Ever since I was a little girl, the importance of nice, healthy teeth has been stressed in my family. It was well established that both my grandfather and my mother had phobias about losing their teeth so eventually it became a phobia of mine as well. I'm religious about my biannual dental checkup and as a kid I had braces. I totally judge people with fucked up teeth. It seems only natural, then, that my worst nightmare came true when we found out that Casey, plain and simply, has bad teeth. It has been obvious for some time that his front two teeth looked almost broken with a darker line across them and when we asked his pediatrician about it, she referred us to the spaceship dentist to have Casey checked out.
Sure enough, those teeth had cavities in them as did one of his others. I will confess, I felt like I should shoulder the blame for this. I should have gotten rid of the pacifier a long time ago. I should have stopped using the sippy cup much sooner than I did. I should have really tried harder with brushing his teeth. I should have taken the pre-natal vitamins and forced Casey to take his more regularly. Well after all the should-ing all over myself, the dentist told me that there was really nothing I could do about Casey having bad teeth. Unfortunately, they're just porous and no one is responsible.
After several visits to the dentist over the last couple months for fluoride treatments and checkups, we made an appointment for Casey to have extensive dental work done. Yesterday was the big day and Casey was put under anesthesia and taken to have his procedure done. They had to basically do a root canal on the front teeth. By the time those cavities were taken care of, not much of his actual teeth remained so they made composite teeth. They're a little on the gray side but they're there and didn't have to be extracted so I'm pleased. Turns out Casey's upper lip just lies very low so you can't even really see them anyway. From what the dentist told us, about 50% of three-year olds don't even have their front teeth because of trauma anyway. Who knew?
He also had a cavity in one other tooth that was filled. The dentist was
kind enough to use a bone colored filling and only charge us for a
standard metal one. His remaining teeth were covered with a sealant that
should prevent further deterioration. The whole thing took about two
hours and cost just under three thousand dollars. While Casey is
definitely worth every penny, I'm not going to lie - that is a shit ton
of money. Luckily, we were approved for a 12-month same as cash Care
Credit account so we don't have to pay it all off at once. And hopefully
our insurance will cover at least a portion of that.
Casey took the whole thing like a damn champ. He fought off the anesthesia for as long as he could but eventually succumbed right before they were going to resort to giving him the nitrous. He woke up in a great mood and immediately began asking where his toys were. The anesthesiologist hinted that me might be disoriented or lazy for most of the day and he would likely not eat anything. Yeah right. Getting him to take his nap was like wrestling a gator. When he woke up from his nap, he ran into the other room telling me how hungry he was and basically ate and drank us out of house and home for the rest of the day. He peed right away which is a great sign. And resting? Haha. He laughed in the face of resting. I'm glad he's such a resilient little trooper. Hopefully we never have to go through this sort of thing again.
MORAL OF THAT STORY: Healthy teeth means a healthy body (and an empty wallet).