Sunday, April 8, 2018

Popsicles and Netflix, Sedation Dentistry

“…If allowed to remain on the teeth, bacteria begin to attack and break down tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities and tooth decay…”

Until he was 5 years old and before he lived with Super Daddy, Wonder Boy purportedly subsisted on sugary foods, pepperoni and sweet juice. He rarely, if ever, brushed his teeth.

Later, and before he had words, he persistently pushed his mouth onto soft things, like pillows and blankets. He progressed to holding his face to people’s arms, legs and toys. Finally, he pressed other people’s fingers directly onto his teeth.

He wouldn’t allow the first dentist to look in his mouth. A second dentist got a quick view. A third saw cavities. Four, in fact. Which would need to be filled.

Cavities in baby teeth should be filled because “…tooth decay, particularly if left untreated, can result in infection, chewing difficulty and even malnutrition. If the decay is bad enough, abscesses may develop, affecting the health of the child’s permanent teeth…”

The procedure would take time. It would be uncomfortable. Due to his autism and the accompanying difficulties treating Wonder Boy, it was decided he would be sedated.

Wonder Boy would be made chemically asleep while his cavities were filled.

The appointment was scheduled two months away; payment required in advance. No eating or drinking 12 hours prior to the procedure. Wonder Boy should wear pajamas and bring a second set of clothes, “just in case.”

As time went on, Wonder Boy became increasingly agitated. He had repeated bouts of strep throat and an ear infection. He rejected his toys, stopped playing independently, required persistent adult attention, and refused to jump on the trampoline, a favored activity.

On procedure day, Super Daddy took the day off work. He arrived early at the outpatient clinic. Alone, he carried his son into the room where the dentist, anesthesiologist and others would sedate and treat Wonder Boy.

"Sedation dentistry is used to provide a relaxing and anxiety-free experience for certain people receiving dental treatment. It enables individuals too afraid to go to the dentist to receive the dental care they need while avoiding...apprehension..." 

When the procedure was done and his time in the recovery room time complete, Wonder Boy would enjoy a Netflix marathon, beginning with The Robinson’s. He’d eat a bowl of popsicles, drink cool water, nibble animal crackers. He’d spend the day wrapped in his weighted blanket, with his daddy and favorite snugglies close by. He’d wear a hat, because he likes that. The next day, he’d go to school, participate in therapy and jump joyfully on the trampoline for the first time in many weeks.

But first? He wobbled out of the clinic on his own steam. He paused, turned and tottered toward Super Daddy. “I need help,” he said, his words slurred.

Super Daddy circled his arms around his son. Wonder Boy relaxed into his father’s chest and sighed.

2 comments:

Charles Hedrick said...

Great story! You had better get started on that book: The Adventures of Amaze Girl and Wonder Boy! Before someone else steals your thunder!
lovedad

Lucinda Kennaley said...

:) Nobody's stealing this thunder. Thanks for the nice words!