Just a little more on Guidepost Two …
Not all experts are created equal, by the way. We had a bad experience with a dentist about ten years ago. This dentist came very highly recommended, supposedly someone who could handle challenging cases.
We started taking Sam to the dentist as a toddler, back when we lived in California. The dentist that cared for Mark and me had a nice, chairside manner and Sam warmed to her right away. He was always very cooperative. We didn’t have any trouble after we moved to Texas, either, until he turned 12 and it was time for that last set of baby teeth to fall out. Only they didn’t.
For some reason, the roots didn’t decay enough behind the permanent teeth and they got stuck. He had a little trouble cooperating with the pediatric dentist, who, for some reason, did not want to pull them out. She referred us to another dentist.
He examined Sam and told us he would have to be sedated in order for him to extract them. He had an anesthesiologist partner that came in on a fairly regular basis, so it could all be in the office.
The experience was still traumatic for Sam. He hated being sedated.
And when we went back to the dentist for a regular check-up, he didn’t actually do anything except ask Sam to open his mouth. No cleaning, scraping, x-rays, nothing. I didn’t get charged for that, but I got charged for the office visit.
And it went like that, every three months until after a year, I realized this guy had no intention of ever treating Sam while conscious. He started talking to me about making another appointment to sedate him for a cleaning.
We walked out the door and never came back.
I had to sweet talk my own dentist to take Sam on. He reluctantly agreed, and we started with a cleaning with one of the hygienists working in the office. It went off without a hitch. She went slowly and let Sam ask a lot of questions. His first few scrapings weren’t with the scaler, she used the ultrasonic tool instead. Eventually, he graduated to the scraper.
We got sealants on his teeth, and he had no trouble tolerating that. He’s had excellent oral hygiene. He’s never needed fillings and the dentist said that since he got through his teen years without a problem, he may go the rest of his life without ever needing one.
When he was 18, we had his wisdom teeth pulled. He was a little nervous, but he was ready for the sedation. When he woke up in the oral surgeon’s recovery room, he said, “Am I done? That wasn’t so bad.”
Yes, Sam, you’re done.