over his nose.  At first it was blowing oxygen in.  They told him to breathe through his nose. He had a little trouble with that at first and panicked.  I talked to him and that seemed to calm him down.  Thankfully, he calms down pretty easily. 
Apparently, the oxygen had a "smell" to it, and his assignment was to guess what "flavor" it was. 

After a couple minutes the Dentist came back and turned on the nitrous oxide.  My little guy was being so wonderful sitting there breathing in the "good stuff", I was wondering what was going on.  Then I remembered our dental office have TV's hanging over the chairs for the kids to watch.  It is an awesome distraction!  

After a couple minutes, the dental assistant asked him how he was feeling and if his finger tips felt tingly.  He was fine, but she explained that some kiddos experience that, and it is normal. 

A few minutes later the doctor came over and sat down.  She did a wonderful job of explaining what she would be doing.  She showed him all the tools and let him listen to the sounds they made.  She also explained what they may feel like for him (this one may tickle, etc).  I'm not sure he heard any of it, but I was thankful for the explanations. 

Next, they got to work.  The first thing they did was wash the tooth off.  Then she fixed  the cavity (boy, that noisy thing got my toddler and baby's attention).  Finally, the sealant was put on and cured. 
I think the entire procedure only took 5 - 7 minutes. Now, he only had to have one cavity fixed, but it was still fast!

At that point, they turned the nitrous off and let the pure oxygen flow again to purge his system of the nitrous oxide.  

After she was done, he wanted his mouth rinsed out 5 times... finally they asked him if he would just like to have a drink, which he did! 

After that, they raised his seat up and had him sit up slowly.  He was totally fine and ready to hop down and head off to our next adventure!  

They told us he did not have to wait to eat or drink and that his tooth may feel strange for a day or two until he gets used to it. 

However, we have been gone from the office about an hour, and he is totally fine. 

Two things I take away from this are: 

1.  Pediatric dentists are awesome!  

I have taken my kids to a family dentist before and they have not been as kid friendly.  

The pediatric dentist and staff do a great job making dental procedures as comfortable as they can be for kids. They have cute names for all the tools and take time to let them listen to them, and answer any questions the have.   

2.  My son didn't have trouble at all with his gag reflex using the Nitrous Oxide.  

He usually throws up after every dental exam/cleaning.  So, if/when he has to have more dental procedures, I will definitely ask for that again.   

All in all, it was a good experience for my son.  Not that I look forward to more cavities, but, it if we have to do it again, I think my son will be ok with it! 

And... according to my little guy... it smelled like Strawberries! 

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