A little less than 6 months ago it was recommended that Brendan see an orthodontist because he was having issues with crowding and his teeth not growing back in very timely. (See Brave Little Soldier) It was decided that he’d need to have a tooth pulled and then come back for a follow up appointment in August.
Today was his follow up appointment. We were hopeful for good news as the two teeth that we’d originally gone to see the orthodontist about had finally grown in (crooked yes, but as it had been more than a year since he lost them we were just thankful to see them growing in). The tooth he’d had pulled wasn’t growing in yet, but that was pretty standard for him so we weren’t too concerned.
Like us the orthodontist was quite happy to see Brendan’s top two teeth growing in. He said Brendan will more than likely need braces at some point to straighten them out, but at least they are growing in which is his main concern at this point. However, he was much more concerned that the bottom tooth hadn’t grown in and decided to take a new x-ray to see what was going on under the surface.
When he recommended the first tooth come out he explained that there were basically 4 teeth vying for the same spot in his mouth. He was hoping that by pulling the one baby tooth that the adult tooth underneath would push it’s way up and cause the baby tooth next to it to fall out as well which would solve the problem in that corner of his mouth. Brendan’s mouth had other ideas.
Rather than the tooth that was supposed to make its way up doing so the adult tooth next to it (under the baby tooth he was hoping would be pushed out) started to grow in sideways. Essentially it didn’t surface either since it grew in the wrong direction and it is now blocking the way for the first tooth to pop up.
With this new development he recommended a bit more drastic treatment. He said, unfortunately the baby tooth over the one that went awry would have to come out and it’s corresponding mate on the other side of his mouth. He said if both weren’t pulled the teeth would likely shift to one side of his mouth and cause further problems.
In addition, once we had the teeth pulled out he wanted us to come back in and have Brendan fitted for an orthodontic appliance that would essentially keep all of Brendan’s teeth in place while the adult teeth make their way in. This would, hopefully, prevent the same thing happening again and causing him to need more teeth taken out.
Brendan was definitely not happy to hear that he’d need to have more teeth taken, but took the news as well as he could. The last time he requested I make his appointment as soon as possible because he didn’t want to sit and think about it for weeks on end. Remembering that, I called the dentist to schedule the appointment as soon as we arrived back home.
By chance, the dentist had an opening about an hour later. While I knew Brendan wanted to just get it over with, I wasn’t sure if doing it the same day he’d learned it needed done was really what he’d want so before I agreed to take the appointment I asked him what he wanted. He was all for getting his teeth pulled out today, so I started making calls to my husband and my orthodontist to make final arrangements. The orthodontist got the paperwork faxed over to the dentist, and Matt made arrangements to come home from work early so he could stay with the little kids while Brendan and I went to the dentist.
Once at the dentist it was only a few minutes before they called us back for his appointment. Our dentist is really fantastic, in fact he recently moved offices and it a whole lot further from our house, but we like him so well that we moved with him to the new location despite the long drive. Knowing Matt’s anxiety about the dentist, he gave Brendan laughing gas last time he had his tooth pulled figuring it would help calm him.
And it did, but Brendan did not like the way it made him feel. Shortly after he recovered from his first tooth pulling he made sure we knew he didn’t ever want to have laughing gas again. Today when we went in to the dentist he had the room prepped with the laughing gas tank before we even arrived, but as soon as I let him know how Brendan felt about the laughing gas he immediately took it away and agreed to proceed without.
I was hoping that Brendan would be somewhat relaxed about the procedure seeing as he knew what to expect. I mean, I knew that this was not going to be easy no matter what, but at least he didn’t have the unknown hanging over his head. Unfortunately, the lack of laughing gas made him much more agitated and irritable than the last time. The doctor and I both tried to convince him partway through that he’d be happier with the gas but he was insistent that he didn’t want it so we respected his wishes.
The other down side to this procedure was that he was having two of his eye teeth pulled which, as the dentist explained to me, meant that the teeth were larger than the average baby tooth and were more like having adult teeth pulled. Especially since neither of the roots had begun to dissolve making the teeth twice as large as they should have been.
Despite the additional problems with the extraction Brendan came through the procedure swimmingly. Within an hour of coming home he was almost back to his regular old self. And by the time he went to bed tonight he was already saying how happy he was to have gotten it done.
We’re happy too. We couldn’t be more proud of the way that Brendan handled this entire situation. There aren’t many kids who would, in the same situation, decide to get the extraction done on the same day they were told about it. I love my responsible, baby boy. I just wish he wouldn’t grow up so darn fast.