Dentist- trying to find safe treatment for my daughter

by Khat
(Boca Raton, FL)

My 4 1/2 year old daughter has SPD- and I'm frustrated trying to find medical professionals that understand her needs. When she cries at the dentist, they think she is misbehaving and want me to leave the room. Of course, I am her advocate and I won't leave her to feel terrified.


I did leave her a year ago prior to surgery and after the procedure, she was terrified. She literally could not sleep AT ALL for weeks afterward.

My daughter now needs extensive dental work as she has cavities on every tooth. Two dentists tell me the decay is due to having bottles- which she never had (they don't believe me) and she stopped breast feeding 3 1/2 years ago.

The dentist today told me my daughter was SO SMART to gag during the exam as she knew it upset me! I was furious- what a stupid thing to say. She gags as she always has, as her brother does, because she cannot eat most foods and textures...

Then she told me she shouldn't snack during the day, only three meals...I told her the neurologist and pediatrician disagree. And my daughter doesn't eat candy or sugary things, doesn't like juice. Oh well, the dentist thought I was lying. She repeated herself three times.

SO- my problem is to find out that other parents have done. We could do the work under general anesthesia but she would be terrified until she was put under, away from me, and the neurologist doesn't recommend general anesthesia unless it's very necessary.

Another dentist will wrap her up, use nitrous, but no other drugs- and I won't be there. She will likely not fall asleep but cry during the whole ordeal, which includes pulling one tooth and putting steel caps on 6 others!

IDEAS???

Of note is that she has 8 permanent teeth already, at age 4 1/2 so she has extreme premature dentitia, already.

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Apr 10, 2010
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thank you
by: Anonymous

Excellent ideas and stories- I really appreciate it.
I think I need to talk to the anesthesiologist at the hospital to have a better idea of the prep for the procedure. Our son had surgery at an OP center and they were excellent...but my daughter had the horror at the hospital previously.

Apr 09, 2010
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Safe treatment for your daughter
by: Anonymous

Hi Khat,

I have a son who is 10 yrs old and has SPD and Autism. He saw an old cousin dentist of mine who had many special needs (notably autistic patients) then she discontinued and I had problems finding someone who could fill her shoes.

I have seem umpteen dentists some who want to use the papoose as they call it...I said no because that will traumatize my son...i now see a small pediatric dentist for "desensitization" and then if my son needs more work I take him to see another dentist affiliated with a hospital...He went 2 years ago to get put under and he did marvelous. the nursing staff at the hospital was excellent! There were 2 nurses in recovery and right before they forced the mask on his face he got to see his favorite video...It couldn't have been better!...Kids never forget bad dentist visits!

Try and find a local dentist that is willing to see your daughter once a week or once every 2 weeks just to slowly get her over her fears. If it means taking her to the front door. Why not write a social story (story of events that will happen which serves as a routine) and have it read to her and relieve her fears by saying that the dentist will not hurt her..etc. And do baby steps....of course they will want to bill you for each visit but see that's where you need to find someone willing to wait until she has built the rapport with him or her and has done a cleaning etc. on her...she needs to build some trust with him or her. This dentist needs to be patient and understand our kids needs. Could you find a local autism support group online in Boca Raton? (even though she isn't autistic you could ask a question to the group about a local dentist for special needs kids) Just a thought.

Good Luck! Just my 2 cents.

Jane

Apr 09, 2010
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Grill the Dentist First
by: Anonymous

As the mother of a 12 yr old SPD, I've learned to write on any and all of the "initial intake" or medical history forms in dark permanent red marker "IS ORALLY SENSITIVE, HAS SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER" and I write in extra large writing so it can never be removed from the record. Believe me, it is a way to start the conversation. When they ask, I reply that my son has been this way since BIRTH, will NOT GROW OUT OF IT, and was diagnosed by a pediatric gasteroentorologist at age 4. I then proceed to ASK THEM if they are familiar with the disorder. If they have never heard of it, are unsympathetic, or refuse to believe me ....believe me, I do not walk, I run to the door.

Apr 09, 2010
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reply
by: Anonymous

Thank you for commenting; it helps me so much! I'll persevere...for my daughter's sake.

Apr 09, 2010
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safe treatment for my daughter
by: Anonymous

As a mom of two children with significant sensory issues, one now a teen and in college and one six years old with developing dental issues of her own--I applaud your consideration of your daughters's comfort in determining proper care for her. Follow your gut--you are in charge of her care and her biggest, if not her only, advocate.

Depending upon where you are, there are many resources available that understand and work well with children with sensory issues. The unwillingness of some care providers to work with the situation and consider their patient first is valuable information. It may simply be a matter of their not understanding the issues, or it could be the professional "I know it all" attitude, both of which I have been faced with many times. Educating yourself to become empowered to direct your daughter's care is critical. Hopefully these are not the only providers and you will be able to make choices. Hang in there!

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