A Dental Nighmare!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on March 21, 2005

in Blog

I've been feeling a little down over this past week. Early last week, we took both Meagan and Matthew to the dentist for a cleaning. Because Meagan just had well over $10,000 in surgery done on her teeth just back in December and because Matthew is only three years old, we though they would take them back and do a simple cleaning. However, this dentist's office insisted that they both have xrays and took them back. Stephanie is pregnant of course and was not allowed to go back with them for the xrays.
Meagan already has a history with this office… Let me explain… The last time Meagan went to the dentist's office she had to be restrained with straps on her arms and legs when it came time to do her xrays. I think that this was the lack of the staff's ability to handle the fears of children moreso than with Meagan's attitude. After that visit last year, they said Meagan had four cavities in her teeth that needed to be filled. However, because of her reaction back in the xray room, they didn't feel she would do well to have the work done in the office, so they said that she must be seen at St Luke Hospital. The waiting list for a procedure such as this is MONTHS LONG and by the time December came around, Meagan was experiencing MAJOR pain in her mouth and it turned out that the decay had spread to the point where several nerves had to be removed and she has, lets just say a lot more than four, teeth capped. $10,000 dollars later, here we are back in the office and they say that my children need xrays again.
Meagan didn't require the use of restraints this time, however, she still had a pretty traumatic experience with this staff again. I should have known better than to not take some time off of work to go along with Stephanie and the kids. Had I gone, I would have been able to see the attitudes that I only heard about later from my wife and we could have left that office before they even had their x-rays done.
Meagan's x-rays looked perfectly fine.. I could have told them that…. She just had several HOURS of surgery on her teeth just four months ago! And the goofy dentist we had hardly could have missed a tooth, he capped nearly every single baby tooth my daughter has except for her front teeth on the top and bottom.
Now Matthew went back, and if you know Matthew, you know he's a pretty laid back kind of guy. Stephanie said even though he had to go back by himself into the x-ray room, he did an amazing job. He just sat there as still as any adult would have and did exactly what he was told to do. The only tears from him came was when he was doing his cleaning. However, it was not anything out of the ordinary for a three year old boy with so much stuff going on inside his mouth for the very first time.
The dentist got the x-rays and told my wife that my little guy has four small cavities that need to be filled. HOWEVER!!!!! Rather than filling them right there in his office or even scheduling something for the next week, he once again suggested major surgery at St Luke Hospital. Gee, I wonder if Stephanie and I have learned our lesson!!! What would Matthew's teeth look like if we waited for two months for an approval from our health insurance company and then waiting until December of this year when the first appointment at the hospital became available. I think NOT!!!
So I sent out an email to everyone within my email address book who has children around my kids age. I explained a little bit of what was going on and everyone emailed back and said the same thing… You need a second opinion…. Not a single one of them had ever heard of a child going to the hospital for routine fillings. That is what Meagan would have needed had her teeth been treated when we first took her for her first checkup. After a week of responses from about 40 couples….. Stephanie and I are armed with example after example where children ages 3 and up have had dental work done in the dentist's office. I've narrowed down the new dentist that we are going to go to to a Dr. Haas and a group called Cincinnati Dental. My wife and I are going to likely set something up for this week some time.
I thank all of those who took the time to email me their stories and who had given me referrals to good pediatric dentists. I especially am thankful for all the prayers that I had received. Please continue to pray as I make my next post about other medical concerns.

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